June 29, 2013

Drivers License Requirements

Whether you’re a teen driver, an adult driver, a non-American, or new resident to a state, there are established driver’s license requirements you’ll need to meet to get and keep a license. Whenever possible, use your state’s DMV website as a primary resource for information on the type of driver’s license requirements that pertain to you:

  • Download license forms (new drivers, renewals, new residents)
  • View and download driver’s manuals
  • Take sample driver’s tests online
  • Get DMV contact information
  • Schedule your driver’s test
  • Get safe driving tips.

Teen Drivers

Teen driver’s license requirements are some of the stiffest. Why? Teens are inexperienced behind the wheel, can have poor reaction times, and often exercise poor judgment when it comes to peer influence.  Basic requirements for teen driver’s licenses include:

  • Meet age requirements
  • Successfully complete a driver’s education course
  • Get a learner’s permit
  • Log a predetermined number of hours of practice driving with a legal guardian
  • Adhere to driving restrictions, including number of passengers, limits on night driving, limits on distance from home, etc.
  • Pass the written, road, and vision tests
  • Get a provisional license
  • “Graduate” to a permanent license (usually at age 18)
  • Pay DMV license fees.

Some of the above are part of many state’s “graduated” or provisional driving programs, specifically designed for adults under age 25.

Adult Drivers

It’s not always a teen that needs a new driver’s license. Some adults (over age 25) may be applying for a permanent license for the first time or following a two-year or more lapse in licensure (think: military personnel and city-dwellers as examples). In these cases the adult driver’s license requirements can differ from those of teens. For example, adult drivers may not be required to complete a driver’s education program and they are not subject to graduated or provisional license programs.

  • Prove your identity
  • Successfully complete the written, road, and vision tests
  • Pay any licensure and/or DMV fees required.

Renewal Drivers License

Requirements for renewing your driver’s license are usually simple:

  • Renew online, by phone, or by mail. This may differ depending on your state’s requirements.
  • Pay any required fees
  • Present proof of identification or residence as necessary or when requested.

New Residents

New resident driver’s license requirements are also fairly consistent and include:

  • Apply in person for new license following a grace period (30 to 90 days depending upon the state)
  • Provide proof of residence (utility bill, mortgage/rent bill)
  • Provide proof of identification
  • Present a current driver’s license from another state
  • Pass required tests (written, vision, and road if required)
  • Pay license and DMV fees

Young adults under age 25 may have additional license requirements when moving to a new state with a valid driver’s license.

Be prepared. Visit your state DMV website to ensure you are able to meet all the requirements for your driver’s license.

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