¡Important! Updates on COVID-19 here
Find your nearest DMV office... Español
DMV Near Me
DMV Office, location and Hours

Driver's License offices, location and hours





Download in Android Playstore Download in Apple App Store


Search Driver's License offices by state



Driver´s License

In the States, the driver`s license is issued by every State or territory. A driver normally must obtain a driver's license from its State of residence, and this permit is valid for all the rest of the United States. A certain territory could also suspend the driving privileges around its limits to a driver who had violated the traffic rules. A lot of States shared a common system of classes with certain exceptions. In the case of commercial licenses, for example, those are standardized by federal regulations.

History

Around 1903, Massachusetts and Missouri were the first States to require a driver’s license, but there was no requirement to pass an exam to get one. In 1908, Henry Ford Delivered the first Ford T Vehicle, the one had a very accessible price and was affordable to all the american middle class. (Henry Ford, born in Michigan, obtained his first driver’s license by the age of 56).

The same year that Fort T came into the streets, Rhode Island began to request a driver's license for all drivers and decided that all licenses will be issued after completing a driver's exam.Around 1907 Massachusetts started to require an exam to achieve licenses for Chauffeurs, and around 1920, the exam was mandatory for all drivers interested on a driver's license.

Special Licenses and Standard licenses.

Non Restricted licenses:

This is the most common license in America. There are some differences between some States on the class of license they use to distinguish a regular driver’s license and a special one, like the restricted one, the Chauffeur or motorcycle license. I.e.In Tennessee a Standard driver's license is called Class D, the Class M is for Motorcycles and the Class H is a hardship license.

Hardship license for minors:

These licenses are oriented to those drivers between 14 and 15 years old (sometimes up to 18), who have the need to drive for family difficulties, like family financial problems or medical problems; the driver needs to go to work or School and there is no other transport available.

Provisional licenses:

Its funcion is the same as a driver's license, but these are issued for drivers under 18 years of age, between 14 and 17 years old. Almost every State, except South Dakota, counts with some kind of graduated license, but the restriction time and the period that a new driver must held the license vary widely depending on the State.

Chauffeur's license:

This kind of license is generally called Class E. Some States only add an endorsement to a regular license, and others just don't require any special permit to drive a taxi or limousine. In Florida it was very common to issue licenses for limousines in the license Class D, designation that was eliminated in 2006. Regardless if the State issue or not the Chauffeur’s license, the driver must always obtain a permit from the State he or she is operating from.

Motorcycle license:

These vehicles sometimes do not require a motorcycle license, in some States any type of license, or any kind of insurance or registration. Unlike the UE, non State in America differentiates a motorcycle between a low or full power to issue a license. Some States require an additional permit to operate a Motorcycle with a sidecar.

Improved licenses:

This kind of license is issued for american citizens in Washington, Michigan, California, Vermont, New York and Minnesota, and se the nationality of the driver appart of the drivers permit. A EDL is a compatible document with a WHTI, acceptable document to cross land or sea borders incoming from Canada, Caribe or Mexico. TO apply for this kind of license it is necessary to bring an American passport and a birth certificate as proof of the nationality. The commercial license and the Motorcycle license also have the same option to be improved.

Permit for disabled persons

The permit for disabled persons is issued to those people who comply with a responsible standard driving and parking access. Special access is issued to improve their life when driving. In some States, like in Texas, the disable person can be forced to surrender his or her licenses depending on their disability.

Driver license laws.

Drivers under 18 generally must follow an educational program, either at School or in a private driving School, and to practise with a professional before applying to the license. Some States like New York also require new drivers to take driving lessons before applying for the license.

However, in some States, all adult drivers with their first license could be on a trial period for some amount of time (generally between 6 months and two years), during this period, any transit violation has more severe consequences or even suspension of the license for some time, rules that would not apply for the experimented drivers.

Use of license as Identification and proof of age.

The drivers licenses in America have a number or alphanumeric code issued by the pertinent department, generally shows a picture of the driver, and a copy of his/her signature, the principal address of residence, type or class of license, restrictions, endorsements (if applicable), physical characteristics of the driver (High, weight, hair color and eye color), and date of birth.

Real ID

When an interested person applies for a Real ID, as a new applicant or to revenew an old one, he or she must present a citizen document (american passport, birth certificate, Social Security Number, Change of name certificate - if apply- and two proofs of residence on the State). The State will check the documents and will keep a copy. It is not permitted to have more than one Real ID at the time.

A Real ID can be easily identified depending on the State. These nes have a gold or black star on the upper right corner of the card. From October 2011, Connecticut also issued them. From January 2013, Ohia is issuing the Real ID under the name "Safe Identification Card".

California began to issue real IDs in 2018.

Improved Driver’s licenses

Some States, generally the ones that share an international border line, issue improved drivers licenses and ID cards. The Improved Licenses combine the standard driver license with the specifications of the federal passport.

Therefore, apart from the driving privileges, we also have proof of american citizenship and we can cross borders into Canada and Mexico by highway, railroad or sea, even though if we want to cross the border by aeroplane, that will still require a passport. The improved licenses are compatible with the Real IDs.

Digital drivers licences.

The digital License does not require any additional hardware and includes a policy of "Do not touch" that allows the owner to be in possession of the mobile device at any moment.

In October 2018, the State Secretary of Louisiana, Kyle Ardoin, approved the digital ID for the identification of voting people at elections. In January 2019, the Alcohol and Tobacco Office in Louisiana approved the use of the digital ID through LA Wallet as a way of identification of age to purchase cigarettes and alcohol.


Tips for an excellent road test:

If you go to take your driver's test chances are that, if your a car Enthusiast, this is one of the most exciting days of your life and even if you're not it opens up a world of possibilities for traveling and do things you never could have done before. If you follow these few simple tips you'll be well on your way and you'll pass it with flying colors.

Watch out your mirrors

Before leaving the parking lot and getting out on the road is important to check out your mirrors, adjust your seat position, adjust the steering wheel position and of course fasten your seatbelt.

Proper hand position

Proper hand position is at 9 and 3, and i guarantee if you drive one-handed at the 12 position you're going to fail your test. It's important to keep both hands on the steering wheel at all times. Of course if you have a manual transmission vehicle you have to take one hand off the ship, but this will keep your test administrator feeling safe and you will be in the most control of your vehicle.

Proper lane changing

When changing lanes is important to do the following: First Signal, then look in your rearview mirror all by your side mirror, look over your shoulder, and if is safe, then you can go. Once you're in the lane that you're moving into all the way, then you can turn your turn indicator.

Always signal if you're changing lanes no matter if there's no traffic around you, is important to check both mirrors, look over your shoulder and use your turn signal.

When changing more than 1 lanes at the same time

If you're going over multiple Lanes always go from one lane to the next, pause for a little bit of time, then turn your turning indicator on, look at both mirrors over shoulder, go to the next line, pause and then go to the next. Shooting over across 4 Lanes of traffic is a good way to fail the test.

Onto a street with a high speed limit

Always give yourself plenty of time when pulling out onto a street with a high speed limit. It will not annoy the person providing your test if you wait there until it's safe.

If you pull out in front of a car that is moving quickly and do not give yourself enough room you're going to lose points. Waiting until there's plenty of space, more so than you think you would need normally, it is the proper way to do it.

Fear to one side of the lane

Often beginner drivers tend of fear to one side of the lane or the other. On a single Lane road that means you might been too close to the double yellow or too close to the shoulder. If you need to prevent this there is a technique that you can used that is really helpful when you're learning, is to look farther ahead in the road and try to imagine the center of the road, picture a line in the center of the lane you're in passing through the center of your vehicle. This helps keep you in the center of your lane which is important for succeeding at the driver's test.

When coming to a stop sign

When coming to a stop sign or an stop or red light is important to stop before the white line in the road. That mean, when you're coming to a full stop, you should still be able to see the white line in front of the hood of your car ( This is important ). Then, if it's a blind turn, once you come to a full start, now you can start creeping out a little bit further and further so you can see the flow of traffic and make your right or left turn. Always use a safe following distance between yourself and the car is in front of you. The higher the speed limit is, the more the following distance because, if the person in front of you breaks all the sudden, you want to give yourself enough time to react.

Braking tips

Before you break, always check your mirrors. If you come onto a stop abruptly and there's a car right behind you, they could run into you. If it's an emergency situation this obviously isn't always possible, but in the ideal case always check your rearview mirror before braking.

Keep your eyes always in movement

Always keep your eyes constantly scanning the road for pedestrian, any obstacles or turns that are coming up. That means checking your mirrors constantly: Your rearview mirror, your side mirrors, looking over your shoulder. Being attentive and showing that you're paying attention is going to make a great impression to pass your road test.

When making turns

When making protective left turns people often cut corners. Is something that everyone does on the road all the time: passing over a double yellow or a white line is a great way to fail your driver's test so make sure to take it wide enough, stay in the guidelines when you're making left turns and not cut any corners.

Make smooth movements

Be as smooth as possible in your movements. It means smooth braking, smooth acceleration, smooth steering inputs, etc. Being jerky is not going to go well.

Drive defensively

Drive defensively not aggressively. This day is about proving that you are a safe driver.

Please, don't speed

Don't speed. This is very important. In general people are used to going 5 miles an hour over the speed limit or so when driving in a daily situation but for the test you cannot do that. Speed limit or below is required.

Also having a radar detector in your car for the test probably won't leave a very good first impression.

Pre-drive test checklist:

The DMV wants to check if you are proficient with all the controls on the inside the car before you start the driver test.

Here's a sample of the pre Drive checklist:

  • The DMV will tell you to turn the car on, but don't start it.
  • Turn the turn signal on to the left and then the right.
  • Turn the headlights on.
  • Turn the headlights off.
  • Turn the windshield wipers on.
  • Turn on the emergency flashers in the morning.
  • The examiner may ask you, if you come out in the morning and there's frost on your front window, how do you defrost your front window? You selected froster, turn the fan on to number 2 or higher and select the “Heat”.
  • Any other examiner will ask you to show them your defrosters: Where are they located?
  • The Examiner will then ask you to disengage the emergency parking brake and then, engage the emergency parking brake.
  • They will then ask you to honk the horn.


Search DMV offices by service