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U.S. Drivers License Application

A driver’s license or state ID is considered the primary form of identification in the United States. A United States driver’s license is an official government-issued ID that authorizes the bearer to operate a motor vehicle. In addition, drivers licenses can also be used as a form of identification for several other purposes such as cashing checks, opening bank accounts, traveling within the United States, and as proof of legal age to buy alcohol and tobacco. A State ID can be used as a form of identification, but may not to operate a motor vehicle. Unlike other countries, the United States federal government does not issue a national driver’s license or identification card. Each of the 50 U.S. States issue their own drivers licenses and state IDs, and they can be used anywhere in the United States, Canada, and even abroad in certain countries. Download the U.S. Drivers License Application Guide and learn how to apply for a U.S. Driver’s License application.

  • Start Application Immediately
  • Easy to Understand Instructions
  • Apply Online or by Mail
  • Pricing and Fee Information Included
  • Checklist of Required Documents
  • Unlimited Online Support

What’s included

  • Identification requirements to obtain your first US drivers license
  • Requirements to transfer an out-of-country drivers license
  • Requirements to transfer an out-of-state drivers license
  • Drivers license renewal requirements
  • Specific application procedures for all 50 US States
  • Information about the written, vision and road tests
  • Information regarding proof of legal immigration status
  • Lists of primary and secondary forms for identification required
  • Explanation of the difference between driver’s licenses and state identification cards

Download U.S. Drivers License Application Guide for more information

After 9/11, the federal government has added extra security measures when obtaining a state identification card, driver license, and social security card among other legal documents. A new federal law (called the Real ID Act) was introduced that made it a requirement to show proof of legal immigration status in the United States to obtain a drivers license from any state. As of May 2008, driver licenses issued by the states that do not meet these requirements will not be accepted as legal identification to gain entry into a federal building or to board an airplane in the United States. All 50 U.S. states are gradually updating their requirements and starting to request proof of [legal] immigration status in the United States. However, in several states it is still possible for illegal immigrants to obtain driver’s licenses and state IDs.

Eligibility Requirements: There are generic requirements for obtaining a U.S. drivers license such as a written test, road test and vision test. However, each of the 50 U.S. states and U.S. territories has their own requirements and application procedures. There are also different procedures for first-time applications, out-of-state transfers and renewals. Certain states allow foreign licenses to be used as proof of an individual’s ability to operate a motor vehicle, thus not requiring the individual to take the road test again. There are also different “classes” of licenses depending on what type of vehicle you wish to drive: cars, motorcycles, trucks or commercial vehicles. You can also transfer your out-of-state license to your new home state. This process differs from state to state, but in general you have to take the vision test and/or the written test excluding the driving test.

Some temporary visitors, students and workers on non-immigrant visas are also allowed and sometimes required to obtain a Social Security number. The Social Security card is a very important document in the United States. Not only does it entitle individuals to certain benefits once retired, but employers, banks, schools and the USCIS all use the social security card as a form of identification. Social Security is a complex system that is linked to many other government and private databases and services.

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