Obtaining a driver’s license can sometimes be a complicated process as it is. This process has many additional rules and requirements in different states and countries. Knowing this information is essential not only for driving purposes but for identification. Here’s what you need to know if you are moving or traveling:
This article will answer the following questions:
- Is my foreign driver’s license valid in the U.S.?
- What if I already have a U.S. license but am moving to another state?
- If I travel outside the U.S., can I drive in another country?
- Can I get a license if I am undocumented?
- Do I need a driver’s license?
- How do I get my driver’s license?
Is my foreign driver’s license valid in the U.S.?
Each state within the U.S. has different requirements for using foreign driver’s licenses. Some states allow you to drive with a foreign license for a limited time, while others require an international driver’s permit. It is crucial to check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.
If you haven’t moved to the U.S. yet, you must get your international driver’s permit (if your state requires it) before moving. Click HERE for more information.
If you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, always have some valid identification for your safety.
What if I already have a U.S. license but am moving to another state?
Similarly to moving from a different country, different states have rules for using licenses from another state. For example, you can use a valid license from another state or country for up to 90 days in Illinois.
If I travel outside the U.S., can I drive in another country?
In many cases, you may need to retrieve an international driver’s permit to drive in a country outside of the U.S. Each country’s rules vary, and you can check them HERE.
For example, a U.S. state license is valid in Mexico, but the vehicle’s owner must be present. A U.S. state license is valid in Canada, but you must have proof of auto insurance.
The link mentioned above contains valuable information for different countries in addition to these requirements, such as:
- Visa requirements
- Vaccine requirements
- Embassy and Consulate contact information
- And more!
Can I get a license if I am undocumented?
In some states, you can! Click HERE for a list of states that allow undocumented individuals to obtain a license and more information on that.
Do I need a driver’s license?
If you are a U.S. citizen or resident living in a major city with reliable public transportation, then you may not need a license. However, those who live in less walkable or public transit-friendly areas may require one for convenience. If you are undocumented and your state allows it, consider obtaining a license for a valid form of identification. Click HERE for more reasons why it is vital for undocumented people to get a license.
How do I get my driver’s license?
To get your license in the U.S., you will need to pass an exam and driving test. We have an article detailing finding your local DMV, tips for studying, required documentation, and more HERE.