It is a highlight of many new residents to the United States to obtain a U.S driver’s license in order to validate their new start in the country. Driver’s licenses in the U.S are issued by individual states instead of the entire country. Therefore there are certain rules that may differ, though the majority of rules stay the same. The best way to find out the individual requirements per state is to contact the nearest Department of Motor Vehicles, otherwise known as the DMV.
It is a requirement for those who are operating motor vehicles in the country to have a valid driver’s license. There are several places that require a license as proof of identify, such as banks. Other circumstances that require one to show a driver’s license include proof of age such as when purchasing liquor or tobacco.
Despite separate state regulations, those that obtain an official U.S driver’s license are eligible to drive throughout the country and Canada.
In many of the states, the first and foremost requirement for obtaining a driver’s license is to have a Social Security Number. It is always advisable to bring all types of identification that you have, such as birth certificates, passport, permanent resident card or foreign/international driver’s license.
Those that have immigrated to the U.S are also required need to bring proof of immigration status in order to provide the necessary legal information. The Department of Motor Vehicles will require proof of one’s in-state resident status as well, which can be shown by using utility bills or a lease. If you choose to bring a lease then make sure that it has your name and address, otherwise it will not be of any use.
Other formal requirements that are required by the DMV include a written, vision and driving test. It is common for every state to have its own processes and requirements. There are some states that are able to recognize the fact that one has driven in the past. It is recommended to check if that is the case in the state that you are applying in to find out if it is possible. If so, you will be required to bring documents from your country of origin that provides proof of driving experience.
States that do not recognize prior driving experience treat all of those who are applying as new drivers. It is possible to drive in some states with an International Driver’s Permit or with a license from your country of origin (depending on the country and regulations). It is also possible to be exempt from certain stages of the application process if an International license is shown. However, it is not easy to receive car insurance by using driver’s licenses from outside of the country.
In order to prepare for the written test it is necessary to go to the DMV’s office to receive a copy of the driver’s guide for the state. It is typical for these guides to be given for free and some DMV’s even have their guidebooks available online through their website. The guidebook gives detailed information on road rules and driving safety. The written test is created using the information found in the guidebook so it is best to understand the book completely before sitting for the exam.
Those who are new drivers are required to learn the skills required for driving in order to participate in the road test. It is common for new drivers to ask family members or friends to help learn these skills, though lessons can also be taken at any driving school or through a private teacher. Private teachers are often cheaper to hire than attending a driving school since they charge hourly instead of by course. It is even recommended for those that have driving experience to familiarize themselves with the updated rules of the road since there are different rules in the U.S, such as those for parking.
It is often acceptable to enter the DMV office on the day that you wish to obtain your license and to be able to take the written test on the same day. Many DMV offices do not accept entries at least an hour before closing so make sure to find out the appropriate time to go. The busiest times for applications are during lunch time, weekends and after work hours. The day following a holiday is also not the best time to visit.
Aside from the documents that were previously mentioned, you will also be required to pay the cost of the test itself. After the application has been submitted, it is time to take the exam in a specified area. The results of the exam are fairly quick therefore you will know whether or not you passed soon after completing the exam.
Those who don’t pass the initial written test are required to retake the test before the road test can be taken. There are often restrictions regarding the time period before an exam can be retaken as well as the total amount of times. Those who pass the exam are able to make an appointment to take the road test right away. Some DMV offices require applicants to take a vision test during the same session as the written test. It is also common to participate in a vision test during your appointment for the driving test.
It is required for those who are taking the driving test to have a vehicle that is in good condition. It also has to have proof of insurance for liability. Only the applicant and the examiner are permitted in the car during the driving test. There are special circumstances when a service animal is permitted as well. It is up to the examiner to judge your ability to drive in a safe and legal manner.
Once the driving test has ended, the examiner will tell you right away whether or not you have passed. Those that pass will be given further information regarding receiving the driver’s license while those that fail will be told when they are able to take the test again and other restriction details.