Steps to Getting a Driver's License in the U.S.
By International AutoSource
Summary: Unless you're moving to a major US city like New York, you'll be needing a driver's license. Here is an overview of the process involved in obtaining your license in the US.
A very important document to have in the United States is a driver’s license. This is used to operate a motor vehicle and as a main source of identification, being that the U.S. does not have a national identification system. To acquire a driver’s license, one must follow the essential steps to have the required knowledge of the road in order drive in the country:
1. First, one must familiarize themselves with the rules and regulations for operating a motor vehicle. You can do so by visiting the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that each state has or go to their website and download a driver’s manual. (website provided below).
2. Once you are confident that you have learned the written rules for driving go, to the nearest DMV in your state and take a written test. The test generally contains a number of multiple choice questions, either taken on paper or on a computer. Once the test is passed, you will be given a learner’s permit allowing you to operate a car only if a licensed driver is sitting next to you. A permit is required to take driving lessons, which can either be done privately or through a driving school.
3. When you are comfortable driving on the roads in the U.S. you will have to take a road test at the DMV. You will most likely have to make an appointment, possibly having to wait a few weeks before the actual driving test. The car you plan on using for your road test should have proper liability insurance, as well all working-condition controls (break lights, indicator lights, horn, etc). During the test, an inspector will sit next to you and direct you where to drive while checking your driving/ parking skills. You will find out the results immediately after you finish the test whether you passed or failed. If you pass, you will get a temporary paper license and receive the original license in the mail around two weeks later.
4. You will be required to pay a fee for your license and also show proof of identity with a photograph (which includes your date of birth) as well as proof of residence in the state of which you are applying. Passports, I-94 cards, or a green card stamp are all acceptable forms of identification.
5. Lastly, you will be required to take a vision test before getting your license.
Some useful links are provided for information on getting your license in the U.S.:
http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Foreign_Visitors_Driving.shtml - general information on obtaining a license
About the Author
International AutoSource offers a factory-direct program set up in cooperation with leading automobile manufacturers including: Audi, Volkswagen, Chrysler, Ford, and many others. Through this program, International AutoSourceInternational AutoSource can help expats with no US credit history obtain credit to lease or purchase a car in the US at savings not available anywhere else.
AutoSource has been assisting expats with leasing or financing vehicles for over 60 years. Click here for more information.
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First Published: Jan 24, 2009