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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.

Moving to the US - Getting a Driver's License

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

http://www.usa.gov/

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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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Comments about this Article

guest
Apr 16, 2012 16:17

"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." No they are not. I've been trying to get a license now for months and they have specific needs, bank statements (which you need an ID with your address on it to open), utilities bills which when you're living with someone else aren't happening. Official Homeland security paper work addressed to you at your home residence are not sufficient. Go figure. You can however go to the post office ask for a change of address form, fill in a fake previous address and your legitimate current address and use forwarded mail as proof. note this requires no proof of anything to be shown to the post office. You could even use a fake name. but, it is I gather fraud so i'm not interested. Good luck and may God help you because no one else will.

First Published: Jan 24, 2009

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