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Driver’s License

Every state has a different agency that handles licensing and identification of drivers and residents. While most people are familiar with the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), there are many states that assign different agencies such as the DOR (Department of Revenue), DPS (Department of Public Safety), or SOS (Secretary of State) office. Regardless of what agency handles this, all states outline requirements for both teen and adult drivers when it comes time to license individuals that will operate vehicles on public roadways. Don’t forget you’ll need a vehicle registration and auto insurance after you get your driver’s license.

Teens Applying for a Driver’s License

In an effort to standardize licensing requirements for teens, most states participate in what is known as the Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) program or something similar process. What is usually required is:

  • Completion of a Driver’s Education program.
  • Application for a learner’s permit.
  • Application for a provisional license after a learner’s permit.
  • Pass the written and driving test for an unrestricted driver’s license.

While a GDL program or something similar may seem cumbersome to many teens and their parents, the adoption of such programs was spurred by the high number of traffic accidents and deaths among teen drivers. The overall process usually takes a year or more before an unrestricted driver license is issued. Many states do offer additional options for teens who need less restrictive driving privileges sooner such as that offered with a provisional license. In states like Texas and Florida, teens can apply for what is known as a hardship license. Additional paperwork and proof of what the states defines as a “hardship” must be provided. You can learn more about teen driver license programs and hardship licenses with your state agency.

Adults Applying for a Driver’s License

Every state defines an “adult” as an individual 18 years of age or older. While adults can also benefit from participating in driving programs like GDL, the requirements are different and usually less encompassing. In many states, adults just have to be able to pass with written and driving tests required. Some driver education courses may be required but not to the extent that teen drivers must comply with.

Individuals Applying for Identification Cards

If you are looking to be issued a state ID without permissions for driving, this is usually a simple one day task. As with an application for a license though, you will be required to show proof of identity such as a birth certificate and identification card. Additionally, the proper form of payment for the ID being issued must be provided. An agent will take a picture of you and additional information will be obtained such as your place of residence and other identifying information that will appear on you ID.