Each state issues its own unique drivers license. That means if you move from one state to another, you will have to switch your license to your new state’s version. Generally, you’ll have between 30 and 90 days to take care of this from the day that you move in. Here’s a simple overview of the process that you’ll have to go through to make the transfer from one state to another. The process is relatively simple, and you’ll likely be able to get the transfer done with a minimum of effort.
Transferring the License
As long as you hold a valid drivers license from your old home state, you should have no trouble transferring your license over to your new home state. As with anything, there will be hoops to jump through but they aren’t very high, and none of them are on fire. You will have to provide proof of residency documentation and be prepared to pay the transfer fee charged in your new state. There may also be a vision test, so don’t forget your glasses.
The Written Exam
There’s also a good chance that you will have to take the written license test for your new state. This only makes sense as some rules of the road may be different there, and the new state wants to be sure that you know them. This means reading through the state’s driving manual to make sure you know what’s the same and what is different. After all, your new state doesn’t want you getting tickets any more than you do.
What if Your License is Expired?
If you have an expired license, you won’t be able to transfer your license to the new state. Instead, you will have to go through the whole licensing process again. It may save you a step or two to renew your current state license before going through the transfer process. This extra effort may well be worth it, even if it does mean a trip back to your old state again and some time at the DMV.
Driving Using an International License
If you are visiting the US on a foreign traveler Visa, you don’t have to transfer your license immediately to drive on the roads legally. You can rely on your current valid drivers license as long as you also have an International Driver Permit. If you have this, you should be able to drive legally for a year before obtaining a license from the state where you currently reside.
Below is a list of countries from which licensed drivers can enjoy this benefit:
- Puerto Rico
- U.S. Virgin Islands
- Yukon Territory
- American Samoa
Transferring your license from one state to another isn’t difficult to do, but you will have to go through some steps in order obtain a valid license in the new state. However, these are steps you will want to take soon after you move into your new home to avoid risking driving on an invalid license.