Regardless of the state you live in, you must have a valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. You may need this essential driver and vehicle service if you want to get a driver’s license for the first time, if your license was previously revoked, or if you went a long time without a driver’s license. You may also need a new driver’s license if you want to obtain a REAL ID.

To get a driver’s license for the first time or after a lapse, you will need to successfully complete a knowledge, driving exam, and an eye test for driving. If you are a minor, you may also be required to complete a driver’s education course before a license can be issued to you. Finally, some states require younger citizens to carry a driving permit for a specified amount of time before they can apply for a driver’s license.

Learn About Getting a Drivers License

If you are eligible to receive a driver’s license and you successfully complete all of your exams, you will need to complete an application. In most cases, the first issuances of driver’s licenses can only be completed at a DMV.

However, it can be helpful to check with your local tag agency just in case. When applying for a license, you will need to provide:

  • Proof of your identity, such as with a birth certificate or valid U.S. passport
  • Your Social Security card
  • Proof of your citizenship status, if applicable
  • Proof of residency, such as with a recent bill mailed to your address

Once you have completed your driver’s license application and presented the appropriate documentation, you will need to have your picture taken and provide payment for the license.

However, driver’s license fees can vary significantly between states. Additionally, your fee amount may depend on the payment method you choose to use. It’s common for DMVs to accept multiple forms of payment, such as cash, check, or card.

After concluding your driver and vehicle services, the DMV will generally mail you your new driver’s license and provide you with a temporary license that you can use until you receive your new license. So be sure to be on the lookout for your new license, which is generally sent in a plain-looking envelope. Your license will be valid for two to eight years, depending on the state you live in. That’s why you must learn about renewing your driver’s license, as it is illegal to operate a vehicle with an expired license.