Driver's License in America

A driver's license is very essential in United States as it allows you to drive motor vehicle anywhere in America. A US Drivers License requires a Social Security Number. For people who can't or don't want to drive, or visitors who don't have a SSN, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) or similar state agency will make a picture identification (ID) card for a small fee which is $15. This State ID is usually identical to a Drivers License, but it does not allow you to drive. Every state's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) issues the driver's license and the rules and regulations differ in every state. There is separate license for motorcycles, taxis, buses or trucks. In most of the states a person should be around 16 years to get the basic driver's license. The license document contains details of the driver like name, date of birth, residence address, physical featured of the person along with the license number, photograph and signature of the person.

Driver's License for Visitors to America

International Driving Permit (IDP) document contains the details in your license in 10 different foreign languages. This will help the concerned officers to understand your details in the driver's license. An IDP supplements the valid government-issued-license and does not serve as a replacement for a license. When you are stopped by any official they will ask you to produce your IDP and your driver's license. In United States, the IDP document is not issued to foreign visitors, so it is advisable to obtain this document in your home country itself.

Some facts about American Driving License:

  • If you are going to stay in America, you can get a U.S. driver's license which may take several months to obtain
  • The foreign residents can obtain the license from the state in which they stay and not from the federal government. Every state has its own rules and regulations so it is required to contact your state's motor vehicle department.
  • On obtaining the U.S. driver's license from a state motor vehicles department, you can drive around freely in any state. As the laws differ among the states, it is your responsibility to be aware of them and also obey them while driving in any state.
  • The residence requirement for obtaining the license also varies from one state to another. You need to refer your motor vehicles department in your state.
  • The foreign students coming to U.S. to pursue their studies have to contact their respective university or college to gather useful driving information.
Warning (International Driving Permits Issued by fraudsters): The IDPs are being sold by unauthorized persons at a high cost which is greater than the actual costs. The Government is aware about this and has issued many warning regarding the worthless international driver's licenses/permits provided by internet vendors. It is always safer to obtain the driver's license from the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. Refer International Driver's License Warning from Federal Trade Commission for more details regarding the frauds. The drivers who come across such people are requested to report to the local office of the U.S. Postal Inspector, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Better Business Bureau, or their state or local Attorney General's Office.


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