What Are the Driver's License Laws?


Quick Answer

Driver's license laws are determined by individual states and can vary widely from state-to-state, according to U.S. Immigration Support. A driver's license is a form of government-issued identification and can be used for purposes other than driving, such as opening bank accounts, cashing checks or showing proof of age for purchasing alcohol or tobacco.

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Full Answer

States issue driver's licenses in a graduated process, explains the Governors Highway Safety Association. Teenagers ranging in age from 14 to 16 may receive learner's permits after passing a written test, passing a road test, undergoing driver's education in a classroom and spending time driving with a licensed instructor, or any combination of these criteria.

Many states have an intermediate period in which drivers with learner's permits are restricted from driving at night or transporting more than a specified number of passengers, notes the Governors Highway Safety Association. Upon completion of the requirements for a full driver's license, newly licensed drivers are expected to follow the traffic and safety laws of the state in which they are currently driving, not the state in which they are licensed.

States generally recognize out-of-state driver's licenses as valid forms of government identification. In some cases, it may be possible to transfer an out-of-state license to a new home state without passing another driving test, states U.S. Immigration Support.

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