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How can you tell if a driver's license is valid?

A:

Quick Answer

Some markers of a valid driver's license include a unique number and the classification of the vehicle the license holder is allowed to drive. It should also include identifiers such as the license holder's full name, gender, height, eye color and photograph.

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Full Answer

As of 2015, most states employ holographic seals, kinegrams, digital watermarks, and biometric information or other methods of security formatting. Consult a list of security formatting for each state, and compare the method with the driver's license. In many cases, a driver's license is invalid if it has expired.

Driver's licenses are used as one form of identification for air travel. States such as Washington use driver's licenses to ensure that people who purchase alcohol are of age. Expired driver's licenses are deemed invalid in such cases. The license must show a photograph and the holder's date of birth and signature.

All drivers in the United States must have a license to drive. Some people have licenses, forget them and get pulled over. In such cases, they may be able to show by other ways that they have a license, or they may be warned or get a ticket. If they are ticketed, they can prove later that they do have a license, and avoid a fine.

A driving record contains comprehensive information on a person’s driving history, including the status of a driver’s license, DUI public records, driving record points and traffic accidents, states DMV.org. It shows the validity of a driver’s license and also reveals if the license is suspended or cancelled. Traffic law violations are also included in a driving record.

DMV and other relevant departments may provide different types of driving records, such as an online driving record, a motor vehicle report, a driving history, or a certified or noncertified driving record, says DMV.org. Some records include an individual’s complete driving history, whereas other types of records show a person’s driving history for several years only.

Be cautious of nongovernment websites that offer to check driving records online for free as these sites provide limited information and typically attempt to sell a product to users, notes DMV.org. Contact the official government agencies to access reliable information. Most state departments charge a small payment for a driving record copy.

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