How Do Driver License Eligibility Requirements Vary From State to State?

How Do Driver License Eligibility Requirements Vary From State to State?

License eligibility requirements vary from state to state by a range of different factors, such as the type of vehicle a person is operating, the minimum age needed to apply, and an individual’s criminal history. The Department of Motor Vehicle’s official website has a list of requirements for each state.

The minimum age to obtain a restricted driver's license varies from 14 years old in South Dakota to as high as 17 in New Jersey. However, according to federal law, the minimum age to drive a commercial vehicle in interstate transit is 21. Therefore, the minimum age to apply for an unrestricted driver’s license regardless of state is 21. Some states require a driver under the age of 18 to attend a driver’s education course through her high school or a private driving school. States such as New York require new adult drivers to also undergo a driver’s education program before applying for a license.

In some states, including Kentucky and Colorado, a driver must not have any revocations, suspensions, or denials of her driving privileges in any other state. Some states do not issue a license to an individual in violation of federal immigration laws, or one that has been deemed an alcoholic or a habitual narcotics user.