For many drivers, you could be traveling a lot, or perhaps you’ve recently moved to another state and you need to get a new driver’s license. This could leave you wondering whether you can have two driver’s licenses, or a license in two different states.
The issue is that different states in the US have different laws, so we’ve gathered all of the information that you need right here in our guide. So, can you have a driver’s license in two states? Let’s find out.
Can You Have A Driver’s License In Two States?
Whilst most states vary when it comes to laws and regulations, in the vast majority of US states, it is illegal to carry two state issued driver’s licenses. When you move to a different state, you are obligated and legally required to obtain a new license from the new state in which you are residing, whilst turning in the one that you had from the previous state.
In most cases, you are required to have a license in the state in which you have permanent residency, and you can use this license throughout the United States as long as it is valid and you have not been suspended from driving.
The reason for this is largely so that states can keep track of your driving records easier, as multiple licenses can make things a little confusing. This is also so that drivers cannot use a second license if one is restricted, suspended or revoked.
To prevent this from happening, the state’s licensing office will check the National Driver Registry (NDR) database to check if the driver applying has any previous offenses or notable items on their record. This database also holds information regarding whether your license has been revoked, canceled or suspended.
What this means is that if you lose one license, you cannot simply apply for another in a different state, and if you are suspended from driving in one state, you cannot apply for a different state license until your suspension is over.
Can I Have More Than One Type Of License?
Whilst you cannot have a license for two different states, you may have more than one type of license. What this means is that if you have different types of licenses, such as a military license, or an international driver’s permit, then you are allowed to have those along with your state driving license. For example, if you have a foreign license from a different country, then you are permitted to have a US license and one from your home country.
What Will Happen If You Have More Than One License?
If you are found to have more than one license, then you may receive a ticket, be fined or even jailed. Fines can go up to $5,000! However, all states share the same driver database to prevent individuals from being issued more than one license.
Can I Drive With A License From Another State?
Yes, if you have a valid license from one state, then you can generally use it to drive safely and lawfully in other states that you visit. However, if you move permanently to another state, then you have to change your license to one that is issued by the state in which you reside.
Can I Keep My Out-Of-State License?
The vast majority of states do not allow drivers to keep their out-of-state licenses once they have applied and obtained a new state driver’s license. The only exception is Florida, as they allow some residents of the state to keep a second license if they live in the state part-time. For the most part, once you obtain a new state driver’s license, you are to return or destroy your old license.
Can You Get a License In Another State If You Don’t Live There?
No, you cannot get a license in a different state if you do not live or reside there. If you want to get a driver’s license, then you will need to provide a permanent address and proof of this during the application process, so that the state knows that you have residency in that location.
There are many documents that you have to provide as evidence if you want to apply for a state driver’s license. For instance, this is not just proof of address, as you may also need to provide bank statements, pay stubs, a utility bill or credit card bill, your current homeowner’s renters or motor insurance policy, sometimes even mortgage contracts, and a motor vehicle registration in order to obtain a license.
How Long Can You Live In A State Without Changing Your Driver’s License?
This varies by state, but for the most part, you must get a new state driver’s license within about 30 days, but some states can allow up to 60, 90 days or even a year of moving to the state for you to change and get a new license.
To summarize, in almost all states, you are only permitted to have one driver’s license. Typically speaking, you need to have a license from the state in which you permanently reside, or you could face fines and tickets for not complying. You are not permitted to have multiple driver’s licenses from various states, but you can carry different types of driver’s licenses, such as international driver’s permits or military licenses.
In addition, you are not able to apply for a license from another state if you are suspended or if your license has been revoked in another state. You will have to wait until your suspension has passed to obtain a new license.
For the majority of cases, you must surrender your old license from another state and get a new one from your current state, which can often involve a long application process, or additional driver’s exams and tests. Just keep in mind that it is against the law to keep two driver’s licenses from different states.