Knowledge — 4 months ago

Everything You Need to Know About Getting a Driver License in the United States!

by Lisa M.

Driver License, How to Get a Driver License, USA Driver License

United States Driver License 

Getting a driver's license is a very important landmark for many people because it gives them the freedom to get around from place to place easily. Each country in the world has its laws for getting a driver's license, and it is the same in the United States. In America, getting a driver's license depends to the laws in each state, territory and the District of Columbia.

To get a USA driver license, you will have to get permission to drive from your state of residence. The license permits you to drive not only in the state where you got it from but also in other states in the country. Each state can also suspend licenses from other states if their owners violated traffic laws. There is also uniformity in other aspects of getting a driver's license, like a license class system.

What Types of Driver Licenses are there in the United States?

There are several types of driver's licenses in the US, and each has its permits and restrictions. The main types of licenses in the United States are as follows:

Class DJ (junior license)

A license that is issued to individuals younger than 18 that allows the holder to drive trucks and cars with a GVWR that does not exceed 10,000 pounds. Aside from such vehicles, holders of a junior license can drive operate towing vehicles that do not exceed a GVWR of 3,000 pounds.

Driver License

Class D (Operator)

This type of license is given to people at the age of 18 and up, or 17-year-olds who have completed a driver's education course. An individual with a Class D license is allowed to operate trucks and passenger vehicles whose GVWR does not exceed 26,000 pounds. Aside from such vehicles, owners of a Class D license are allowed to operate trailers and other towing vehicles with a total weight to 10,000 pounds.

Class E (Taxi and Livery)

A license that is issued to people 18 and over that permits them to drive the same vehicles as in the class D license. Aside from such vehicles, owners of a Class E license can also operate for-hire vehicles that can carry a maximum of 14 passengers.

Class MJ (Motorcycle)

A license that permits a person younger than 18 to operate a motorcycle.

Aside from these types of licenses, each state has additional types of driver's licenses that allow residents to drive certain vehicles. To get the full information about the types of licenses in each state, you must visit the DMV website of the state in question.

How to Get a Driver License

How Different are Car Driving Licenses between States?

As said before, aside from the main types of driver's licenses, each state in the US also has its own set of licenses that it issues according to state laws and DMV regulations. A permit is valid from one state to the next, but if you move out to a different state, you will have to change your license.

To do so, you need to take your current license (must be valid) to your new local DMV along with proper identification. With the proper paperwork, you will be able to transfer your license from one state to the next and have a new valid driver's license.

What is the Difference Between a Driving Permit and a Driving License? 

The main differences between these two types of driving rights are the liberties they provide to drivers:

Learner's permit:

  • People with a permit have a curfew
  • Must drive with someone over 21 who has a valid license
  • Restricted hours of driving
  • Permit valid up to 2 years (can be renewed after this period)
  • Must drive with a sticker that says "new driver."

Driver's license:

  • No curfew
  • Valid for 4 years
  • No need to drive with a licensed individual
  • Not required to have a "new driver" sticker
USA Driver License

What are the Main requirements to Driver a Car in the United States? What are the costs? 

To get a license in the US, you are not required to get professional lessons, unlike other countries in the world. This means that your parents, or other adults with a driving license, can teach you how to drive. To get a license, you will need to pass a written exam, take a written rules test at your local DMV. If and when you pass the written exams, you will receive a "learner's permit" that allows you to drive a car as long as you are accompanied by a licensed adult.

Once you have the permit, you must learn how to drive from an experienced driver. When you have sufficient experience, you will need to get to your local DMV to take a road test with a licensed examiner. If and when you pass the test, you will get a driver's license.

The costs of getting a license vary, and they can be as little as $20 (cost of a permit). If you take extended driving lessons, you can pay up to $1,000 and more until you get your license.

What about Car Insurance? How Does New Driver Car Insurance Works? 

To drive a car, you must have car insurance that can save you a lot of trouble and money in case you get into an accident or have car trouble. Costs of new driver car insurance vary from one insurance company to the next, and these are the criteria they take into question when insuring new drivers:

  • Location – the crime rate in your area of residence, the population density, climate.
  • Amount of driving – how much you will need to drive your vehicle
  • Type of car – make, year of manufacturing, the price of replacement parts, etc.
  • Credit score
  • Personal data - gender, age, marital status, profession, etc.
driver permit

What Types of Driving Tickets and Violations are There? 

There are two types of driving tickets you can get when you break driving laws:

Moving violations – violations you make while driving, including reckless driving, speeding, Driving Under the Influence (DUI), failure to stop at a red light, driving without a valid license, and more.

Non-moving violations – violations you make while off the road, such as parking violations, broken taillights, expired inspection tags, etc.

The great majority of traffic tickets are considered as infractions, and they will cost money to the people they were issued against. More serious traffic violations can be charged as misdemeanors, and they could be punishable by up to a year in jail or carry a high fine.

There are certain cases, like a hit and drive, where offenders can be charged with a felony and could spend more than a year in prison.

Important Things to Know Before you Get your License

The most important things to remember when trying to get a license is to adhere to the laws in your state and get as much experience on the road as you can. Start be getting lessons from someone you trust, and move forward with the state's requirements for getting a license. When you get on the road, remember that you cannot control other drivers, but you can control yourself, so be cautious and alerts at all times.


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