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There are a ton of moving parts to deal with when you make a move to a new state. While updating your driver’s license may not be at the top of your list, it’s important to handle it as soon as possible after moving from one state to another, and there are a few reasons for it. The first is that having a driver’s license that reflects your new address can be helpful with setting up services in your new state. Another reason is that all states have laws that require new residents to update their driver’s licenses within a certain time frame after their move.
In general, most states offer a grace period for switching your driver’s license, which can range from 10 days to three months on average. However, some states require you to change your license right away. As such, it’s important to know what your new state requires in terms of updating your driver’s license to ensure that the process runs smoothly. You’ll also need to know where to go, and what documents you’ll need to provide, in order to get a new driver’s license. Here’s what you should know about how to update your driver’s license when you move to a new state.
Do I need a new driver’s license if I move?
It depends. If you’re staying within the same state, you will need to notify the DMV, or similar local department, of your new address. You will be issued a new license with your updated information. And if you move out of state, you will need to get an updated driver’s license from your new state of residence.
If you are moving but stay within the same state, things are often a little easier. In this case, you may be able to update your driver’s license through your DMV’s online website. However, it’s not a guarantee and you may still have to visit a physical location. Even though this move is in-state, you will still need to update your auto insurance and information with the DMV.
If you’re moving between states, it’s essential to update your license as soon as possible. In general, your license needs to be issued from the state that you live in. Once your new address is confirmed, it’s a good idea to go ahead and update your license. Many states offer a grace period of between 10 and 60 days.
How do I get a new driver’s license?
The first step in getting a driver’s license in a new state is to locate where to go. Several different department types handle this, depending on the state. Best known may be the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
How to get a license in a new state
- Locate the government building for licenses (the local DMV).
- Learn which documents to bring. Call or check their website online.
- Gather the necessary documents.
- Go to the local DMV.
- Inform them why you’re there, show them your documents and fill out their forms.
- Pay any fees and take any test required.
- Receive your new license.
How do I find my DMV?
The DMV provides and tracks licenses, administers drivers’ tests and performs vehicle inspections. Some states use different government departments, though, such as the department of public safety or transportation. Below, you can see state-by-state which departments are used and how long you have after moving before you have to update your license.
|State||DMV website||How long do I have to update my address if I moved in-state?||How long do I have to get a new license if I just moved to this state?|
|Alabama||Department of Public Safety||30 days||30 days|
|Alaska||Division of Motor Vehicles||Immediately||10 days|
|Arizona||Department of Transportation||10 days||Required Immediately|
|Arkansas||Department of Motor Vehicles||No limit||30 days|
|California||Department of Motor Vehicles||10 days||10 days|
|Colorado||Division of Motor Vehicles||30 days||30 days|
|Connecticut||Department of Motor Vehicles||2 days||60 days|
|Delaware||Division of Motor Vehicles||30 days||30 days|
|Florida||Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles||30 days||60 days|
|Georgia||Department of Driver Services||60 days||10 days|
|Hawaii||Department of Transportation||30 days||30 days|
|Idaho||Division of Motor Vehicles||30 days||Varies|
|Illinois||Office of the Secretary of State||30 days||90 days|
|Indiana||Bureau of Motor Vehicles||30 days||90 days|
|Iowa||Department of Transportation||30 days||60 days|
|Kansas||Division of Motor Vehicles||Immediately||90 days|
|Kentucky||Driver Licensing Division||10 days||90 days|
|Louisiana||Office of Motor Vehicles||10 days||30 days|
|Maine||Bureau of Motor Vehicles||10 days||30 days|
|Maryland||Motor Vehicle Administration||30 days||30 days|
|Massachusetts||Registry of Motor Vehicles||30 days||60 days|
|Michigan||Office of the Secretary of State||Immediately||30 days|
|Minnesota||Division of Driver and Vehicle Services||30 days||Required Immediately|
|Mississippi||Department of Public Safety||30 days||60 days|
|Missouri||Missouri Department of Revenue||Immediately||60 days|
|Montana||Department of Justice’s Motor Vehicle Division||10 days||30 days|
|Nebraska||Department of Motor Vehicles||60 days||60 days|
|Nevada||Department of Motor Vehicles||30 days||30 days|
|New Hampshire||Division of Motor Vehicles||30 days||30 days|
|New Jersey||Motor Vehicle Commission||7 days||60 days|
|New Mexico||Motor Vehicle Division||10 days||60 days|
|New York||Department of Motor Vehicles||10 days||Required Immediately|
|North Carolina||Department of Motor Vehicles||60 days||30 days|
|North Dakota||Department of Transportation||10 days||60 days|
|Ohio||Bureau of Motor Vehicles||No limit||60 days|
|Oklahoma||Department of Public Safety||10 days||30 days|
|Oregon||Department of Motor Vehicles||30 days||No limit|
|Pennsylvania||Department of Transportation||15 days||30 days|
|Rhode Island||Division of Motor Vehicles||10 days||60 days|
|South Carolina||Department of Motor Vehicles||10 days||30 days|
|South Dakota||Department of Public Safety||No limit||90 days|
|Tennessee||Driver Services Division||10 days||90 days|
|Texas||Department of Public Safety||30 days||30 days|
|Utah||Department of Public Safety||10 days||90 days|
|Vermont||Office of the Secretary of State||30 days||60 days|
|Virginia||Department of Motor Vehicles||30 days||60 days|
|Washington||Department of Licensing||10 days||60 days|
|Washington, D.C.||Department of Motor Vehicles||60 days||30 days|
|West Virginia||Division of Motor Vehicles||20 days||30 days|
|Wisconsin||Division of Motor Vehicles||10 days||60 days|
|Wyoming||Department of Transportation||10 days||Required Immediately|
What should I expect if I’m getting a new license?
Depending on the state you’ve moved to, you may need to take different tests when replacing your license. Tests you might encounter include basic vision tests, written tests over the rules and procedures of driving and potentially a full driving test. In some states, you can find sample versions of the written test online. There are often some fees associated with replacing a license and with taking some of these tests.
Do I need to update my car insurance?
It’s essential to keep your auto insurance updated, whether moving within a state or between states. To update your insurance, contact your agent with your new address. They may ask you for a proof of residence document for this process.
Frequently asked questions
It depends. In some states, you could get a ticket if you haven’t gotten a new driver’s license within the state’s allotted time. This could result in a fine for the first offense, but it depends on the situation. In some cases, you may be handed more severe penalties for not updating your driver’s license.
It depends. If you’re not a permanent resident of the state you’re attending college in, you should be fine with your out-of-state driver’s license. College students are typically considered residents of the state that they graduated from, and often return to their homes after semesters are over and during holiday breaks. However, if you fully move to your college state and become a permanent resident, you will likely need to update your license.
It’s recommended to update your auto insurance before your license, as you may need to show proof of insurance when updating your license. In that case, your insurance will need to reflect the new address that you are updating on your license.