How to update your driver’s license when you move to a new state

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Although there is often a grace period, it is helpful to update your driver’s license as soon as possible after moving to a new state. There are a few reasons for this. One is that having your new address on there can help with services in your new state. Another is that states have laws requiring new residents to update their licenses once they are moved. Most states have grace periods ranging from 10 days to three months, but some require changing state licenses be done right away. Knowing ahead of time how to get a driver’s license in a new state can help smooth the process.

The first step to changing your driving license after moving is to locate where to go. In general, this will be a department of motor vehicles, transportation, public safety, or similar government department. Next, you’ll want to contact them or check their website to learn what documents to bring with you. These will often include proof of identity and residence, but the specifics vary by 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.

In-state move

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.

Out-of-state move

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 both your license and your insurance. 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

  1. Locate the government building for licenses (the local DMV).
  2. Learn which documents to bring. Call or check their website online.
  3. Gather the necessary documents.
  4. Go to the local DMV.
  5. Inform them why you’re there, show them your documents and fill out their forms.
  6. Pay any fees and take any test required.
  7. 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? Associated fees
Alabama Department of Public Safety 30 days 30 days $40
Alaska Division of Motor Vehicles Immediately 10 days $20
Arizona Department of Transportation 10 days Required Immediately $10-$20
Arkansas Department of Motor Vehicles No limit 30 days $40
California Department of Motor Vehicles 10 days 10 days $36
Colorado Division of Motor Vehicles 30 days 30 days $28
Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles 2 days 60 days $112
Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles 30 days 30 days $40
Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles 30 days 60 days $48
Georgia Department of Driver Services 60 days 10 days $32
Hawaii Department of Transportation 30 days 30 days $10-$40
Idaho Division of Motor Vehicles 30 days Varies $10-$55
Illinois Office of the Secretary of State 30 days 90 days $0-$30
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles 30 days 90 days $11-$17.50
Iowa Department of Transportation 30 days 60 days $4-$32
Kansas Division of Motor Vehicles Immediately 90 days $23-$29
Kentucky Driver Licensing Division 10 days 90 days $43
Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles 10 days 30 days $32
Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles 10 days 30 days $65
Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration 30 days 30 days $72
Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles 30 days 60 days $115
Michigan Office of the Secretary of State Immediately 30 days $25
Minnesota Division of Driver and Vehicle Services 30 days Required Immediately $32
Mississippi Department of Public Safety 30 days 60 days $24-$47
Missouri Missouri Department of Revenue Immediately 60 days $22.50-$25
Montana Department of Justice’s Motor Vehicle Division 10 days 30 days $42
Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles 60 days 60 days $7.50-$26.50
Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles 30 days 30 days $42
New Hampshire Division of Motor Vehicles 30 days 30 days $50
New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission 7 days 60 days $24
New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division 10 days 60 days $18-$34
New York Department of Motor Vehicles 10 days Required Immediately $65-$105
North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles 60 days 30 days $33
North Dakota Department of Transportation 10 days 60 days $15
Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles No limit 60 days $30.75
Oklahoma Department of Public Safety 10 days 30 days $27
Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles 30 days No limit $60
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 15 days 30 days $20-$30.50
Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles 10 days 60 days $39.50
South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles 10 days 30 days $12.50-$25
South Dakota Department of Public Safety No limit 90 days $28
Tennessee Driver Services Division 10 days 90 days $28
Texas Department of Public Safety 30 days 30 days $50+
Utah Department of Public Safety 10 days 90 days $32
Vermont Office of the Secretary of State 30 days 60 days $32-$51
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles 30 days 60 days $32
Washington Department of Licensing 10 days 60 days $89
Washington, D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles 60 days 30 days $47
West Virginia Division of Motor Vehicles 20 days 30 days $5.50 per year
Wisconsin Division of Motor Vehicles 10 days 60 days $34
Wyoming Department of Transportation 10 days Required Immediately $40

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

What happens if I move and do not update my driver’s license?

In many states, you could be charged with a crime for not updating your license within the state’s allotted time. First offenses may only result in fines, but some situations could see more severe penalties.

Do I need a new driver’s license if I go to college in a new state?

As long as you are not a permanent resident of your college state, then you should be fine keeping your out-of-state license. College students often return to their home states in-between semesters and during holiday breaks. However, suppose you are fully moved into your college state and become a permanent resident. In that case, you will need to update your license.

Should I change my car insurance or my license first?

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.

Written by
Joshua Cox-Steib
Joshua Cox-Steib has two years of experience in writing for insurance domains such as Bankrate.com, Coverage.com, Thesimpledollar.com, Reviews.com, and more. His work has also been featured on such sites as Msn.com and BBB.org. His insurance writing career has spanned across multiple product lines, with a primary focus on auto insurance, life insurance, and home insurance.
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