smiling woman inside a car holding up license

Can You Have a Dual Drivers License in Two States?

Can you have a dual drivers license in two states?  All states made it illegal to possess an active driver’s license in two or more states at one time. When you move to a new state, you will have between 15 and 45 days to surrender your old license.  At the same time, you will have a new one issued to your new address. The time length for this will differ by state.

Can You Have a Dual Drivers License in Two States

The main reason states prohibit residents from having licenses in two or more states is record-keeping purposes. It is challenging to track driving records across several states at one time accurately.

Also, states do not allow multiple licenses is that some drivers take advantage of the situation during a traffic stop. If your license gets suspended in one state for whatever reason, you can show your other license.

To prevent multiple licensing, when you go to the motor vehicles office to get your license, states run your identification through the National Driver Register to make sure you are only licensed in one state.  This also ensures your previous license is free and clear of suspensions, revocations, or other issues.

example of a drivers license

What If I Am A Part Time Resident?

Is it okay to have dual drivers license if I have homes in two states?  If you are a part-time resident, most states allow you to operate your vehicle using your main state residence license. Florida used to have part-time resident licenses for those who live in the state during the winter months.  However, they have stopped that service because of the confusion of having licenses in multiple states.

College students, people who are working on assignments in other states, and military personnel can all retain their home state licenses until they permanently move to another state.

Can I Get A Drivers License Without Living In That State?

No. Every state will require that you have proof of residency to obtain a license to drive in their state. This helps prevent people who have lost their license from crossing over borders to get a license in a new state.

Depending on your state, you may be required to provide the following to obtain your license:

  • Birth Certificate;
  • Marriage License if your name is different;
  • Paystub;
  • Utility bill that comes to your residence;
  • Vehicle registration; and/or
  • Mortgage or lease payment to show residence.

Some states require more proof for the initial license. Check with your state licensing office to see what you will be required to bring.

Can I Hold Different Types of Driving Licenses?

Yes. There are four types of driver’s licenses that you can have at the same time you have a regular license.

Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

Most states have converted to issuing one license that allows a person to drive a commercial vehicle and their personal vehicle using the same license. In the past, several states required issuing two licenses.

Military License

A military license is very similar to a state-issued driver’s license. This type of license distinguishes what class of military vehicles you can drive. Like a regular license, military personnel must take a driving and written test to get approved for a license.

International Driving Permit

If you are traveling overseas, you can apply for an International Driving Permit to rent a vehicle to get around while you are visiting. This permit must be used in connection with your state-issued driver’s license when you are operating a vehicle overseas. To qualify for this license, you must be at least 18 years old and have had a license for a minimum of 6 months.

Foreign License

If you are in the United States temporarily or are moving here permanently, you may still possess a foreign driver’s license until your move is completed. If you move back and forth between countries, you will most likely retain both licenses so that you can drive in the country you are in at the time.

dual drivers license

Can I Get A License In My New State If My Old One Is Suspended?

Sometimes you need a fresh start, or you accept a job in a new state. Whatever your reason for moving, you will need to get licenses in your new state. However, if you have problems with your license in a previous state, you cannot get a new license until these issues are resolved.

When you apply for a new license, the license bureau will run your identity through the National Driver Register. This database will show if your license has been suspended, revoked, denied, or canceled. It will also show if you have had certain serious driving-related offenses attached to your license, such as a DUI conviction.

If your license is not in good standing in the previous state where you lived, you will have to take care of the problems before a new license is issued. You will be required to prove that the license problems have been settled before being issued a new license.

It is always best to check with the state you live in for their requirements for licensing.

Most importantly, always remember to have a VINsmart report run on the vehicle before making any vehicle purchase.  A VINsmart report runs a complete history on the vehicle including whether it has ever been reported as stolen, has been involved in a major accident, or has been listed as a totaled vehicle.

VINsmart reports will also give you a history of every time the vehicle has been registered as well as a history of the mileage.  It reports any significant incidents related to the vehicle, such as being involved in a fire or flood.

When you are going to purchase a used vehicle, the best way to ensure you are making a good purchase is to know the vehicle’s complete history.

To get started with VINsmart, click here.

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