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How to Get a Driver’s License in the US

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How to Get a Driver’s License in the US

Acquiring a driver’s license in the US is a fairly simple procedure, and while the specific details differ from state to state due to regulation differences, it stays straight forward across the country. Here are the basic steps that you need to take if you are interested in driving in the US - read on to find out how to get a driver's license in the U.S.

Ensure You Eligibility

eligible scrabble tiles

If you are a US citizen, you are eligible for a restricted license as soon as you reach 14 years of age, and an unrestricted license after you become 18 years old. This though depends on the specific state, as some allow the acquisition of a full license at the age of 16 years old. If you are a foreigner, you may use your own license for a limited time that is specified by the state laws, and only if it’s written in the English language.

The citizens of Canada, France, Germany, and South Korea may simply exchange their license with a US one. If you are not from one of these countries, you will have to first acquire a residency certificate, a social security number, and a certificate of lawful presence in the US otherwise you won’t be eligible.

Take a Vision Test

optometrist goggles eye test

Once you are accepted, you will have to pay the relevant fees and then visit an oculist and pass a relevant vision test. There are certain limits that apply to eye trouble such as myopia, so depending on the results, you may be required by law to wear vision glasses.

Take a Written Test

man writing on paper exam

Next, you take a written test where you are asked questions on the traffic code laws that apply in the state. Depending on the state, the allowed number of mistakes differ. For example, in California, you will have to answer to 46 questions and get at least 38 correct otherwise you fail. In this state, you may retake the written test for up to 3 times. As soon as you succeed, you are given a temporary driver’s permit that allows you to practice on the road.

Take a Driving Test

woman driving license

In this phase, you will take driving lessons from a certified driving school. These lessons last for an average of 50 hours in total before an applicant proceeds to the actual test. The test lasts for about 15 minutes and the results are point-based. The driver is required to reach approximately 70% of the maximum points in order to pass, although this differs from state to state. As with the written, you may retake the driving test for up to three times until you pass.

Remember, it doesn’t matter where you passed the written test as it is valid in all states. Also, if you acquired your license in Florida and you plan to travel to New York, your license will be perfectly valid there as long as it hasn’t expired of course. Finally, you should know that the strictest driving laws are to be found in Arizona, while the most relaxed state in that part is South Dakota.

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