How to get a driver’s license in the USA

The driving record in the United States of America is perhaps one of the nation’s most important, if not the most relevant, document. All persons over the age of 16 should possess it in order to complement the list of rights and duties included in the statutes of the country of North America.

In fact, not only does it function as a guarantee to drive a car, it also serves as a form of identification in general, since it has been an ID. It can be used for check cashing, opening bank accounts, traveling and as proof of age.

Now, in the United States, there is no single driving ID issued nationwide. On the contrary, driver’s licenses are issued by state, that is to say, states, but they have national validity. It is also valid in countries such as Canada.


There are certain regular guidelines for the acquisition of this document, among which are the age of majority, a written test, a driving test and a vision test. However, each state has its own requirements, so the necessary documentation to be submitted at the time of application will vary.

Before going to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), a pre-application for a license must be made online. You can also go to the DMV to make an appointment or make a phone call.

You must prove that you live in the state where you are applying for the license with a utility bill.

The documents required and that must be presented at the time of testing are Social Security number or Green Card if you are an immigrant; valid passport; driver’s license (if you have one); I94 Employment Authorization Card and a secondary document which may be a birth certificate, life insurance policy or baptismal certificate.

Types of Licenses

There are 5 types of driver’s licenses, and each one allows you to drive different types of vehicles. They are divided into categories and all have the same basic general requirements, which would be to be of legal age and to have the three general vision, hearing and driving tests.

  • Category A: Allows you to drive commercial vehicles that weigh more than 26,000 pounds.
  • Category B: Like Category A, allows driving commercial motor vehicles, but weighing 26,001 pounds or more.
  • Category C: Allows the citizen to drive vehicles that carry hazardous materials or cars that are designed to transport more than 15 people and that weigh less than 26,001 pounds.
  • Category D: Is the license to drive a truck or tractor-trailer up to 8,000 pounds. For this document, an additional test on the traffic rules for class D must be taken.
  • Category E: Allows you to drive passenger cars, 15-passenger vans and light trucks weighing less than 8,000 pounds. In addition, you must take an additional test on the traffic rules for class E.
  • Category E restricted: This license is a driving permit for those under 18 years old. The minimum age to apply is 15. And they must be held for at least 12 months without having received an infraction.

Once you have obtained the license in the place where you reside you can request a transfer so that you can use it in another state, but it is necessary to carry out all the tests made previously during the obtaining of the document.

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