How to Renew Your Driver’s License: Five Important Steps

If you’ve recently acquired your driver’s license, a lot of time will probably pass before you need to be concerned with getting it renewed. However, it’s a good idea to learn what will be required now, so when the time comes, you will be better prepared to get this important responsibility taken care of. The exact steps to renew your license will depend on the laws within your state, but in general, the process will usually go as follows:

1. Look For Your Expiration Card in The Mail

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will generally mail you a reminder when your license is about to expire. This reminder will alert you to your expiration date and give you specific instructions on how to renew. Although it’s basically a sure bet that this card will be sent out, it’s still a good idea to take note of your expiration date and vow to get it taken care of on your own. Sometimes things get lost in the mail, and it would be a shame to let your license expire because you forgot about it.

2. Gather Your Required Information

In most states, you will need your current driver’s license and social security card when you go into the DMV to renew your license. If, for whatever reason, you have lost your current driver’s license, you will need two other forms of identification to continue on with the process. Appropriate forms of identification can include passports, social security cards and tax paperwork from the previous year.

3. Do Your Required Testing

Depending on your state and how long it has been since you last renewed your license, some testing may be required. Such testing may include a written driver’s test, a vision test, a traffic signs test and an on-road test with an instructor from the DMV. Most of the time, you will not need to take the driving test again after your first time, but there are occasions where it may be required. If you have never received any traffic violations or been involved in any accidents, you might not be required to do testing at all.

4. Pay The Required Fees

No matter what state you live in, you will be required to pay a fee to renew your driver’s license. This feel is usually minimal, but it’s important to know that the DMV will not accept credit or debit cards, which means you’ll need to bring cash along with you when you go to renew.

5. Keep Other Important Considerations in Mind

Even if your license is far from expiring, you should be aware that certain situations can still require you to notify the DMV and order a new license. If you get married or legally change your name for any other reason, you have 60 days to notify the DMV and get a license with the new name. It is not legal to continue to drive using your old license. If you were to be pulled over by the police, your name wouldn’t match the name on your vehicle’s registration, which could result in a major headache.

Staying on top of your license renewal is one of the important responsibilities you will face as a driver. If you’re worried that you might forget, make a note of the due date on your calender or set a notification on your phone.

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About the Author:

James Hunt is a contributing writer for and is heavily involved in the automotive industry. You can always connect with James on Google+