Cities and Towns in the United States > vehicle > Converting Driver’s License in The Us


A driver’s license is a crucial document for persons living in the US. Aside from allowing you to drive through the highways without the risk of being prosecuted, it acts as a form of identification if you need to prove your identity.

If you just relocated to America, you may want to get one of these for convenience’s sake. Let’s find out what you need to do to get an international driver’s license.

Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S.

What Converting Your Driving License Means

Converting your driver’s license can simply be explained as changing your existing driving permit credentials from your original country to US details.

When you temporarily or permanently relocate to the US, you need to exchange a foreign driving license in the USA if you want to have driving privileges within the continent’s borders. Aside from being able to drive your vehicle in the US, a driver’s permit also allows you to apply for credit, close insurance deals, and prove your identity and age.

Who Can Apply

Can I transfer my driver's license to another country? Applications for converting your driver’s license are open to everyone that comes to America and has an existing one from their country of origin. However, you must be from a country with an agreement with the department of motor vehicles for license conversion.

Otherwise, you should apply for a fresh driver’s license if you’re planning to be resident in the US and you’re not from these jurisdictions. You can also apply for license conversion if you are from the US and would like to move to a different state.

Rember that you can drive in the US with a foreign license for up to 3 months. After that, you’ll be asked to apply for an International Driving Permit in your home country to be able to continue driving. This license has a validity of one year only.

Requirements And Documentation Needed

When applying for this international driving permit, you must provide particular documents to facilitate the conversion. These include:

Before signing up for this service, you should consider a few things regarding license conversion in America. Not all states provide this option. You may want to check with your state’s department of motor vehicles regarding the requirements you may need to fulfill. Some states require any foreigner to take a driving test before being issued a driving permit within their jurisdictions. Traffic rules differ from state to state, so you should get acquainted with these regulations each time you move to a new state.

How To Apply

Most people don’t know how to change their international driving license in the US. So, if you’ve identified the kind of license you want, you can begin the application process. If you are from a state that allows automatic conversion, you may be allowed to apply online.

However, locations that require you to take a test demand that you visit their premises in person to take the theoretical tests. You should only apply for this permit once you have all your identification documents.

bVisit the website or department of motor vehicle offices and fill out an application form, attach documents and submit. Ensure your details match those on the official documents you will attach to the application to avoid request rejections or delays with the same.

Processing Times, Validity, And Cost

Your license's longevity depends on the license type, age, residence status, and state. Temporary ones last between four months to a year. Permanent ones, however, are valid between four and twelve years, depending on the age and state.

Payment and processing times also differ from one state to the next. However, it costs a few hundred dollars to process this document, and it will take between two months to a year to receive your US driver’s license. During this waiting period, you will be given a driver’s permit allowing you to operate a vehicle, but under the supervision of a licensed person.

Round Up

Converting your driver’s license is mandatory for every foreigner that visits the US temporarily or resettles in the country. However, you should confirm with your state what you need to complete this process before applying.