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Division of Motor Vehicles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

Driver's License Over 18 FAQ's

Q. How do I apply for a license or permit?

A: You must apply in person at one of the offices of the Division of Motor Vehicles in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, or Georgetown.

Q. What identification documents do I need?

Examples of acceptable source documentation:
Please provide ONE of the following proof of identity/legal presence documents:
(This document must contain proof of full legal name, date of birth, and citizenship/legal presence in the United States to be eligible to obtain a federally compliant identification document.)
  • Certificate of birth (U.S. issued). Must be original or certified copy, have a raised seal and be issued by the Office of Vital Statistics or State Board of Health. Please note that wallet cards, birth registration or hospital announcements/records are not accepted. (If under 18, birth certificate must include birth parent(s) names) ***
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization (N-550, N570m or N-578)
  • Certificate of Citizenship (N-560, N-561, or N-645)
  • Northern Marina Card (I-551)
  • American Indian Card (I-551)
  • U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179 or I-197)
  • Valid passport, U.S. If foreign, appropriate INS document also is required
  • Resident Alien Card (I-515, I-551, AR-3, or AR-103)
  • Temporary Resident Identification Card (K-688)
  • Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card (I-185 or I-586)
  • Record of Arrival and Departure (in a valid Foreign Passport)(I-94 or I-94W visa waiver program)
  • Record of Arrival and Departure w/attached photo stamped "Temporary Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident"(I-94)
  • Processed for I-551 stamp (in a valid Foreign Passport)
  • Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Employment Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B, I-766)
  • Canadian Immigration Record and Visa or Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Federally Compliant State issued photo driver license *
  • Federally Compliant State/Province/Territory issued photo ID card *
  • Court order. Must contain full name, date of birth and court seal. Examples include: adoption document, name change document, gender document, etc. Does not include abstract of criminal or civil conviction * **
  • State issued photo driver license * **
  • State/Province/Territory issued photo ID card * **
  • Certified microfilm/copy of driver license or ID card * **
  • Official letter issued by vital statistics verifying full name and date of birth * **
  • Certified school records or transcripts verifying full name and date of birth * **
  • Note: If applicant is under 18, a document containing parent(s) or legal guardian(s) name(s) must be presented (such as a birth certificate or court document).
* Must be accompanied by a U.S. citizenship document or valid proof of legal presence in the United States.
** Not acceptable documentation to be eligible for a federally compliant identification document; however, applicants may be eligible for a non-compliant identification document.
*** Foreign Born adoptees must have accompanying citizenship documents issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Please visit US Citizenship for an Adopted Child for more information .

Find out how to contact Vital Statistics for all U.S. States and Territories

Please provide ONE of the following for proof of a Social Security Number:
  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 tax form
  • SSA 1099 form
  • SSA Non-1099 form
  • Pay stub containing full SSN
  • Any valid document from Social Security Administration (SSA) containing full SSN (Medicare/Medicaid cards not acceptable)
  • Ineligibility letter from SSA (only issued if not eligible based on legal presence status) ** **
** Not acceptable documentation to be eligible for a federally compliant identification document; however, applicants may be eligible for a non-compliant identification document.

Please provide TWO of the following for proof of Delaware residency:
  • Utility Bills
  • Credit Card Statement
  • Auto or Life Insurance policies
  • Voter Registration Cards
  • Bank Account Records
  • Employment Records
  • Rental Agreements
  • U.S. Postal Service change of address confirmation form/postmarked mail with forwarding address label
  • Other non-personal mail postmarked within the last 60 days
Note: Mail must have been delivered by the USPS and be postmarked or received within the last 60 days; photocopies or printouts of bills will not be accepted. Non-business letters/cards will not be accepted. Each of the two proofs of residency must be from separate sources and must display the person's physical address, not a P.O. box

Please provide ALL of the following for proof of legal name change:
If you have had several name changes, in the case of multiple marriages and divorces,
you will need to provide all name change documents.
  • Valid marriage license / civil union certificate - Must be issued by a government entity with a raised seal. Marriage certificates signed by clergy are not accepted.
  • Court ordered name change document
  • Finalized divorce decree stating your legal name. (A divorce decree may be used as authority to resume using a previous name only if it contains the new name and the previous name and permits a return to the previous name.)
    - Obtaining a Delaware divorce decree Opens an External WebPage
Note: You must change your name with the Social Security Administration first and wait 48 hours before appearing at the DMV.
Find out how to contact Vital Statistics for all U.S. States and Territories.

One of These Documents Must Include Your Name and Address Along with Your Signature

Q. How do I transfer my out-of-state license?

A: Drivers From Other States.
If you move into Delaware from another State, you must apply for a Delaware driver's license within 60 days after becoming a resident. You must turn in your previously issued out-of-state driver's license, fill out an application and pass an eye screening test. Written and road test may be given, but they are normally waived if your license is valid. Suspended and revoked licenses can not be transferred until the withdrawal action is cleared.

Drivers From Other Countries.
Non-resident drivers over the age of 16 years who have a valid driver's license issued by their home country may operate motor vehicles upon the highways of this State when their license is in their immediate possession. Sixty days after the non-resident driver becomes a Delaware resident, he/she must apply for a Delaware driver's license. Drivers from other countries may retain their foreign licenses. All drivers licensed in other countries must pass both the written and road test. Exception: Delaware has a reciprocity agreement with Germany and France thereby exempting these drivers from the written and road tests.

Q. How do I get a permanent license?

A: Effective, August 1, 2007, the Division of Motor Vehicles no longer issues a permanent driver's license as a result of HB 253. If you have a permanent license issued prior to August 1, 2007, you must return to the Division every five years to renew the license. The fee for this is $15.00. Permanent license holders who have a motorcycle endorsement on their license will be charged an extra $8.00 fee for that endorsement. Whenever a permanent license is suspended or revoked , it is changed to a Class D license upon reinstatement and the individual will no longer be able to obtain a permanent license.

Q. How do I get a Motorcycle permit or endorsement?

A: Any person who operates a motorcycle, motorbike or other 2-wheeled, motor-driven vehicle on the highway shall have a driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Persons over the age of 18 must pass a written examination and road skills test to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. The written and road test examinations are waived for those who complete the approved motorcycle rider education program. The fee for motorcycle endorsement is for an 8-year endorsement, and it is valid for the same period as the license. Persons under the age of 18 must have the motorcycle application signed by their parents or the duly-appointed legal guardian. They must complete the motorcycle rider education program as approved by the Division.

The Division publishes a Delaware Motorcycle Operator Manual which c overs the requirements for the Motorcycle endorsement, procedures to acquire the endorsement, testing requirements, and the basic knowledge needed to obtain this endorsement.

Motorcycle Rider Classes
New Castle County - 302.832.5163
Kent County and Sussex County 302.744.2658
Experienced Rider Information - New Castle County 302.832.5163 for Kent and Sussex County 302.744.2658

Call for further information or to register for classes and schedules.