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How to Update Your Driver’s License When You Move to a New State

Life can take people to new places, and for many reasons. Some people move from one state to another to take care of their family members, and others move from one place to another to expand their knowledge at a university. Whether you are moving to another state because of love, because of work, or other reasons, you will be taking your vehicle with you. When you do, you will be required to register your car in the new state. If you do not register and update your driver’s license for the new state, you can face large penalties and possible driver’s license suspension.

Knowing what the processes are for updating your driver’s license when moving to a new state is essential. It is a multistep process, and one that often needs to be done within a certain period of time after moving. By fulfilling the requirements for registering a vehicle in the state you are moving too, you can avoid steep fees, fines, and other repercussions. Don’t get caught pulled over without a valid driver’s license in your state. Also, keep in mind that if you are moving to a state temporarily, such as for a single semester of college, you might not be required to transfer your information over to the new state.

Contact your local DMV in the place you are moving and get the requirements for transferring your driver’s license to the state. Also, determine whether or not your specific situation means that you need to.


First Step - Find Your DMV


To check with your local DMV, you need to find it first. Most people do not know that any DMV in your state is likely to be able to provide assistance to you. You do not need to live in the same city as the Department of Motor Vehicles that you go to in order to register your vehicle or transfer your driver’s license to a new state.

Many people choose to do research on multiple DMV’s and select one that has lower average wait times. Depending on the state you are in, there may be an electronic system where you can make an appointment to and receive an automated phone call 20 minutes in advance of your appointment time on a given day. Each Department of Motor Vehicles covers many different automobile related things that people are required to have.


What To Bring To The DMV


There are numerous things you will need to bring to update your driver’s license to the state that you are moving too. Some of the requirements vary from one state to the next, but most of them have the same conditions. By contacting your local DMV, you can get the most up-to-date information on what you need to bring. This can help make the transfer of your driver’s license information happen as quickly as possible. Once your driver’s license is transferred, you will be able to register your vehicle in the state and purchase insurance there. Some states have requirements that insurance in the state is purchased from an insurance provider that offers coverage in the state.

The process of updating your license can be simple with the proper information. If you show up missing a piece of information that is required, you will need to get that information and likely come back on another day. Things you will need to bring to get your license update accomplished include your payment for the service, which can often be paid for with a debit card or cash. Many states do not allow payments to be made by personal checks, something to keep in mind when planning your visit.

Also, you will need to bring proof of your Social Security number, which is located on either your Social Security card or your military ID. For evidence of your birth date and legal presence in the United States, you will need a birth certificate or valid US passport. Expired US passports will not be accepted at the DMV offices in some states.

It is necessary to update your driver’s license to a new state to provide proof that you live in the new state. This can be a rental or lease agreement that is signed by your landlord. Other acceptable pieces of information are a mortgage bill or utility bill.

Lastly, you will need to bring a valid out-of-state driver’s license. You will need to prove that you can legally drive in another state in order to update your driver’s license. The DMV will take down your driver’s license information during your visit. If you do not have a valid out-of-state driver’s license, you may be required to take the driver test in order to drive legally in the state you are moving too.


What To Expect When You’re There


The DMV is not known as being a place where people often get in and out extremely quickly. While there are numerous states that now have a waitlist service, where people can get in line over the Internet, this option is not available everywhere. The expectation for going to the DMV is that you will be there for multiple hours, even if what you are trying to accomplish might only take five or 10 minutes to actually complete. The waits are usually longest in the summer, which is something that people can plan for if they are looking to move.

Some of the strategies that people utilize when visiting the DMV, in order to cut down and wait times, are either being one of the first people there or looking to arrive just after the lunch rush. Many people research to find out which DMV offices are the fastest in their area. Some people choose to head to DMV offices that are not in urban areas if they are in another city that has one for any reason.

Another thing that you want to be prepared for at the DMV is a vision test. Many states will make you take a vision test to confirm that your eyes are acceptable for driving in the state. If you generally wear contacts or glasses, you will want to bring them to the DMV. A note will be made on your driver’s license that you need these things in order to drive. Meaning that if you are caught driving without them, you could be subject to fines, fees, or other penalties. The DMV will have a small machine that they use to test your eyes by having you read out rows of letters for an agent.

Remember that the payments that are accepted at a local DMV office can vary from one state to the next. Many people choose to bring multiple forms of payment, just in case. Some places accept cash, others accept credit and debit cards, and a few accepted personal checks. This is something that you can contact your local DMV agent to get more information on if needed.

Lastly, you should expect that the department you need to go to might not be actually called the DMV. Some states do not name their automotive department the Department of Motor Vehicles, but rather by another name. With a little bit of research and preparation, you can cut down the amount of time you’re spending at your local DMV offices or equivalent. Many people choose to bring something else to do while they are waiting, which is a fantastic idea.


Things To Remember When Driving In A New State


When preparing to drive in a new state, or transferring your license, keep in mind that you may need to take a driver’s test in the state you are moving too. This is particularly prominent for drivers under the age of 18, where the requirements in one state for getting a driver’s license may be different from the state you are coming from.

Also, you will be required to update your automobile insurance. When you move, the risks that car insurance companies have in regards to providing you with insurance change. Due to this, you will need to update your address with the insurance company. This can mean a change of rates, and in some cases, you may need to change auto insurance providers altogether. Not all automobile insurance companies offer policies in every state. If you do not update this information, it is possible that an insurance claim that you file be denied. Or you could be dropped from insurance from that company altogether.

Whenever you have major updates in your life, including moving, getting married, credit score improvement, or other events, update your information with your automobile insurance provider. This can lead to savings overall. You will also want to comparison shop for rates on automobile insurance every few years. This is how you save money on car insurance plans and get the best prices for auto insurance available.


What Happens If You Don’t Update Your Driver’s License?


If you do not update your driver’s license, as well as your information for official records and legal records, there will eventually be consequences. For a shorter period of time, you may be able to get away with it, but the best plan is to be prepared and not take the risk.

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