What Is a Driver’s License?

A driver’s license is an official document confirming your authorization to operate one or more types of motorized vehicles on public roads. These documents are commonly plastic and the size of a credit card.


In the United States, driver’s licenses are issued by each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. They serve many purposes, including as your personal identification card.

Legal Authorization

The legal authorization process involves providing proof of identity and residency to receive a driver’s license. This can be done in person at a driver’s exam station or via mail.

For new drivers, a valid birth certificate, passport, or consular ID document from their country of citizenship is usually required. For out-of-state residents, a valid US driver’s license or state identification card is also acceptable.

In addition to these documents, many states require applicants to provide a copy of their Social Security card or W-2 or pay stub. If an applicant is unable to provide these documents, they may be issued a temporary license for use in the state while they obtain them.

Another option for proving your identity is to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) translated into English by a professional translation agency. This is a booklet that provides the same information as a valid foreign driving permit, and it can be used while you wait for your domestic driving permit to be issued.

A driver’s license is the main form of official identification for all motorists in the United States. It contains the name, date of birth, and address of the holder, as well as their license number. The license is also used to verify the age of drivers and to identify licensed drivers, both of which are required by law.

The first thing a driver must do to get a license is complete the application. This can be done in person at whichever driver’s exam station is closest to the applicant.

Applicants under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the application form. Electronic or digital signatures are not accepted.

Some states have started using digitized features on driver’s licenses to reduce the likelihood of forgery. These include fingerprints, bar codes and magnetic strips.

In 2005, Congress enacted Real ID, creating standards for state-issued driver’s licenses that would meet federal requirements. If a driver does not have a Real ID license, they will not be able to board a domestic flight or enter certain federal buildings.

Finally, some states have passed laws to allow unauthorized immigrants to receive a driver’s license or authorize card. This law does not allow the release of records to agencies primarily tasked with the enforcement of immigration law, and it restricts what personal data is held by a driver’s licensing authority.


When applying for a driver’s license, permit or identification card, you will need to provide proof of your identity. This process helps to reduce the risk of identity theft, and is required by law.

Primary Proof of Identity means that the information on your documents must match exactly; otherwise, your driver’s license or ID card will not be issued to you. In addition, you must provide evidence of any name changes that have taken place since you last obtained your license or ID.

Acceptable primary proof of identity includes: original or certified birth certificates, passports (with a notarized signature), or a state or federal identification card such as an employee ID or military ID. Non-certified, photocopied or notarized copies of documents will not be accepted and may delay the issuance of your credential.

In addition to the documents you provide, we require that you also bring the following: * Your social security number or a W-2 with your full social security number if you do not have a social security number. We can verify this information using the Social Security Administration’s verification system or another method approved by DHS.

We must also confirm your age, date of birth, legal name and address. Your social security number is only valid for a limited time so be sure to keep yours current.

REAL ID – The Real ID Act requires that starting May 3, 2023, a driver’s license or identification card must be used to board a domestic flight and enter certain federal buildings. Standard NY driver’s licenses and identification cards will not meet this requirement and must be replaced with REAL ID cards by 2023, unless you have a passport.

Enhanced IDs are compliant with the Real ID Act and include a Radio Frequency Identification chip that authorities can use at border inspection booths to scan biometric data, such as fingerprints. They also have a Machine Readable Zone or barcode that authorities can read electronically if the RFID chip system is not available.

If you have an existing New York driver’s license or identification card and need to upgrade to a REAL ID, the process is simple and will take about 15 business days at a driver’s license center. Your temporary card/receipt will be sent to you in the mail, and your permanent credential will be mailed within 60 days.


A driver’s license is an important document that enables a person to drive one or more types of motorized vehicles on a public road. It is usually plastic and the size of a credit card.

Having a driver’s license can improve your chances of landing a job, especially in high-demand careers. For example, it can help you get a job as a truck driver or a paramedic.

Jobs that require a driver’s license often offer high pay and excellent perks, such as health insurance or access to a fitness center. In addition, these careers can help you experience different places in the world and enhance your job satisfaction.

The best way to find a job that requires a driver’s license is to use online resources, such as Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, and Indeed. These sites allow you to search for the perfect job by location, salary, and other important information. You can also set up email alerts to notify you of new opportunities that match your preferences.

Some of the highest-paying jobs that require a driver’s license include police officers, chauffeurs, and truck drivers. These careers require good driving skills and a clean record, so it is important to take the necessary safety classes.

In addition, some states may consider granting a license to persons who are proven to have been accident- and violation-free for at least five years. This type of license can be helpful to people with a poor driving record, since it can reduce the number of points on their driving record and make them eligible for discounts on car insurance.

Another option for those with a poor driving record is to obtain a permit or learn-to-drive program, which allows them to learn the basics of driving before taking the exam and obtaining their license. These permits are available for teenagers as young as 14 and adults as young as 16 in most states.

The most popular career opportunities that require a driver’s license are in the transportation industry, as they typically require extensive driving and provide a high work-life balance. For instance, truck drivers transport goods and cargo from one place to another, while couriers deliver packages to clients.


A driver’s license is a legal authorization to operate one or more types of motorized vehicles, such as cars, motorcycles, and trucks on public roads. It can be obtained through a variety of means, including classroom lectures, written tests and the mandatory state road test, as well as by presenting an ID card.

A typical state-issued driver’s license features the aforementioned holograms, bar codes, and tamper proof mechanisms that can be used to verify the identity of an authorized user. The most recent incarnation of the license also boasts an impressive display of LED light technology that can display your photo, name and other vital information in a clear and crisp fashion.

Despite the many gimmicks in the driver’s license game, it is still best to keep the safety of you and your passengers at the top of your list of priorities when driving and biking. Be sure to wear a helmet when riding in the front or back seat, avoid distractions such as texting or talking on your cell phone and be aware of traffic and pedestrian congestion as well as your surroundings.

You might be surprised to learn that your local police department has a number of programs and incentives in place to encourage safe and responsible driving. These include graduated driver licensing (GDL) and the aforementioned road tests. The best way to show your support for these efforts is to sign up for a free driving or riding lesson.