Getting a driver's license is a two-step procedure in most states that begins with mandatory testing for a learner's permit and ends with a road skills test. The requirements and standards for passing vary by state, as do the documents candidates must present. However, driver's license bureaus in all 50 states request categories of documents that prove identity, age, residency, training and car insurance.
Documentation for Permit Tests
Expect to be asked for two forms of identity when you present your application for a learner's permit. States commonly have a list of acceptable documents to prove identification, such as a certified copy of your birth certificate if you don't have the original, a certificate of naturalization, or a passport. Pennsylvania's permit application lists the Social Security card as acceptable proof of identity. In Florida and Connecticut, you can prove you have a Social Security number either with the actual card, a W-2 or a recent 1099.
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States only issue permits and driver's licenses for residents, so you should bring at least one document to prove where you live. If you are under 18, you might be required to have a parent's signature on the permit application or use a parental consent form to prove your residency. If you are 18 or older, you can typically show a utility bill, apartment lease or voter registration card.
If you live in a state such as Delaware or California and are under age 18, you must bring a certificate from a driver's education school to prove you completed the required courses of study.
All states share the need for applicants to bring the application fee payment in the form of a check or money order.
Driver Skills Test
If you're under age 18, you must have your learner's permit with you when you arrive at your road test appointment. You might also need a document to prove you met the state's supervised driving time requirement. Some states have a special form parents sign. If you're a Minnesota resident, bring a driving log signed by your driving supervisor. Regardless of your age, you must show proof that the car you're using for the test is insured. In addition to bringing a completed license application and check, money order or cash for the license fee, have your car's registration papers and your Social Security card handy in case the examiner asks for them. If your permit indicates you must use corrective lenses to drive, be sure to wear your glasses or contacts.
Always check your state department of motor vehicles or department of transportation website prior to leaving for your test appointment to confirm any changes in documentation or fee requirements.