Can You Have a Driver’s License in Two States?

It’s illegal to have a driver’s license in two states. If you move to a new state, you must surrender your old driver’s license and be issued a new one.
Written by Mary Cahill
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
It is against the law to have a driver’s license in two different states. If you move to another state, you’ll need to surrender your old license to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and be issued a driver’s license in your new home state. 
The Department of Motor Vehicles is responsible for the issuance of state-issued driver’s licenses. Although DMV procedures may vary slightly depending on the state, the requirements for legally obtaining a driver’s license are pretty similar nationwide. Generally speaking, the state where you hold your driver’s license is the state where you are a permanent resident. 
To better understand the laws that prevent you from having a driver’s license in two states,
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, is here to give you all the info. We’ll discuss how this law works from one state to another, the different types of driver’s licenses you can hold, and how to get a new license if you move out of state or have your current one suspended. Let’s jump in.  
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Can you have a driver’s license in two states?

No. State laws prohibit drivers from carrying active driver’s licenses in two states. Usually, your driver’s license and vehicle registration will be for the same state. 
If you relocate to another state, you’ll need to establish proof of residency before visiting your local DMV license office to have your old license transferred to your new state. In most states, you must apply for a new in-state license within 30 days of establishing residency.
To prove you’re a resident of the state where you wish to hold a valid driver’s license, you’ll need to show documentation, such as a lease or utility bill. You must surrender your out-of-state license to be given a new one. 

Can you have two driver’s licenses in Florida? 

No. Florida used to be one of the only states that allowed seasonal residents to obtain a second state-issued driver's license, but that changed in 2009 when the Real ID Act was passed. 
According to
Chapter 322 Section 03
of Florida Statutes, “a person may not have more than one valid driver’s license at any time”. 
Many people keep a secondary residence in states like Florida or California to escape the harsh winters in their home state. These part-time residents might think it makes sense to obtain a second driver’s license in another state due to spending several months of the year there—but at the end of the day, it’s just plain illegal. Every statehas a law against drivers holding active licenses in two states
But this is no reason for part-time Floridians to stress. Driving with your out-of-state driver’s license is perfectly acceptable in Florida—as long as it’s in good standing. 
MORE:Tips for moving out of state

Can you have two different types of driver’s licenses?

Things get a little tricker when it comes to what type of license you have. Let’s explore a couple of different scenarios where it might seem plausible to have two separate driver’s licenses. 

You’re on active military duty

When you’re in the military, the armed forces can assign you to work and live in another state for an extended period. If you’re relocated from your home state for military duty, you are not required to apply for a new in-state driver’s license the way a regular civilian would—you’ll be allowed to drive with the license issued in your previous state. 
Depending on the state you hold your driver’s license in, you could also receive an automatic extension to keep your license valid past the expiration date while you’re away on military duty. If you believe you’ll be out of state at the time your driver’s license expires, you should contact the DMV to verify that your license will remain in good working order. 

You hold a commercial driver’s license

A commercial driver’s license, also called a CDL or Class A license, is required for certain professions such as truck driving. 
You must already hold a Class C driver’s license (that’s the one you get when you pass your driver’s test) before you can apply for a CDL. If you meet all the requirements and are issued a CDL, this specialized license will take the place of your Class C driver’s license. In other words, you don’t need to carry a CDL and Class C license concurrently—in fact, law enforcement forbids you to do so. 
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How (and when) to apply for a new driver’s license in your new state

You’ll have a limited amount of time to transfer your driver’s license from your previous state. Most states allow 30 days to make the change, but some states—like California or Georgia—only give you 10 days. You will need to verify your identity and submit proof of residency via one or several of the following:
  • Social security number
  • Birth certificate
  • Current driver’s license 
Most states will not require you to retake the driving test in order to be issued a new license, but states like New York or Florida require you to pass a vision test before they complete a license transfer. Some states, like Alaska, require you to pass both a vision test and a written test before they transfer your license. 
It’s extremely important that your current driver’s license is in good standing when you apply for a new state license. If you let your license expire, you’ll need to retake the entire driver’s license test to get a license in your new home state. 
If your driver’s license is suspended at the time of your move, you won’t be able to complete the transfer. The DMV searches your driving record via the
National Driver Registry (NDR)
to check for pending traffic violations (like a DUI) that would prevent you from getting a new driver’s license. 

How to find cheap car insurance in your state

As you take steps toward getting a license in your new home state, you’ll also need to make sure your
car insurance
is updated to meet the minimum required limits where you reside. While you’re at it, you should make sure you’re getting the cheapest rate possible for the coverage that suits your needs. 
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You will not be able to get a new license if your license is actively suspended when you attempt to transfer it to another state.
It depends on the state. The majority of states require you to transfer your license to your new home state within 30 days of establishing residency.
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