If you operate a motor vehicle on public roadways in Delaware, you are required to have a driver license and you must carry it with you. You are required to obtain a Delaware driver license within 60 days after becoming a bonafide Delaware resident. Delaware requires the use of Child Restraints, Seat Belts and Helmets for Motorcycle Operators.

By applying for or maintaining a Delaware driver license or identification card, you agree that all other state issued driver license(s) and/or identification card(s) that have previously been issued to you will be surrendered and cancelled. If another state DL/ID card is issued to you in the future, your Delaware DL/ID card will be cancelled.

Exemptions From Holding A Delaware Driver's License

  1. Individuals while driving or operating a road roller, road machinery or farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily on a highway.
  2. Non-resident operators, over the age of sixteen (16) years, currently licensed in their home state or country. The license must be in the driver's possession.
  3. Members of the Armed Forces of the United States who are serving on active duty and any dependent of the member if they possess a valid driver license from their state of domicile.

Who May Not Be Licensed

Delaware law and administrative code does not permit the Division of Motor Vehicles to issue a driver license when:

  1. You are less than the required age for a specific license or endorsement.
  2. You are under the age of 18 and have not completed a Delaware Department of Education approved course in driver education.
  3. You are under the age of 18 and cannot obtain the required signature of consent on your application (usually parent, court-appointed custodian, or guardian).
  4. Your license or driving privileges are suspended or revoked in any jurisdiction.
  5. You are not a bona fide resident of Delaware or you do not have a social security number.
  6. You have refused to surrender out-of-state driver license(s) or identification card(s).
  7. You do not understand road signs in English.
  8. You are physically or mentally unable to drive safely. If you are subject to loss of consciousness from diseases of the central nervous system, you must furnish the Division a written certification by your family physician that your infirmity is under sufficient control to permit you to drive a motor vehicle safely. Medical and Vision evaluation forms are available.
  9. You are determined to be a habitual drunkard or to be addicted to the use of narcotic drugs.
  10. You are unable to show you are in the United States legally.
  11. Your personal information differs from information from other agencies (e.g., Different Dates of Birth, Different Names, Different Social Security Numbers, Different U.S. Entry Dates, Different Addresses, etc).

Applying for a License

How Do I Get A License?
You must apply in person at one of the offices of the Division of Motor Vehicles in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, or Georgetown.
DMV Hours & Locations.

General Requirements for All Driver License and Identification Card Applicants

Ineligible Immigration Status
Those applicants who are legally in the United States under the following immigration status or holding invalid or expired documents are not eligible for a Delaware-issued driver license or identification card, even if they have established residency in this State:

Those under the following immigration statuses are not eligible to apply for a Delaware driver license or identification document:
  • Those with invalid or expired immigration or passport documents
  • Those I-94 holders without a valid INS or USCIS stamp
  • Immigration status A-1. Ambassador, public minister, career diplomatic or consular officer and dependents are ineligible, because an "A" status may only be issued a driver's license from the United States State Department
  • Immigration status A-2 for other foreign government officials or employees and dependents unless they are foreign military official and/or their dependents. Foreign military members and their dependents must provide a valid passport, I-94, visa, or assignment orders to be eligible
  • Immigration status B-1. Visitor for business
  • Immigration status B-2. Visitor for pleasure (tourist)
  • Immigration status C-1. Alien in transit through the United States
  • Immigration status C-2. Alien in transit to United Nations Headquarters district. Travel limited to 25 miles radius of Columbus Circle in New York
  • Immigration status C-3. Foreign government official coming to the United Nations, dependents, attendants, servants, or other personal employees of an official in transit through United States
  • Immigration status D-1. Alien crew members
  • Immigration status G-1. Resident representative of a foreign government to an international organization, plus staff and dependents
  • Immigration status WB. Visitor for business (visa waiver program.)
  • Immigration status WT. Visitor for pleasure (tourist in visa waiver (program.)
  • Attached unexpired temporary I-551 visa

The Division must verify all non-citizen applicants legal status and authorized length of stay in the United States upon the initial issuance of a driver's license (including out-of-state license transfers) and upon license renewal therefore, non-citizens must present their immigration documents. United States citizens should provide a U.S. certified birth certificate, valid, unexpired U.S. passport, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, Certificate of Naturalization or Certificate of Citizenship.

The expiration date on driver licenses and identification cards must not exceed the period of time non-citizens are authorized in the United States. This ensures that State-issued identification documents are not valid should non-citizens overstay their authorized visit to this country. The Division will verify the source document to ensure it is genuine and unaltered and confirm by electronic means that the immigration document is valid.

Non-citizens must provide USCIS or INS immigration documents containing either an Alien Registration Number or I-94 Number which can be verified electronically through the Department of Homeland Security's Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements System (SAVE). The applicant's legal status and authorized length of stay will be primarily determined through SAVE. The following documents can be used to determine legal status and authorized length of stay:

Determine Legal Status/Authorized Length of Stay
U.S. Citizenship - Expiration date - 8 year Drivers License or 4 year ID card
  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's state of birth
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
  • Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS, Form N-550 or Form N-570
  • Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560 or Form N-561, issued by DHS
Permanent Resident Immigrant - Expiration date - 8 year license or 4 year ID card. Alien Registration Number mandatory . Do not issue document without SAVE verification: refer applicant to the USCIS to resolve mismatch conditions.

  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by DHS or INS
  • Valid, unexpired foreign passport with visa stamped "processed for I-551"
Non-immigrant/Temporary - Expiration date limited by authorized stay in U.S. Verify through SAVE. We can not issue document without SAVE verification: refer applicant to the USCIS to resolve mismatch conditions. We will use a one year expiration date when immigration records show "indefinite" or "duration of status" for period of authorized stay. Form I-94 Number Mandatory except when Alien Registration Number available (refugee, asylee, parolee).

  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) with conditions (2 year limit) contains Alien Registration Number (mandatory for SAVE verification)
  • Non-immigrant visa, Arrival-Departure Record, Form I-94 with valid unexpired passport and visa or I-94W for the Visa Waiver Program
  • Students. Foreign students having non-immigrant F-1/F-2 or M-1 visa classification should have an I-20 Certificate of Eligibility for Non-immigrant Student Status form along with their unexpired foreign passport and I-94 card. J-1/J-2 visa holders must present a valid DS-2019 or IAP-66.
  • Refugee, asylee and parolee classifications must be accompanied by additional documentation and I-94 displaying immigration status and Alien Registration Number.
  • Exception: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office verify legal status and authorized length of stay.

Acceptable Identification Document List

Any person applying for a driver’s license (DL) or identification (ID) card is required to submit one primary document and one secondary document from the following list. A primary document must contain the full name and date of birth and must be verifiable, i.e., we must be able to contact the issuing agency to determine the authenticity of the document. Each applicant must provide their social security number, if eligible, two separate proofs of Delaware residence (i.e. rent receipt or lease and electric, telephone or other utility receipts etc.) and non-US citizens must provide proof of legal presence in the United States.

NOTE: False statements, attempted fraud by displaying invalid licenses, ID Cards, or documents, or misrepresentation is perjury and may result in fines and denial of licenses and services. A driver license may be suspended any time false information is found on the signed application form.

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 our Foreign Born Adoptee page or 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, original or certified documents, for proof of legal name change as applicable:
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.

All drivers must sign a driver license application and answer the appropriate questions on that form. Those applicants who are licensed in another state must surrender their license from the other state. If eligible for a Social Security Number it must be provided.

The Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in cooperation with the Social Security Administration (SSA), will use Social Security Number On-Line Verification (SSOLV) to verify Social Security numbers by matching Delaware driver license records with the records of the SSA.

Most driver's licenses will be issued for a period of eight (8) years from the driver's last birthday. The fee for the eight-year license is and certain endorsements cost additional fees. If the learner's permit was valid at the time of the examination and is returned, there are no additional fees. The fee for a CDL license* is (*HazMat not eligible for 8 year license). It is illegal to drive if your license has expired. The Division is required by law to collect an additional when renewing an expired license.

Each driver must pass an eye-screening examination. Some applicants may be referred to their eye doctor or physician for additional medical tests if they have a medical or mental condition that may interfere with their ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

Every driver license applicant is subject to a written and road skills test.

Mandatory Disclosure of Social Security Numbers

Disclosure of the applicant's social security number is mandatory if eligible. Federal and state law authorizes such disclosure. See 42 U.S.C. Section 405(c)(2)(1) and 21 Del. C. Section 2718(a). The Division will use social security numbers solely for the administration of the driver's license program to ensure accurate identification. Social security numbers will not be released to business or private individuals, but may be released to state agencies to carry out their governmental functions. More information is available upon request.

Other Licensing Information:

Graduated Driver's License (Under 18)
Apply for License (Over 18)
New Resident Transfer License (Over 18)
New Resident Transfer License (Under 18)
Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
Permanent Licenses
Licenses for Exchange Students
Identification Cards/Renewals
License Renewals
Motorcycle Endorsements