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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Delaware

    SUMMARY: How to Apply for a Delaware Driver's License

    Once you’ve held your learner’s permit for 10 days, you can obtain your driver’s license by passing your road test at a DMV office. Once you have passed, you will need to pay the appropriate fees.

    This page will help you obtain your first driver’s license from the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

    NOTE: If you’re younger than 18 years old, please follow the instructions on our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Delaware page.

    New to Delaware?

    If you’ve recently moved here from another state or country, you will need to transfer your out-of-state or foreign driver’s license to Delaware within 60 days of becoming a resident.

    NOTE: If you have a foreign driver’s license, you must be over 16 years old to be eligible for a transfer.

    Visit either the Wilmington, New Castle, Dover, or Georgetown DMV office and:

    • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license or provide a certified copy of your driving record.
      • You can keep your foreign driver’s license.
    • Submit proof of your legal presence in the U.S., such as your:
      • U.S. birth certificate.
      • Work authorization and supporting documents.
      • U.S. passport.
    • Submit proof of your Social Security number (SSN), such as your:
      • Social Security card.
      • Pay stub.
      • 1099 form.
    • Submit 2 documents proving your DE residence address, such as your:
      • Utility bill.
      • Bank statement.
      • Rental agreement.
    • Submit proof of any name changes, such as your:
      • Marriage license.
      • Court order.
      • Divorce decree.
    • Pass a vision exam.
    • Pass a written knowledge examand adriving test.
      • May be waived if you have a valid driver’s license from another U.S. state.
      • Will be waived if you have a driver’s license from Germany, Taiwan (Republic of China), or France.
    • Pay the required fee (will differ depending on the expiration date).
      • $25 for 5 years.
      • Additional $5 for each year, up to 8 years ($40).

    A complete list of required and accepted documents can be found on the Delaware DMV website.

    Types of DE Driver’s Licenses

    The Delaware DMV issues different types of driver’s licenses and endorsements depending on your age and the type of vehicle you wish to drive.

    • Class D driver’s license: Standard operator’s license for passenger cars, pickup trucks, utility vehicles, and most panel trucks.
    • Learner’s permit: Required to learn how to drive (under restrictions) before obtaining a Class D license.
    • Commercial driver’s license (CDL) (Class A, B, and C): Required for operating commercial vehicles.
    • Non-CDL (Class A and B): Required for operating farm and authorized emergency vehicles with a CDL waiver.
    • Conditional, occupational, and hardship driver’s license: Grants limited driving privileges.
    • Ignition interlock device endorsement/license: Allows driving only if vehicle has an ignition interlock device.
    • Motorcycle endorsement.

    Eligibility Requirements for a Driver’s License

    To apply for a Delaware driver’s license, you must:

    Apply for a Delaware Driver’s License

    Once you’ve held your learner’s permit for at least 10 days, you will be able to take your DE DMV road test and obtain your driver’s license.

    NOTE: You have 6 months from when you obtain your learner’s permit to pass the driving test. You may be granted an extension for an additional 6 months upon application and paying a $5 fee.

    You can take your road test:

    • At any DE DMV office, except for the New Castle Inspection Lane.
    • Any weekday from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., except for Wednesdays.

    Be sure to bring with you to the DMV office:

    • The vehicle you’ll take your road test in.
    • The vehicle registration card and insurance card.
    • Your immigration documents and Alien Registration number or I-94 number, if you’re a non-U.S. citizen.
    • Your DE learner’s permit.
    • The driver’s license of the person who accompanied you to the DE DMV office.
    • Payment for the required fee:
      • $25 for 5 years.
      • An additional $5 for each year, up to 8 years ($40).

    Your driver’s license will be valid for up to 8 years. If you are a non-U.S. citizen, your license will only be valid for the length of your legal stay in the United States.

    DMV Written and Driving Tests

    To obtain your DE driver’s license, you will need to pass a driving test. If you have a Delaware learner’s permit, you would have already passed your DMV written knowledge exam.

    If you are transferring a driver’s license from another U.S. state or country, you may be required to pass both the written and driving exams.

    If you fail either of these exams, you must wait 10 days before re-taking it.

    Written Knowledge Exam

    Your written knowledge test will consist of questions about topics including:

    • Rules of the road.
    • Safe driving practices.
    • Road signs.

    Use the Delaware DMV Driver Manual as a study guide. The questions will be based on information found in the manual.

    Road Test

    Your driving test will last for about 30 minutes. During this time, you will be asked by your instructor to complete a number of tasks to show you are capable of driving. Some abilities you’ll need to demonstrate include:

    • Parallel parking.
    • Changing lanes.
    • Backing up.
    • Following and overtaking other vehicles on the road.
    • Responding to road and traffic signs.
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