New to Delaware
As a new resident to Delaware, you'll need to handle a number of tasks—to include applying for a driver's license, registering and titling your vehicle, and registering to vote. Your car will need to pass a safety and emissions inspection in order to be registered. If you're active-duty military stationed in Delaware, you may be exempt from some of these requirements. If you wish, you'll also need to re-register to vote in your new state.
When moving to a new state, there is so much to take care of. From registering a vehicle to registering to vote in Delaware, this guide will provide you with the essentials you need to know.
It's always good to get familiar with the agencies that will be handling your transactions with the state.
In Delaware, the Division of Motor Vehicles is the main department responsible for vehicle and licensing tasks. However, boat licensing and registration is handled by the Division of Fish and Wildlife.
Voting and elections in the state are overseen by the State Election Commissioner. Traffic tickets, should you get one, are regulated by the Delaware Judicial Branch.
If you're new to Delaware, you are required to register your out-of-state vehicle with the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) within 60 days of establishing residency. For more information, please refer to our Car Registration in Delaware page.
If you own a unique vehicle such as a recreational vehicle (RV), boat, or even a moped, the process of registration is a little different. For more specific information, please refer to our Special Vehicles in Delaware page.
Before the Delaware DMV will process your car registration application, you must show proof that you have sufficient insurance coverage provided by the state. Moving states can be a great time to change providers and compare rates to make sure you're getting the best deal for you. For more information, visit our DE Insurance Center.
When registering a vehicle in Delaware, you must pass the following vehicle inspections:
- Safety inspection.
- Emissions test.
Our Delaware Car Inspection page provides more information about both topics.
If you wish to drive in Delaware, you must transfer your out-of-state's driver's license to the state within 60 days of establishing residency. For a simple explanation of the process, please refer to our Applying for a New License in Delaware page.
If you're a teenager, how your learner's permit or provisional driver's license is transferred will depend on whether you meet the requirements of the DE DMV's graduated driver's licensing (GDL) program. For more information, visit our guide to Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Delaware.
If you don't plan on operating a vehicle, but you need a form of identification, you can obtain an ID card from the Delaware DMV. You can find out how to get one on our Delaware Identification Cards page.
If you don't want to miss out on any special elections, it's important to register to vote in Delaware. Remember, when you move states, your voter registration doesn't move with you. You will need to register to vote in your new DE county once you become a resident.
If you're only in Delaware temporarily because you're serving in the U.S. military, you may want to check out our Drivers in the Military page. You'll find information about using your out-of-state driver's license and vehicle while in the state.
If you're unsure of where the local Delaware DMV office is in your county, you can find it using our DMV Office Finder.
You may also want to review the DE DMV manuals before you hit the road:
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