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Newcomers to Oregon will soon find that beneath the diverse geography―coast, desert, valleys, and mountains―the state hosts a warm, welcoming culture that counters the area's well-known cool climate and rainfall. All of that rain feeds the forests that border Oregon's towns, cities, and rivers, including the Willamette and Columbia.
With so much to do and see in Oregon, you'll barely have time to move in once you're here. But if you plan on driving, one of the first items on your "to do" list should be a visit to the Driver and Motor Vehicle Services Division (DMV) for your driver's license and vehicle registration. Driver's licenses are valid for 8 years here, so you won't have to return for a while.
A new Oregon resident who needs a driver license can obtain it by passing the knowledge test, which is covered in the Oregon Driver Handbook, and meeting other requirements, including turning in your out-of-state license. Teen drivers in the state may obtain learner's permits, then provisional licenses, but they are still restricted from driving late at night or with other teens.
The Oregon DMV also offers a helpful website with valuable information about establishing residency and proper licensing for new residents.
Oregon requires all motorists to insure their vehicles.
You'll be pleased to know that in addition to its friendly, diverse community of people, Oregon is also known for its inexpensive vehicle registration, which is only $86 for 2 years. Regular titles are $77.
If you have a commercial driver's license (CDL) from another state, you may obtain an Oregon CDL by passing the regular license knowledge test, but the Oregon DMV does waive the drive test if the driving privileges granted are the same as the state where you were licensed.
Although the state's roads can be impacted by big storms blowing through the Columbia River gorge, Pacific storms battering the coast, and extreme temperatures in eastern Oregon, driving in Oregon is generally safe and scenic.
If you don't drive, but still want acceptable proof of identity, you can get an identification card instead of a driver license. There are no age restrictions, and minors as well as adults can get ID cards.
More Oregon Facts
Oregon was the climax of Lewis and Clark's expedition 200 years ago. Home to approximately 3.9 million people, Oregon is known as the Beaver State and was the 33rd state admitted to the Union. The waterfalls along Interstate 84 east of Portland through the Columbia River gorge are some other major attractions in the state.
Oregon is also colored by numerous man-made bridges crossing the many rivers, including more than eight bridges separating downtown Portland and the east side of the Willamette River.
With views of tall Douglas Firs and spectacular views of Mt. Hood and Crater Lake, it's no wonder that tourism is Oregon's third largest source of revenue. The economy also depends heavily on lumber, agriculture, and electronics.
In addition to the state's natural beauty, Oregon is home to corporate giants Nike, Intel, Weyerhaeuser, and others, attracting new residents with job opportunities. Outdoor recreation is one of the most popular activities for visitors and residents alike.
This tiny bit of trivia is just a hint of the learning experiences and adventures you'll have as an Oregonian. To learn more about Oregon and what it offers those who live here, visit