A driving license allows you to legally drive or operate a motor vehicle. The rules and stipulations for obtaining one differ for each State and there are multiple classifications of drivers licenses that restrict how they can be used.
To be a professional driver, a commercial drivers license along with endorsements that require additional training is needed. The training and test requirements for the Commercial Drivers License are regulated at the Federal Government level.
The driving license is recognized interstate wide, meaning a license obtained in one state allows you to drive a vehicle in any other state in the country.
There is also an international drivers license, which allows you drive in other regions, however, in order to obtain one, you must have a valid driving license from your home country.
Obtaining a drivers license is an uncomplicated process in most jurisdictions, however, to the issuers and holders, the driver license is perhaps the most important document that can be possessed.
In most states in order to obtain a driving license, you may be required to first have learners permit. The learners permit allows to driver to a limited time while practicing or undertaking drivers education. The minimum age required varies from 14 years in some states to as high as 17 years old in other states and there may also be graduated license laws that restrict certain driving privileges. There are certain documents, such as birth certificates and social security numbers that are required along with photo identification.
In some areas, the drivers license test is comprised of both a written and practical or a behind-the-wheel driving test. It is now possible to practice or actually take the test online as many states now publish a drivers manual which list all the necessary qualifications required.
To take the test, is a simple procedure as booking an appointment at the local Department of Motor Vehicle office. In many situations, a written as well as a vision test is required when applying for an original driving license or when upgrading to a different classification. The drivers license usually expires five years after issue and renewal notices are sent to addresses of record approximately two months before the expiry date.
The license can be suspended and driving privileges lost for a number of reasons which can include conviction for driving under the influence (DUI). It is against the law to drive or operate a motor vehicle with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) over 0.08% or 0.04% for commercial vehicles. In some states, you can be sentenced to serve up to 6 months in prison and monetary fines between $400 and $1000 plus 3 times the assessed fine in penalty fees for a first time conviction.
There has been considerable debate on whether revocation of driving privileges is constitutional or whether it is a successful deterrent to reduce the occurrences of DWI.
The drivers license is now considered the most important document that it must be in your possession at all times even when you are not driving. It is often used as the primary form of identification as there are other forms of personal information that is attached to it and from which they can be retrieved.