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The Driver’s License

Many Jurisdictions. Every state in the United States has a separate department authorized to issue driver’s licenses. Most are called bureaus or departments of motor vehicles. The driver’s licenses from the fifty states all look different, some with photos, some produced like credit cards. A driver’s license from any one state is valid in every other state. There is no national identity card in the United States, and the individual state driver’s license is the most respected and widely used form of personal identification. To obtain a driver’s license, you must first locate the state agency responsible. Most telephone books have special sections for government offices. Or ask any policeman.

You will need identification proving date and place of birth: a birth certificate or passport. After filling out some forms (you’ll have to fill out many forms) you’ll probably be given a small book of vehicle regulations to study, which you might later be tested on. Expect a vision test, and perhaps a required class in safety. You might have to be photographed. Finally you will take an actual road test with an examiner in an automobile.

The Driving Test. If you don’t know how to drive, many reputable driving schools exist. They can guide you through the paperwork and provide a vehicle you can use to take the driving test. Once you pass the test, you’ll probably get a temporary license. The real license will come a few weeks later.

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