One of the urgent tasks for expats that take up residence in the USA can be finding a DMV for driver’s license application.
To make it easy for you to find the department in your state for getting your driver’s license for driving in the USA, we’ve listed every state’s driver’s license bureau along with a link to that department’s website.
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See each state below with state name, state postal abbreviation, driver’s licensing bureau abbreviation, driver’s licensing bureau name, and URL for information about driver’s licenses.
So here it is: the comprehensive list of all 50 states’ drivers license bureaus!
To find your state quickly on a desktop browser, type Ctrl + f (Windows) or Cmd ⌘ + f (Mac). Then type the name of your state. If you are on the mobile Safari browser, you can type the name of the state in the address bar and then scroll to the bottom of the search suggestions to the section that says “On This Page.” Other mobile browsers may have a similar function.
- Alabama – AL – MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) – https://revenue.alabama.gov/motor-vehicle/, https://www.alea.gov/dps/driver-license/driver-license-information
- Alaska – AK – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – http://doa.alaska.gov/dmv/akol/
- Arizona – AZ – MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) – https://azdot.gov/motor-vehicle-services
- Arkansas – AR – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://mydmv.arkansas.gov/
- California – CA – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv
- Colorado – CO – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.colorado.gov/dmv
- Connecticut – CT – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://portal.ct.gov/DMV
- Delaware – DE – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.dmv.de.gov/
- Florida – FL – HSMV (Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles) – https://www.flhsmv.gov/
- Georgia- GA – DDS (Department of Driver Services) – https://dds.georgia.gov/
- Hawaii – HI – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – http://www.honolulu.gov/csd/dllicense.html
- Idaho – ID – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://itd.idaho.gov/itddmv/
- Illinois – IL – DSD (Driver Services Department) – https://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/home.html
- Indiana – IN – BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.in.gov/bmv/
- Iowa – IA – MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) – https://iowadot.gov/mvd
- Kansas – KS – DOV (Division of Vehicles) – https://www.ksrevenue.org/dovindex.html
- Kentucky – KY – Driver Services & Vehicle Services – https://drive.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Louisiana – LA – Office of Motor Vehicles – https://www.expresslane.org/
- Maine – ME – BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.maine.gov/sos/bmv/
- Maryland – MD – MVA (Motor Vehicle Administration) – http://www.mva.maryland.gov/
- Massachusetts – MA – RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles
- Michigan – MI – Michigan DMV is under the SOS (Secretary of State) – https://www.michigan.gov/sos/
- Minnesota – MN – DVS (Driver and Vehicle Services) – https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/Pages/default.aspx
- Mississippi – MS – Driver Service Bureau – https://www.driverservicebureau.dps.ms.gov/
- Missouri – MO – DMV – https://mydmv.mo.gov/
- Montana – MT – MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) – https://dojmt.gov/driving/
- Nebraska – NE – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmv.nebraska.gov/
- Nevada – NV – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmvnv.com/
- New Hampshire – NH – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/dmv/index-original.htm
- New Jersey – NJ – MVC (Motor Vehicle Commission) – https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/
- New Mexico – NM – MVD (Motor Vehicle Division) – http://www.mvd.newmexico.gov/
- New York – NY – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmv.ny.gov/
- North Carolina – NC – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.ncdot.gov/dmv/Pages/default.aspx
- North Dakota – ND – ND driver services are under the DOT (Department of Transportation) – https://www.dot.nd.gov/
- Ohio – OH – BMV (Bureau of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.bmv.ohio.gov/
- Oklahoma – OK – OK driver services are under DPS (Department of Public Safety) – https://www.ok.gov/dps/
- Oregon – OR – DMV – https://www.oregon.gov/odot/dmv/pages/index.aspx
- Pennsylvania – PA – DMV – https://www.dmv.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Rhode Island – RI – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – http://www.dmv.ri.gov/
- South Carolina – SC – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) –http://scdmvonline.com/
- South Dakota – SD – SD DMV services are under DPS (Department of Public Safety) and DOR (Department of Revnue) – https://dps.sd.gov/driver-licensing, https://dor.sd.gov/individuals/motor-vehicle/
- Tennessee – TN – Driver Services – https://www.tn.gov/driver-services.html
- Texas – TX – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.txdmv.gov/
- Utah – UT – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmv.utah.gov/
- Vermont – VT – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmv.vermont.gov/
- Virginia – VA – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/
- Washington DC – DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) – https://dmv.dc.gov/
- Washington – WA – DOL (Department of Licensing) – https://www.dol.wa.gov/
- West Virginia – WV – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://transportation.wv.gov/DMV/Pages/default.aspx
- Wisconsin – WI – DMV (Division of Motor Vehicles) – https://wisconsindot.gov/Pages/online-srvcs/external/dmv.aspx
- Wyoming – WY – WYDOT Driver Services – http://www.dot.state.wy.us/driverservices
Finding a DMV for Driver’s License Application
In the USA driver’s licenses are a state matter, not a federal (or national) matter, so there’s no single national website for getting a U.S. driver’s license for foreigners. Instead, expats must find their local driver’s licensing department in their state of residence.
Complicating the matter is that the bureau for getting driver’s licenses is variously known as the DMV, MVD, HSMV, DDS, BMV, DSD, and so on.
What is the difference between the DMV vs. RMV? or the DMV vs MVA? or the DMV vs BMV? Well, not much; for our purposes today, they are basically the same. They are the places where you get your U.S. driver’s license.
DMV is the most common name; out of the 50 states (plus Washington D.C.) 26 of them call the office the DMV. (“D” for some states means “Division” and for other states “Department.”) But the other states refer to it by different names.
On this page we will refer to the department as the DMV.
What Can You Do at the DMV?
In the USA beyond getting a driver’s license, there are many other reasons people go to the DMV. They may go to the DMV for license plates or to apply for real ID. They may go to get a beginner’s permit (for driving) or to take a driving test. Or they may go to apply for a disabled placard in order to use disabled person’s parking.
As mentioned previously, driver’s services departments are a state matter, so the policies and services in each state differ from each other somewhat.
In order to find out what services are offered in your state’s DMV, go to the department’s website and read the policies carefully.
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What If I Have a Foreign Language Driver’s License?
What if you have a foreign language driver’s license and need to use it to get a local U.S. driver’s license?
Again, every state’s policy is different.
- Some states accept any certified translation of a driver’s license.
- Some other states such as New Jersey allow only certain translators to do the translations.
- Other states such as South Carolina and Massachusetts require the translator to fill out a special form (form 4030 and LIC114 respectively).
Be sure to understand your state’s policies regarding driver’s license translations. For more information about driver’s license translations, see our article How to Get a Driver’s License Translation for the DMV.
Darren Jansen, business development and content manager for IVANNOVATION, has a lifetime love for tech and languages. At IVANNOVATION he helps software developers get professional localization for their apps, software, and websites. On his time away from the office, he can be found hiking the Carolina wilderness or reading Chinese literature.