Military Moves: Changing Your Drivers License

How To Change Your ID When You PCS

driver's license
Getty Images/Kirby Hamilton

For many military families, PSCing is a common occurrence which, more often than not, involves moving from one state to another. Amid all the standard "to-dos" that are an unavoidable part of every PCS move, one issue often goes unaddressed: Chances are, you're going to need to change your driver's license. 

Each state has its own laws that dictate when and how (and even whether) drivers from other states need to get a new license.

Some states require new residents to change their license within a specific time frame after becoming a resident of the state (typically 30-90 days). Others are a bit more flexible and cut servicemembers and their dependents some well-deserved slack.

As if that weren't confusing enough, there is absolutely no uniformity from state to state as to whether drivers with licenses from out of state will be required to take the written test when applying for a new license. Some say yes, others say no. To complicate things even further, while most states will require some type of official proof of identity, the exact type of ID (whether that's your soon-to-be old driver's license, a passport, birth certificate, military ID, or something else) will vary. In addition, depending on the state, you could be required to pass a vision test and you might (or might not) have to turn in your current driver's license before they'll issue you a new one.

 And then there are residency rules, which, as you might expect, may vary greatly from state to state. If you're very lucky, you'll be moving to a state that will honor your old license for as long as you're in the military.

Why You Need To Update Your Drivers Licence

In some states, it is illegal to have an out of state license and claim residency.

Having an out of state drivers ​license can make it difficult for your and your spouse to take advantages of certain services in your new home. You'll want to learn the laws of your new state before you accidentally violate them. 

Know Before You Move

Prior to your move, it's a good idea to educate yourself about the process of changing your driver's license in your new state. Understanding their laws beforehand will enable you to make sound decisions based on facts. Hopefully, that'll save you from experiencing any additional unnecessary stress.

To learn specific information regarding a state's laws and requirements for changing a driver's license please select the state that you are moving to from the list below.

State DMV Information