Can you have a driver’s license in two states?

Drivers aren't usually allowed to have driver's licenses in two states because states need to simplify tracking driving behavior and penalties for infractions. However, you may be entitled to have two types of driver's licenses such as a standard license and a military license.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Brad Larsen

UPDATED: Apr 15, 2022

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Things to Know

  • Most states prohibit drivers from having more than one state-issued driver’s license
  • The National Driver Registry (NDR) helps states track driving behaviors by keeping a record of each driver’s infractions and penalties, so if your license is suspended in one state, your license will be suspended in another
  • States may allow you to carry two licenses if they are different types, such as a standard driver’s license with a military license, an international driver’s permit, or a foreign license

If you are planning to move across state lines, you may be wondering if you are allowed to have driver’s licenses from two states. Some motorists would like to be able to keep both of their driver’s licenses, but unfortunately, it is usually not allowed.

Most states have regulations against having driver’s licenses in two states (with some exceptions). Continue reading below to understand the laws regarding driver’s licenses and whether you can carry more than one.

Can you have a driver’s license in two states?

While laws can differ in each state, most states do not allow you to carry two driver’s licenses. Instead, you should have one driver’s license issued by the state in which you are considered a permanent resident. Even if you have a secondary residence in another state, you should still only have one driver’s license.

However, if you plan to move to another state, you will need to acquire a new driver’s license in the state to which you are moving. When you obtain your new driver’s license, you may be required to hand in or get rid of your old license. Either way, it will be invalidated.

In the past, Florida allowed people who were temporary residents of Florida to keep their out-of-state license and receive a Florida license that was marked “Valid in Florida Only.” However, since REAL ID requirements have gone into place, Florida has changed its laws to prohibit drivers from having more than one driver’s license.

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Can you get a driver’s license in another state if your license was suspended?

Can I get my license in another state if my license has been suspended? One of the main reasons most states forbid using two driver’s licenses is to properly enforce driving laws. So, for example, if you have a driver’s license in both Nebraska and Ohio, and one of your licenses gets suspended due to a DUI infraction, you could avoid the penalties by using the driver’s license from the other state.

In addition, most states use the National Driver Registry (NDR) to track serious offenses made by drivers across all participating states. Therefore, if you try to acquire a license in another state after a license suspension, you are unlikely to be successful since the penalties for most driving violations will follow you across state lines.

Can you have more than one type of license?

Is it illegal to carry two driver’s licenses? Can you have more than one driver’s license if they’re two different kinds of licenses? In most cases, it is illegal to carry two driver’s licenses if they are each issued by different states. However, most states will allow you to have more than one license type.

Some licenses that you may be able to carry along with your state-issued driver’s license include:

  • Military license. Active military members may have a license if they have passed a test for every vehicle class. Military members can carry both their military licenses and the license from their home state.
  • International driver’s permit. Whether you are an international driver with a permit to drive in the United States or a U.S. citizen with an international driver’s permit to drive in another country, you can carry your IDP with your standard driver’s license.
  • Foreign license. Some drivers may have licenses from more than one country, and they are allowed to carry both. However, drivers seeking permanent residency in the United States must have a valid U.S. driver’s license instead of using only their foreign license.

So, can you have dual driver’s licenses in two states? In some cases, having two driver’s licenses of different kinds is permitted. However, one of them is typically issued by someone other than a state government.

When do you need to switch your driver’s license if you move to another state?

If you move to a new state, you must obtain a new driver’s license within a specified amount of time. Most states require that you get a new license within 30 days of moving to the state. However, some will want you to acquire a new license immediately, while others will let you wait up to 90 days or even one year.

You will have to go through the standard process of proving residency and citizenship if that’s required by state law. In addition, you may need to provide documentation such as your birth certificate, Social Security card, utility bills, lease or mortgage, bank statements, or other proof. You may also need to pass a written or even a road test.

If you’re wondering whether or not you can have a driver’s license in two states, the answer is generally no. Most states will require that you carry only one state-issued driver’s license to make it easier to track your driving behaviors and enforce driving regulations.

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