How to Check Driver's License Status online

by Tina Amo

Many states allow their drivers to check the status of their license online. Each state varies in the way you can access the information and the level of detail provided. Contact your state's department if you need help with understanding the information displayed.

Accessing Your Record

Visit the Department of Motor Vehicles website in your state and look for the 'License Check' or 'License Status' page. To access your online records, you'll need to provide some personal information, namely your driver's license number. Some states may require more details. For instance, Alabama requires your last name, license number and expiration date, while Idaho requires your full name, date of birth and license number or Social Security number. Provide the necessary information and click the submit button to proceed. The following page will provide the current status of your license, showing whether it is valid, expired, suspended or revoked.

Expired License

While the rules vary by state, your license typically expires on your birthday after four to eight years. Some states give up to two years to renew, but you can't drive legally until you do. Depending on your state laws, you may be able to renew an expired license online. However, if your license has been expired longer than your state's grace period then you would have to apply for a new license including passing the knowledge test, vision test and driving skills test again.

Suspended License

If you find your license has been suspended you must stop driving. It is illegal to continue this way and it could lead to the permanent loss of your driving privileges. A suspension is temporary. The length of time during which your license is suspended depends on the offense and the laws in your state. You can have your license reinstated once you have met the requirements of the suspension, which also depend on the nature of the infraction. It could range from paying fines to community service or even jail time. Offenses worthy of suspension vary by state but commonly include driving without insurance, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and refusing to take a chemical test after being arrested for a DUI.

Revoked License

It is also illegal to drive with a revoked license. A revocation is more permanent because you lose your license for a longer period of time and there are no guarantees it will be reinstated after you have satisfied the requirements. Infractions leading to a revocation include having your license suspended three times in few years (five years in Georgia), refusing to re-take knowledge and driving skills tests and evidence of incompetence or inability to drive due to disability, illness or addiction.

Points on Your License

Some states use a system that assigns points to each type of traffic violation. Each time you violate traffic laws, your vehicle services department will add points to your record. You can lose your license by suspension or revocation once you reach the maximum number of points allowed in your state. In Georgia, for instance, your driver's license will be suspended if you have 15 points. The results of your online status check will include your points if your state uses this system.

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