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Do You Have to Retake Your Driving Test When Moving to a New State?

by Fraser Sherman

Nobody wants to retake his driver's license test, but sometimes it's necessary. A valid driver's license from one state is usually good everywhere. When you move to a new state, however, you need to trade the old license for a new one. Each state sets its own rules for transferring your old license. Contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in the state you moved to and ask about the driver's license requirements for new residents.

State Rules

If you have a current license, you may be able to waive retesting. New York, for instance, requires a vision test for transplanted drivers, but no driving test. Ohio waives the driving test unless you need some kind of license restriction. Oregon's Department of Motor Vehicles says that you'll have to take the driver's test just like any native-born Oregonian.

Special Cases

Waivers are typically based on having a current license. In Arkansas, for example, you have to take the written and vision tests if your license expired more than 31 days ago. If it's longer than a year, you have to retest on the roads too. New York won't let you transfer your license if it expired more than two years ago -- you'll have to take the driving test.

About the Author

A graduate of Oberlin College, Fraser Sherman began writing in 1981. Since then he's researched and written newspaper and magazine stories on city government, court cases, business, real estate and finance, the uses of new technologies and film history. Sherman has worked for more than a decade as a newspaper reporter, and his magazine articles have been published in "Newsweek," "Air & Space," "Backpacker" and "Boys' Life." Sherman is also the author of three film reference books, with a fourth currently under way.

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