How to Renew a Drivers License Online

by Mary Jane Freeman

Many states allow you to renew your driver's license online, but first you must qualify. Typically, the department of motor vehicles will inform you of your eligibility on the renewal notice. You then create an online account, supply any requested information, pay the renewal fee and wait for your new license to arrive in the mail.

Eligibility Requirements

Each state has its own eligibility requirements for online renewal. A common one is that you are not changing any information on your license, such as your last name or address. Others may include being under a certain age, having a photo on file with the DMV and not having a suspended, revoked or canceled license. In some states, like Maryland, the renewal notice has an access number the driver enters online to start the renewal process

Creating Online Account

Some states require that you set up an online account with the DMV to renew your driver's license online. As of 2015, Maryland, Nevada and California asked its drivers to take that route. You will be asked to confirm your identity through your Social Security number, driver's license number and birthdate. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, creating an online account is not necessary at all. Instead, you enter your driver's license number, birthdate and last four numbers of your Social Security number to start the online renewal process.

Renewal and Payment

Select the option to renew your license and pay the renewal fee. Typically, credit and debit cards are accepted. Some states, such as California and Nevada, also accept electronic checks. You can usually print a receipt for your records or have one emailed to you.

Address and Other Changes

Some states, like Nevada and Pennsylvania, let you renew online even if you also have an address change. Complete the "change address" option before the renewal process after logging into the online system. Although rules vary between states, name changes typically cannot be done online. You must do so in person at your local DMV prior to renewal so the correct name appears on your new license.

About the Author

Based on the West Coast, Mary Jane Freeman has been writing professionally since 1994, specializing in the topics of business and law. Freeman's work has appeared in a variety of publications, including LegalZoom, Essence, Reuters and Chicago Sun-Times. Freeman holds a Master of Science in public policy and management and Juris Doctor. Freeman is self-employed and works as a policy analyst and legal consultant.