Getting a US Driver's License

posted Aug 16, 2012, 8:01 AM by Jalandhari Kom   [ updated Aug 16, 2012, 8:01 AM ]
Driver's license is one of the most important document required in United States. Apart from driving needs it is required at almost all the places where you need to show your ID. Mainly because this is the only valid Identity card which is required and approved at all the places.
Here in US most of the money transactions are done via checks or Credit cards. Initially when you don't have credit card, check is the only practical and recommended way of payment. Nobody keeps cash. People generally issue checks even for a small amount of less than $5.00. Checks are as good as Cash and can be deposited at any ATM (Automatic Teller Machine) center. These checks are accepted only with a valid PHOTO-ID at most places. Actually a Photo-id could also be a simple identity card issued by the DMV (Dept. of motor vehicles), which is not a driver's license.
At most places Driver's license is the only valid PHOTO-ID. So after getting Social Security number, Driver's license is another very important thing one should acquire as soon as possible.
Getting driver's license is not very difficult here. Before appearing for a driving test behind the wheels one has to clear a written test conducted by DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles - similar to RTO in India). Each state has their own laws for driving a vehicle. DMV issues a book on the rules, which are to be followed very strictly. This book gives detailed information about all the laws and is written in a very nice manner. It is very easy to follow all the rules as they are nicely explained and if necessary, supported by good photographs.
After understanding the contents of this book you can appear for the written exam. You can appear for the test on any working day. You can call up DMV and take an appointment with them or you can even go directly.
They will check your Passport and will give you a question paper. Questions are objective type and you have to choose the best answer for each question. Time is no limit for the exam. After you are done with it, the person on the counter will immediately check your paper and will tell you your score. Upon passing this test you will get temporary driving license which is valid for two months. DMV also issues an ID card. The state government issues this ID card. You can use this ID card as a Photo-ID till you get your driver's license.
During the period of temporary license one can appear for the driving test. You can practice on a rented car or if you are not very confident, then you can even go for some driving lessons. For driving lessons you can go to driving school or to a private teacher. Private teachers are little cheaper as compared to driving school. Once you are ready for the test, again you will have to take an appointment with DMV for the driving test.
On the day of appointment you have to go there with your learning license. The car in which you will give your driving test should have proper Insurance papers. Also check all the controls, including signal lights and brake lights. If any of these is not in shape, you will not be allowed to appear for the test. This test will be of 100 marks. The type of tests varies state by state, and basically you will be asked to do three-point turns, U-turns, parallel parking, reversing, etc. After your test, driving inspector will immediately tell you your result. Generally they explain to you your mistakes so that you can work on them and rectify. If you have passed you will get your license immediately in most places.
If you fail there is no minimum period required between the time you appear again. So you can practice again and appear as soon as you can.