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Driver's License, New

A Driver’s License is issued to eligible individuals 18 years of age or older who pass the required examination. This license allows a person to drive any non-commercial vehicle except a school bus or motorcycle. To drive a school bus or motorcycle additional examination(s) is/are required.

You must obtain a Vermont Driver License upon establishing residency in this state. This must be done no longer than 60 days after moving to Vermont or, if your out-of-state license expires before the end of this 60-day period, you must obtain a Vermont Driver License before it expires (whichever occurs first).

In order to apply for a Vermont Driver’s License, you will need proof that you are a Vermont Resident or are a Visiting Citizen of a Foreign Country with an authorized duration of stay with at least 30 days remaining.

You will need documentation to establish your identity. More information...


If you have a valid license from another state (18 and over)

If under 18 see Junior Driver's License info...

When a new Vermont Resident applies for a Vermont Driver’s License and possesses a valid out-of-state license or an out-of-state license that has been expired for less than three (3) years, an eye examination will be required.

  1. Bring your valid (or expired less than three years) license from your home state.
  2. When your Vermont license is issued, the out-of-state license must be surrendered.
  3. You will need documentation to establish your identity. More information...

Note: Your first Vermont license will be valid for four birthdays (some exceptions apply). If your birthday is June 1 and you get your first Vermont license on May 15, it will be valid for 3 years and 16 days. If you get your first Vermont license on your birthday it will be good for exactly 4 years (some exceptions apply).


Exceptions

A person may not be issued a new license or renew an existing license when:

  1. A person whose privilege to operate a motor vehicle in any state has been suspended, revoked, or refused cannot be issued a license until such suspension, revocation or refusal has been terminated and the person has been officially notified in writing of reinstatement.
  2. A license cannot be issued to a person when the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles has evidence that such person either cannot or will not operate a motor vehicle without endangering the other users of the highway.
  3. A person is not a Vermont Resident.

Download the PDF form to your computer and then open it with Adobe Reader

Title Sort descending ID# Description
License/Permit Application - English
VL-021
To apply for a new issuance or renewal of a Vermont license or permit (Non-CDL).
Non-Driver ID Application - English
VL-017
Apply for a new, renewed, replaced, or enhanced non-driver identification card.

FAQs

I want a new photo on my license, learner permit or non-driver ID. How can I obtain one?

You must get a new picture taken at least once for every other renewal. You may get a new photo at any time for any reason (for a fee). Complete the required documents and schedule an appointment to visit an office.

What type of licenses and ID cards does the DHS currently accept to access its buildings and facilities and at TSA checkpoints?

Until full enforcement of REAL ID begins on May 3, 2023, DHS and its component agencies, including TSA at its airport security checkpoints, will continue to accept all Vermont Driver’s Licenses and ID cards for identification purposes.

I am suspended in a state I do not live in why can I not renew the license I already have in my home state?

Since 1996 the federal government requires that all states participate in a program that prevents individuals who have had a suspension issued to them in one state (or more than one state) from obtaining a license in another state. A nationwide system tracks all drivers (or potential drivers) to prevent the issuance of a license to a suspended person.

What is REAL ID?

Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID Act enacted the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government “set standards for the issuance of sources of identification, such as driver's licenses.” The Act established minimum security standards for state-issued driver's licenses and identification cards and prohibits Federal agencies from accepting for official purposes licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards. These purposes are:

  • Accessing Federal facilities
  • Boarding federally regulated commercial aircraft
  • Entering nuclear power plants
What if I am a victim of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking and do not want my address on my license?

The Safe at Home address confidentiality program, within the Office of the Secretary of State, was implemented to serve victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking.

The goal of the Safe at Home program is to help victims who have relocated or are about to relocate, in their effort to keep their perpetrators from finding them.

Safe at Home has two components: a substitute address service and a protected records service. These services limit a perpetrator’s ability to access public information that could identify the new location of a victim who is in the program. This is not a witness protection program, rather it is a mail forwarding service.

For more information visit the Secretary of State website.

Can I board a plane with a Temporary License/ID?

TSA will NOT accept a Temporary License/ID as a standalone document. It will accept the expiring or expired card with the Temporary License/ID as proof of the renewal. Customers should visit TSA’s website which contains detailed information on the identity documents they will accept: tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/identification

Why is the license picture black and white?

B&W portrait is a byproduct of our cards being printed on polycarbonate (PC). PC has become the de facto card construction for IDs, particularly in the international market. The biggest advantage is that it is a fully fused, monolithic card that can’t be deconstructed to access the personalization data. 

In our previous cards, the personalization was applied to the surface of the card and thus offers an opportunity to attack the card by “opening it up”. 

Polycarbonate cards are personalized by laser writing and the personalization is in the card. Since the card is fully fused, it can’t be opened up to attack. Unfortunately, except with very expensive equipment, it is not possible to laser write a color image.

Can a business refuse to accept my Vermont license for identification?

The primary purpose of a Driver’s license is to establish that the license holder has the minimum skills required to safely operate a motor vehicle. Many entities have decided that this driving document can be accepted as proof of ID. The department does not have any authority to mandate that other entities accept our driving documents as proof of ID.

Is an Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) or Non-Driver ID (EID) acceptable for Real ID compliance?

Yes, the Vermont EDL & EID are designated as acceptable border-crossing documents by DHS under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). Vermont EDL & EID are acceptable for official Federal purposes (i.e., boarding a commercial aircraft, accessing a federal facility, or entering a nuclear power plant).

If I have temporary lawful status in the United States, will the Driver's License or ID card issued to me be different?

Your card will read “limited term” and the expiration date will coincide with the expiration of valid legal status obtained from documentation provided. If your lawful stay has no defined end or expiration date, you will have the option of choosing a 2 or 4 year card.

Does a Driver's License or ID card marked “limited term” have different or lesser privileges?

No. The Driver's License or ID card remains fully valid for all purposes normally associated with a Driver's License or ID card in the form issued.

A Driver's License or ID card marked “limited term” merely signifies that it is issued to a person who is a foreign national with temporary lawful status in the United States and has a shorter term than a regular Driver's License or ID card.