Q. How do I apply for my first license or permit?

A: The graduated driver license program is designed to reduce the high accident and fatality rate of minor drivers. Minors will receive additional supervised driving experience and reduced exposure to high-risk driving situations. The parent or sponsor will actively participate in training the minor and determining when the minor is capable of increased driving authority.

Level One Learner’s Permit Applicant’s eligibility requirements:

  • Must be at least 16 years old, and less than 18 years of age.
  • Must present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate (Blue Certificate) as proof that you passed a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. If you passed a course in another state, your out-of-state certificate must be approved by the Department of Education; this approval must be presented to the Division of Motor Vehicles. For approval send the certificate to the John W. Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover, DE 19904, (Telephone 302.857.3320).
  • Must provide documentation proving the applicant's name and date of birth, social security number if eligible, and two proofs of Delaware residency (unless the sponsor is a licensed Delaware driver and lives at the same address as the applicant). A list of approved documents are contained in the Required Documentation Table in this chapter.
  • All minor's driver license applications must be signed by a sponsor.
  • The applicant must pay $40.00 for an 8-year Class D license fee and pass an eye screening at the time of application.
  • Minors who require specialized evaluation, training or equipment to operate a motor vehicle because of a physical or mental disability will be identified by the driver education teacher and tested by the Division.
Eligibility for a Class D Operator’s License
  • A permit holder who is at least 17 years old, but less than 18 years old, may obtain a Class D operator's license when the driver has held a Level One Learner's Permit for at least 12 months, the sponsor has not withdrawn his/her endorsement, and the applicant’s driving privileges are not suspended, revoked, canceled, denied, or surrendered.

NOTE: The level one learner’s permit will automatically convert to a Class D license once the permit holder has completed a full 12 months of valid driving authority. The time used to compute the 12 months of required driving experience shall not include any period of time when the permit holder’s driving privilege has been suspended, revoked, canceled, denied, or surrendered. A period of additional driving experience equivalent to that of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, denial, or surrender will be added to the end of the original 12 month period. This will ensure that the permit holder has fully complied with the required full 12 months of valid driving authority.


 

Q. What driving restrictions apply to a permit the first year?

A:

  • Permit must be in the possession of the permit holder when driving a motor vehicle.
  • When the permit holder is under mandatory supervision, the supervisor must be a properly licensed parent, guardian or licensed driver (approved by the sponsor) who is at least 25 years of age and has held a Class D license for at least 5 years. The supervising driver must be seated beside the permit holder in the front seat of the vehicle when it is in motion. No person other than the supervising driver can be in the front seat.
  • For the first six months of valid Level One Learner's Permit driving authority, the permit holder may only drive when supervised. This is the mandatory supervision period.
  • The Sponsor shall certify that the permit holder has driven for 50 hours; 10 of which include night-time driving. The certification is to be turned into the Department of Education after the first six months of valid driving authority.
  • The permit holder and all passengers, under the age of 18, must wear a safety belt or be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat while the vehicle is in motion and the permit holder is driving.
  • After the first six months after issuance, the permit holder may drive:
    • Unsupervised between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
    • The permit holder may drive between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. only when under supervision. Exception: The permit holder may travel without supervision during those hours when going directly to and from church activities, work activities, and the permit holder's school activities on school property.
    • No passengers other than the adult supervisor and one other passenger may be in the vehicle during the first year. During the second six-month-period of unsupervised driving when a supervisor is not present, only one other passenger in addition to the driver may be in the vehicle. This passenger limit does not apply to immediate family members.
    • The permit holder and all passengers under the age of 18, must wear a safety belt or be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat while the vehicle is in motion and the permit holder is driving.
  • The use of a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle is prohibited. A conviction for violating this law will result in a one (1) month driver license suspension for a first offense and a three (3) months suspension for each subsequent offense
Persons who violate the Level One Learner's Permit restrictions are considered as driving without a license which will result in a 2-month suspension for the first offense and a 4-month suspension for subsequent offenses.

NOTE: The level one learner’s permit will automatically convert to a Class D license once the permit holder has completed a full 12 months of valid driving authority. The time used to compute the 12 months of required driving experience shall not include any period of time when the permit holder’s driving privilege has been suspended, revoked, canceled, denied, or surrendered. A period of additional driving experience equivalent to that of the suspension, revocation, cancellation, denial, or surrender will be added to the end of the original 12 month period. This will ensure that the permit holder has fully complied with the required full 12 months of valid driving authority.


 

Q. Must my parents sign the application?

A: All minor’s driver license applications must be signed by a sponsor. The sponsor is held jointly liable with the minor for any damages resulting from the minor’s negligence. The sponsor has the final authority to determine if the minor is capable of handling the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle and the authority to designate who may supervise the minor driver. The sponsor may withdraw his/her endorsement at any time until the minor reaches age 18, thereby canceling the minor’s driving privileges. The following sponsors are listed in order of preference:

  • Either father or mother of the minor if both parents are living together within this State and the minor resides with both parents. (Note: Parents are verified by using the minor's birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name)
    - OR -
  • Father of the minor, if the father is living within this State, and the minor resides with the father only. Mother of the minor, if the mother is living within this State and the minor resides with the mother only. Father or mother, if the father or mother lives within this State, and the minor resides with neither parent, and the minor has no legal guardian within this State. (Note: Parents are verified by using the minor's birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name. Stepparents can not act as a sponsor unless the minor is adopted or appointed the minor’s guardian.)
    - OR -
  • Legal guardian or court-appointed custodian of the minor, duly appointed as such under the laws of this State.
    - OR -
  • By any suitable person acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation or the Chief of Driver Services, 302.744.2561.
  • The sponsor must sign the minor’s drivers license application in the presence of a Division licensing employee. However, the parent, guardian, or court-appointed custodian acting as a sponsor can have his/her signature notarized on the application and have it forwarded to the Division.

 

Q. Must I take a drivers education course?

A: An applicant must present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate (Blue Certificate) as proof that you passed a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. If you passed a course in another state, your out-of-state certificate must be approved by the Department of Education; this approval must be presented to the Division of Motor Vehicles. For approval send the certificate to the John W. Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Dover, DE 19904, (Telephone 302.857.3320).
 

Q. What identification documents do I need?

A:

Examples of acceptable source documentation:
Please provide ONE of the following proof of identity/legal presence documents:
(This document must contain proof of full legal name, date of birth, and citizenship/legal presence in the United States to be eligible to obtain a federally compliant identification document.)
  • Certificate of birth (U.S. issued). Must be original or certified copy, have a raised seal and be issued by the Office of Vital Statistics or State Board of Health. Please note that wallet cards, birth registration or hospital announcements/records are not accepted. (If under 18, birth certificate must include birth parent(s) names)
  • Consular report of birth abroad
  • Certificate of Naturalization (N-550, N570m or N-578)
  • Certificate of Citizenship (N-560, N-561, or N-645)
  • Northern Marina Card (I-551)
  • American Indian Card (I-551)
  • U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179 or I-197)
  • Valid passport, U.S. If foreign, appropriate INS document also is required
  • Resident Alien Card (I-515, I-551, AR-3, or AR-103)
  • Temporary Resident Identification Card (K-688)
  • Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card (I-185 or I-586)
  • Record of Arrival and Departure (in a valid Foreign Passport)(I-94 or I-94W visa waiver program)
  • Record of Arrival and Departure w/attached photo stamped "Temporary Proof of Lawful Permanent Resident"(I-94)
  • Processed for I-551 stamp (in a valid Foreign Passport)
  • Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)
  • Employment Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B, I-766)
  • Canadian Immigration Record and Visa or Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Federally Compliant State issued photo driver license *
  • Federally Compliant State/Province/Territory issued photo ID card *
  • Court order. Must contain full name, date of birth and court seal. Examples include: adoption document, name change document, gender document, etc. Does not include abstract of criminal or civil conviction * **
  • State issued photo driver license * **
  • State/Province/Territory issued photo ID card * **
  • Certified microfilm/copy of driver license or ID card * **
  • Official letter issued by vital statistics verifying full name and date of birth * **
  • Certified school records or transcripts verifying full name and date of birth * **
  • Note: If applicant is under 18, a document containing parent(s) or legal guardian(s) name(s) must be presented (such as a birth certificate or court document).
* Must be accompanied by a U.S. citizenship document or valid proof of legal presence in the United States.
** Not acceptable documentation to be eligible for a federally compliant identification document; however, applicants may be eligible for a non-compliant identification document.

Find out how to contact Vital Statistics for all U.S. States and Territories


Please provide ONE of the following for proof of a Social Security Number:
  • Social Security Card
  • W-2 tax form
  • SSA 1099 form
  • SSA Non-1099 form
  • Pay stub containing full SSN
  • Any valid document from Social Security Administration (SSA) containing full SSN
  • Ineligibility letter from SSA (only issued if not eligible based on legal presence status) **
** Not acceptable documentation to be eligible for a federally compliant identification document; however, applicants may be eligible for a non-compliant identification document.

Please provide TWO of the following for proof of Delaware residency:
  • Utility Bills
  • Credit Card Statement
  • Auto or Life Insurance policies
  • Voter Registration Cards
  • Bank Account Records
  • Employment Records
  • Rental Agreements
  • U.S. Postal Service change of address confirmation form/postmarked mail with forwarding address label
  • Other non-personal mail postmarked within the last 60 days
Note: Mail must have been delivered by the USPS and be postmarked or received within the last 60 days; photocopies or printouts of bills will not be accepted. Non-business letters/cards will not be accepted. Each of the two proofs of residency must be from separate sources and must display the person's physical address, not a P.O. box

Please provide ALL of the following for proof of legal name change:
If you have had several name changes, in the case of multiple marriages and divorces,
you will need to provide all name change documents.
  • Valid marriage license / civil union certificate - Must be issued by a government entity with a raised seal. Marriage certificates signed by clergy are not accepted.
  • Court ordered name change document
  • Finalized divorce decree stating your legal name. (A divorce decree may be used as authority to resume using a previous name only if it contains the new name and the previous name and permits a return to the previous name.)
    - Obtaining a Delaware divorce decree Opens an External WebPage
Note: You must change your name with the Social Security Administration first and wait 72 hours before appearing at the DMV.
Find out how to contact Vital Statistics for all U.S. States and Territories.

One of These Documents Must Include Your Name and Address Along with Your Signature


 

Q. How do I transfer my out-of-state license?

A: Drivers From Other States.
If you move into Delaware from another State, you must apply for a Delaware driver's license within 60 days after becoming a resident. You must turn in your previously issued out-of-state driver's license, fill out an application and pass an eye screening test. Written and road test may be given, but they are normally waived if your license is valid. Suspended and revoked licenses can not be transferred until the withdrawal action is cleared.

Drivers From Other Countries.
Nonresident drivers over the age of 16 years who have a valid driver's license issued by their home country may operate motor vehicles upon the highways of this State when their license is in their immediate possession. Sixty days after the nonresident driver becomes a Delaware resident, he/she must apply for a Delaware driver's license. Drivers from other countries may retain their foreign licenses. All drivers licensed in other countries must pass both the written and road test. Exception: Delaware has a reciprocity agreement with Germany and France thereby exempting these drivers from the written and road tests.


 

Q. How do I transfer my out-of-state license?

A: Those persons who are at least 16 years old but less than 18 years and were issued a driver's license by another state must obtain a Delaware license within 60 days after becoming a Delaware resident.

  1. The applicant must have completed an approved driver education course.
  2. The applicant must pass a written and road examination conducted by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and an eye screening.
  3. The application must be signed by an approved sponsor.
  4. If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for over 18 months, they may be eligible for a Class D operator's license.

If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for less than 12 months, they may be eligible for a Level One Learner's Permit.


 

Q. How do I get a motorcycle endorsement or permit?

A: Any person who operates a motorcycle, motorbike or other 2-wheeled, motor-driven vehicle on the highway shall have a driver's license with a motorcycle endorsement. Persons over the age of 18 must pass a written examination and road skills test to obtain a motorcycle endorsement. The written and road test examinations are waived for those who complete the approved motorcycle rider education program. The fee for motorcycle endorsements are $8.00 for a 5-year endorsement and $12.00 for an 8-year endorsement, and it is valid for the same period as the license.  Motor cycle endorsements are not available for 6-year or 7-year endorsements.

Persons under the age of 18 must have the motorcycle application signed by their parents or the duly-appointed legal guardian. They must complete the motorcycle rider education program as approved by the Division.

The Division publishes a Delaware Motorcycle Operator Manual which covers the requirements for the Motorcycle endorsement, procedures to acquire the endorsement, testing requirements, and the basic knowledge needed to obtain this endorsement.

Motorcycle Rider Classes
New Castle County - 302.326.5030
Kent County and Sussex County - 302.744.2658
Experienced Rider Program - New Castle 302.326.5030 for Kent or Sussex 302.744.2658

Call for further information or to register for classes and schedules. schedules.