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Important Message from Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles

Appointment Numbers (Or Schedule an Appt. Online)

Delaware City Driver Services: 302-365-8771, Delaware City Vehicle Services: 302-365-8770,Dover Driver Services: 302-744-2703, Dover Vehicle Services: 302-744-2568, Georgetown Driver Services: 302-853-1044, Georgetown Vehicle Services: 302-853-1034, Wilmington Driver Services: 302-434-3209, Wilmington Vehicle Services: 302-434-3208

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Division of Motor Vehicles

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


Driver's License Under 18 FAQ's

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

A: The Graduated Driver License (GDL) program is available for any person seeking a driver license who is at least age 16 or under age 18 or who is under age 22 and is receiving special education services under an active Individualized Education Program (IEP).

The GDL program was designed to reduce the high accident and fatality rate among young drivers. Eligible GDL participants will receive additional supervised driving experience and reduced exposure to high-risk driving situations. The required signatory parent or sponsor will actively participant is capable of increased driving authority.

NOTE: Participation in the GDL program is optional for any person who is 18 years of age or older. If opting out of the GDL program requirements, no sponsor is needed and an eye, knowledge, and road skills exam will be required at DMV.

GDL: Level One Learner's Permit
Applicant's eligibility requirements:

  1. Must be at least 16 years old, and less than 18 years old - OR – on an active IEP who is at least 16 years old and less than 22 years old.
  2. Must present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate (Blue/White Certificate) as proof that you passed a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. If you passed a course in another state, your out-of-state course and/or driver license must be approved by the Department of Education; this approval must be presented to the Division of Motor Vehicles.
    • For approval send the necessary documentation to Department of Education, Attn: Mr. Michael Wagner, Education Associate Driver Education, Collette Education Resource Center, 35 Commerce Way, Suite 1, Dover, Delaware 19904, or fax to 302.739.1770 (Telephone 302.857.3320). For more information visit their website at www.doe.k12.de.us
  3. 3. Must provide documentation proving the applicant's identity, legal presence, social security number, if eligible and two proofs of Delaware residency (the two proofs of Delaware residency requirement will be waived if 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.
  4. All GDL program applications must be signed by a sponsor. The sponsor is held jointly liable with the GDL applicant for any damages resulting from the GDL applicant's negligence. The sponsor has the final authority to determine if the GDL applicant is capable of handling the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle and the authority to designate who may supervise the GDL driver. The sponsor may withdraw his/her endorsement at any time until the minor reaches the age 18 or the IEP GDL applicant has completed 12 months of the GDL program, thereby canceling any valid driving privileges. The following sponsors are listed in order of preference:
    1. Either father or mother of the GDL applicant if both parents are living together within this State and the minor resides with both parents. (Note: Parents are verified by using the GDL applicant's original or certified copy of their birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name. Step-parent cannot act as a sponsor unless the GDL applicant is adopted or appointed his/her guardian.)
      - OR -
    2. Father of the GDL applicant, if the father is living within this State, and the GDL applicant resides with the father only. Mother of the GDL applicant, if the mother is living within this State and the GDL applicant resides with the mother only. Father or mother, if the father or mother lives within this State, and the GDL applicant resides with neither parent, and the GDL applicant has no legal guardian within this State. (Note: Parents are verified by using the GDL applicant's original or certified copy of their birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name. Step-parents cannot act as a sponsor unless the GDL applicant is adopted or appointed his/her guardian.)
      - OR -
    3. Legal guardian or court-appointed custodian of the GDL applicant, duly appointed as such under the laws of this State.
      - OR -
    4. By any suitable person acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation or the Chief of Driver Services, amy.anthony@delaware.gov Click here for requirements
    5. The sponsor must sign the GDL applicant's driver license application in the presence of a Division licensing employee.
    6. The sponsor who signs the GDL program application has final authority over the GDL applicant's driving privileges and may withdraw their endorsement at any time during the 12 month GDL program. In the case of minors, after program completion, the sponsor may withdraw their endorsement until the minor reaches age 18.
  5. The applicant must pay a $40.00 class D license fee and pass an eye screen at the time of application. All new licenses will be 8 year licenses.
  6. GDL applicants 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:

  1. Permit must be in the possession of the permit holder when driving a motor vehicle
  2. The permit holder and all passengers, must wear a safety belt or be secured in a child safety seat or booster seat while the vehicle is in motion.
  3. The permit holder shall not operate a motor vehicle while using a cellular telephone, text messaging device, or similar electronic device.
  4. No passengers other than an adult supervisor and one other passenger can be in the vehicle during the entire first 12 months of valid driving authority. However, the passenger restrictions of this paragraph do not apply to immediate members of the driver's family as long as the adult supervisor is in the car.
  5. 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.
  6. For the first six months after issuance of a Level One Learner's Permit:
    1. The permit holder must be supervised at all times.
    2. The sponsor shall certify that the permit holder has driven for 50 hours; 10 of which includes night-time driving. The certification is to be turned into the Department of Education after the first six months of valid driving authority.
  7. 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
  8. After the first six months of valid Level One Learner's Permit driving authority,:
    1. The permit holder may drive unsupervised between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.
    2. 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.
    3. No passengers other than the adult supervisor and one other passenger can be in the vehicle with the exception of immediate members of the driver's family provided the adult supervisor is in the car. During the second six month period of unsupervised driving, when a supervisor is not present, only one other passenger in addition to the driver can be in the vehicle.

Persons who violate the Level One Learner's Permit restrictions are considered as driving without a license which will result in a two-month suspension for the first offense and a four-month suspension for subsequent offenses

Eligibility for a Class D Operator's License

A GDL Level One Learner's permit holder who is under age 18 may obtain a Class D operator's license when he/she successfully completes the 12 month GDL program, provided the sponsor has not withdrawn his/her endorsement and the applicant's driving privileges are not currently suspended, revoked, canceled, denied or surrendered. If a GDL Level One Learner's permit holder is age 18 or older, they may also obtain a Class D operator's license by completing the 12 month GDL program as stated above - or – may choose to take the eye, written and road skills exam a the DMV.

NOTE: The GDL 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 and the permit holder must undergo complete testing. 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?

  1. All GDL program applications must be signed by a sponsor. The sponsor is held jointly liable with the GDL applicant for any damages resulting from the GDL applicant's negligence. The sponsor has the final authority to determine if the GDL applicant is capable of handling the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle and the authority to designate who may supervise the GDL driver. The sponsor may withdraw his/her endorsement at any time until the minor reaches the age 18 or the IEP GDL applicant has completed 12 months of the GDL program, thereby canceling any valid driving privileges. The following sponsors are listed in order of preference:
    1. Either father or mother of the GDL applicant if both parents are living together within this State and the minor resides with both parents. (Note: Parents are verified by using the GDL applicant's original or certified copy of their birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name. Step-parent cannot act as a sponsor unless the GDL applicant is adopted or appointed his/her guardian.)
      - OR -
    2. Father of the GDL applicant, if the father is living within this State, and the GDL applicant resides with the father only. Mother of the GDL applicant, if the mother is living within this State and the GDL applicant resides with the mother only. Father or mother, if the father or mother lives within this State, and the GDL applicant resides with neither parent, and the GDL applicant has no legal guardian within this State. (Note: Parents are verified by using the GDL applicant's original or certified copy of their birth certificate which must include mother and/or father's name. Step-parents cannot act as a sponsor unless the GDL applicant is adopted or appointed his/her guardian.)
      - OR -
    3. Legal guardian or court-appointed custodian of the GDL applicant, duly appointed as such under the laws of this State.
      - OR -
    4. By any suitable person acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation or the Chief of Driver Services, amy.anthony@delaware.gov Click here for requirements
    5. The sponsor must sign the GDL applicant's driver license application in the presence of a Division licensing employee.
    6. The sponsor who signs the GDL program application has final authority over the GDL applicant's driving privileges and may withdraw their endorsement at any time during the 12 month GDL program. In the case of minors, after program completion, the sponsor may withdraw their endorsement until the minor reaches age 18.
  2. The applicant must pay a $40.00 class D license fee and pass an eye screen at the time of application. All new licenses will be 8 year licenses.
  3. GDL applicants 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

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.
*** Foreign Born adoptees must have accompanying citizenship documents issued by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Please visit US Citizenship for an Adopted Child for more information .

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 (Medicare/Medicaid cards not acceptable)
  • 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 48 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?

Those persons who are at least 16 years old but less than 18 years and were issued a driver 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. The Department of Education will ensure out-of-state courses are equivalent to Delaware driver education requirements. (See Level One Learner's Permit).
  2. If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for less than 12 months, he/she may be eligible for a Level One Learner's Permit.
  3. If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for over 12 months, he/she may be eligible for a Class D operator's license after meeting all testing requirements.
  4. The applicant must pass a written and road examination conducted by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and an eye screening.

The application must be signed by an approved sponsor.

Drivers from Other Countries and U.S. territories

Non-resident drivers over the age of 16 years who have a valid driver license issued by their home country or U.S. Territory may operate motor vehicles upon the highways of this State when their license is in their immediate possession.
Sixty days after the non-resident driver becomes a Delaware resident, he/she must apply for a Delaware driver license. Drivers from other countries may retain their foreign licenses. All drivers licensed in other countries and U.S. Territories must pass both the knowledge and road exams.
Exception: Delaware has a reciprocity agreement with Germany, Taiwan (Republic of China) and France thereby exempting these drivers from the knowledge and road exams for a Class D license only. Endorsements are not included in reciprocity agreements.

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

Transfer of Licenses from Other Jurisdictions into Delaware (Under 18 Years of Age)

Those persons who are at least 16 years old but less than 18 years and were issued a driver 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. The Department of Education will ensure out-of-state courses are equivalent to Delaware driver education requirements. (See Level One Learner's Permit).
  2. If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for less than 12 months, he/she may be eligible for a Level One Learner's Permit.
  3. If the minor applicant was issued an out-of-state license for over 12 months, he/she may be eligible for a Class D operator's license after meeting all testing requirements.
  4. The applicant must pass a written and road examination conducted by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles and an eye screening.
  5. The application must be signed by an approved sponsor.

Sample of Forms:

Graduated Driver License Instruction Graduated Hand Out

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

Motorcycle Endorsement

Any person who operates a motorcycle, motorbike or other two or three-wheeled motor-driven vehicle on the highways shall have a driver license with a motorcycle endorsement. Persons over the age of 18 must pass a written examination and road skills test exam 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 the motorcycle endorsements is $12.00.

A person who passes a knowledge and skills examination administered by the Division on a three-wheeled motor vehicle shall have a restriction placed on his or her driver license, in addition to the motorcycle endorsement, limiting him or her the operation of three-wheeled motor vehicles.

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 - 302.832.5163
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.