When you move within the same state, you usually don’t need a new physical license
Updating your address with your state’s DMV typically means they update you in their system, not that you receive an updated license
If you want a license with your new address on it, you can apply for what’s called a duplicate license
When you move out-of-state, however, you should exchange your old license for a driver’s license in your new state as soon as you can
If you’ve just moved to a new house or apartment within your state, you should notify your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles about your change of address as soon as possible.
In fact, your state’s DMV may even require that you update your address within a certain amount of time — in Connecticut, for example, state law requires residents to notify the DMV within 48 hours of a change of address. In Illinois, you must inform the Secretary of State’s office within 10 days of an address change.
But do you need a new driver’s license when you move in-state? The answer varies state to state, but generally, updating your address with the DMV doesn’t involve getting a new license. You can typically submit a change of address online, which will update your address with your state’s DMV even though your license will still have your old address listed.
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If you want a new physical license with your updated address on it, you can do that too, but you’ll usually have to go to the DMV in person and pay a small fee.
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If you’ve just moved to a new place within the same state, whether you’ve moved down the block or hours away, you should update your address with your state’s DMV. Many states require that you update your address within a certain amount of time after moving, so you should put that on your checklist if you’re moving soon.
In many states, you can change your address online through the DMV’s website, or by completing a form and mailing it in. In most states, this doesn’t mean you’ll get a new physical license, just that the DMV will have your updated address. Here’s what you’ll need on hand to update your address with your state’s DMV or RMV:
Driver’s license number
Social Security number
If you’d like to get a new driver’s license with your updated address, you can apply for what’s typically called a duplicate license. You probably won’t be able to do this online, instead you’ll have to go to your DMV or equivalent agency in person.
You should bring all the same information you need to submit a change of address online, plus some additional items, including:
Primary identification, like a birth certificate, current driver’s license, passport or certificate of naturalization
Completed change of address form, if required
Change fee (your DMV will likely accept payment in the form of cash, check, or credit/debit card)
Usually the process for getting an updated copy of your license is fairly straightforward: You submit the change of address, pay the required fee and present any required documents, and wait to receive your new duplicate license with your updated address.
Depending on the rules and processes in your state, you may be able to update your vehicle registration, voter registration and organ donor status at the same time that you update your address.
If you’ve moved across state lines, the rules are a little different, and you’ll need a whole new license. You should make an appointment with the DMV in your new home state to exchange your out-of-state driver’s license as soon as you can after moving.
Like with change of address policies, most states have a set time period by which you should exchange your old license for a new one. In New York, for example, new residents are required to exchange their out-of-state driver’s license within 30 days of becoming a New York State resident.
Exchanging an out-of-state license for a new one that reflects your new home state will likely require a visit to the DMV — unlike a change of address when you move in-state, you can’t exchange an out-of-state license online. Check with your local DMV or RMV before you go, but if you’re exchanging an out-of-state license, plan to bring the following items to your appointment:
Your valid or recently-expired out-of-state license
Proof of your Social Security number
Proof of your new state residency (A lease, mortgage bill or utility bill)
Be prepared to surrender your old, out-of-state license at your DMV appointment. You’ll likely be issued a temporary license while you wait for your new, updated license to arrive. Depending on your new state, you may also be required to pass a vision test, a written test or even a road test before you can qualify for your new license.
If you’re a resident of one state and got your license there, but you’re leaving to attend college in another state, you don’t need to exchange your license. That’s because, as a college student, you’re not necessarily a permanent resident of the state where your school is located. You can continue to drive with your out-of-state license while you’re in college.
If you’re planning on switching your voter registration to the state where your college or university is located, but you still have your old driver’s license, you should still be able to vote. But if the state where you’re voting has laws about required ID, check with the state election office to find out the exact requirements for voting in your college town.
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There’s someone else you need to notify when you move, either in-state or out-of-state: your car insurance company. You should tell your insurer, by phone or online, as soon as possible when you’re moving to a new address, but the processes will be different depending on whether you’re moving in the same state or across state lines.
If you’re moving in-state, you just need to notify your insurer that you have a new address and that your car is garaged somewhere different. But you should know that even moving a short distance from your old place could have an effect on your insurance rates.
Your premium is calculated based on a number of factors, but your address and ZIP code have a lot to do with how much you pay for car insurance. If your new address is somewhere with more traffic or higher crime rates, you may have to pay more for car insurance. It could be worth shopping around for a new policy if the rate hike is significant.
If you’re moving out-of-state, notifying your car insurance company can be a little more complicated. Before you move, you should talk to your insurer and find out if they operate in your state to begin with. If they don’t, you should shop around for a new policy that starts as soon as you move.
If they do operate in your new state, make sure that your current policy meets your new state’s minimum requirements for car insurance. You can change your address with your current insurer as long as they still provide coverage in your new state, but that will likely affect your premiums. You may still want to shop around for new coverage just to see if you can get a better deal on car insurance at your new address.
Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, where she has been since 2018. An expert in home, auto and renters insurance, she loves making tough concepts easy to understand and helping readers feel confident about their insurance options. Before joining Policygenius, she was a senior staff writer at Mic. Her work has appeared in The Dodo, AOL, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.
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