Q

Do I need a new driver's license when I move in-state?

A

If you’re moving in-state, you should update your address with your state’s DMV. You may not need a brand new license, but you can request one with your updated address if you want.

Anna Swartz 1600Stephanie Nieves author photo

By

Anna Swartz

Anna Swartz

Insurance Expert

Anna Swartz is a Managing Editor at Policygenius, specializing in auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Mic, The Dodo, AOL, MSN, HuffPost, Salon and Heeb.

&

Stephanie Nieves

Stephanie Nieves

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is an insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City, specializing in home and auto insurance. Her work has appeared in Business Insider, PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

Updated July 16, 2021|5 min read

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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.

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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. 

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.

Key Takeaways

  • 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

How to update your driver’s license and registration when you move in-state

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:

  • Full name

  • Driver’s license number

  • Social Security number

  • Old address

  • New address

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.

Do I need a new driver’s license when I move to a new state?

Yes, 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

  • Valid identification

  • 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.

Do I need a new driver’s license if I go to college in a different state?

No, 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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How to change your address with your car insurance company

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 car 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 new 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. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Should I change my address before I move?

You can wait until after you move to update your address with your state’s DMV, but some states require you to update your address sooner than others. You can also wait until after you move to let your auto insurance company know about the change. At least two weeks before you move, you should notify your post office of your new address and the date of your move. You should also forward any bills and statements from your previous address to your new home, and update your bank accounts with your new address, so all your information is up-to-date.

What happens if you don't update your driving license address to your new state?

Different states have different rules about updating your address with your state’s DMV. Drivers moving to New York from another state have 30 days from the date of their move to report an address change, and in Texas, new residents have 90 days to update their address. But if you don’t update your address and you get pulled over, you could end up with a ticket or fine.

Do I need to change my drivers license when I move to California?

Yes, if you move to California from another state, you have 10 days from your move-in date to get a new license. Residents moving within the state also have 10 days to update their address at the DMV, and have the option to get a new license with this updated address. You can update your address by submitting a Change of Address (DMV14) form online or by mail.