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What Should I Do for My Driving License Renewal? 

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Is it time for your driving license renewal? Though your license card will have an expiration date printed on it, most states won’t send any notification to drivers when it is close to expiring. Once it expires, you can’t legally drive in the country and may need to pay the penalty. So, it’s always critical to memorize the license expiration date.  

Driver’s licenses are valid for 4-6 years in most states and longer in a few. In many states, you need to renew their expired licenses in person, pay the license price, and have fresh photos taken for their licenses. Some states even allow all drivers to renew their licenses by mail or online. 

Having a current copy of the license is essential if a cop pulls you over. So, how can you do a driving license renewal before it expires? Know all about it via our blog!  

Tips for driving license renewal 

It is always critical to remember the expiration date of your driving license. That will make the driving license renewal process hassle-free. You can follow these tips to renew the license without much trouble.  

driving license renewal

Renew before the expiration date 

The best way to avoid penalties or other consequences is by renewing the license before it expires. You will most likely get a temporary paper copy when you renew your license. Some organizations will not accept this printed copy as verification of your identity.   

Call local courthouse for help 

Most states instruct you to visit your local courthouse or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to renew your driver’s license. Contact your local courts for help if you’re unsure where to renew your driving license.  

Set aside plenty of time 

Visiting the DMV and courthouses can be a strenuous affair. It is because offices of the Department of Motor Vehicles and courthouses are notorious for long queues. Always be ready to set aside a lot of time to renew your license. Be mindful never of forgetting to take your expired driver’s license with you. 

Update your info if needed 

When it’s your turn, the attendant will ask if you want to update your contact information as it appears on your driver’s license. Ensure to inform the attendant if your name or residence address has changed due to marriage or divorce. It’s also crucial to keep your demographic data up-to-date, such as weight and hair color. This information gets stored on your driver’s license. It will help one identify you in the event of an accident or an emergency. 

Take a photograph for the license 

Now it’s time to smile for your driving license photograph. The photograph gets updated every time you do a driving license renewal. Ensure to keep your eyes wide open, face forward, smile, and look natural. Be aware that this photograph will be your identity until the next renewal.  

Pay the renewal fees 

Once the photo is taken, you can pay the fees for renewing your driving license. The renewal fee depends on the state where you live, and Ideally, the fees cost you between $20 and $50.    

Issuance of a temporary license 

You’ll get a temporary license immediately or by mail within a few days of paying the renewal fee. Usually, you can use this temporary license for a limited period, like 30 days. The temporary copy will be your driving license and identification until you get the renewed license. Ideally, you will get the permanent license copy in the mail within 4-6 weeks.  

How much does a driving license renewal cost?  

Renewal rates vary by state, but a regular license renewal will cost anything between $20 and $50. You should expect to spend more if you need to take additional exams, such as the knowledge test. 

What are the different driving renewal options? 

You can do in-person renewal throughout the country. Another popular option is to renew the license online, which is not available in all the states. Military personnel and citizens residing out of the state can renew by mail-in applications. The requirements vary by the option you choose. For instance, most states don’t allow two consecutive online renewals. 

Will I get a grace period for an expired license? 

Many states do not provide any grace period for on expiry of the license. If the state allows a grace period, it will be for a maximum of 60 days after the license has expired. You must do the driving license renewal on time or be ready to pay hefty penalties. If there’s a further delay, you may need to reattend all the examinations like the written, vision, and road skills tests. Also, be prepared to apply for a new license if you’re too slow.  

Have an expired license? Steps to renew it!


Your driver’s license expiration date passed you by, and you’re now stuck with an expired one. What must you do to return to the road as quickly as possible? First and foremost, don’t panic. Yes, it was your responsibility to keep track of your driver’s license expiration date and renew it before it expires. However, you may forget about the expiration date since you have to renew your license every few years. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Follow these steps to get set for the road in no time. 

Stay away from the driver’s seat 

You won’t be able to drive if your driver’s license has expired. Driving with an expired license can have significant consequences, even if it only expired yesterday. Penalties differ by state, but if you’re caught driving with an expired license, you’ll almost certainly receive a ticket and need to pay the penalty. For instance, driving with an expired license is a criminal offense in California, punishable by up to $1,000 as a fine. Also, you may end up in jail for six months. So when the license expires, use carpool, Uber, or utilize public transit until you renew it. However, the fact is that you can obtain a new driver’s license quite fast. 

Get in touch with the local DMV to renew your license 

Most states allow you to renew your expired driver’s license within a grace period. You can renew your license during this time in the same way you would if it were still active. Depending on your state, your grace period could be a few days or months. The process for driving license renewal varies by state, but it usually includes the following processes. 

  • Verifying your personal information 
  • Filling out a renewal form 
  • Paying the renewal fee 
  • Getting a new photograph for your license 

You can visit the DMV to renew your license. In some circumstances, you can renew your license online in minutes! Visit your state’s DMV website to discover if they provide online driver’s license renewals and if you qualify. Get back on the road if you successfully renew it. Or follow the next step if the grace period has expired.  

Retake driving tests/courses if needed 

You need to do this if you missed the grace period. The specific requirements, once again, differ by state. In Indiana, for example, you can renew your expired license with just a written test and a visual test after the 180-day grace period. It is valid for three years after the expiration date. You’d have to retake the driving test at that point as well. If you miss the two-year grace period in Texas, you’ll have to apply for a new license, which will require you to retake the written and behind-the-wheel driving tests. 

If you haven’t driven for long, you should consider taking a fast-traffic school course to refresh your memory, regardless of your state’s regulations. This training will turn you into a safer driver and also assist you in passing any driving exams required to renew your license.  

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