What is an Enhanced Drivers License?

by Joshua on April 30, 2014

Not every driver in the US will require an enhanced driver’s license ; however a select group of individuals might want to consider obtaining this special license. Who will need such a license and how can you obtain one if you need it? Continue reading to learn those answers. If you are one of the people that could benefit from this special driver’s license I is only in your best interest that you immediately learn what it is and how to get your own.

A Look at the Enhanced Driver’s License

An enhanced driver’s license is a special license that can be obtained by those who are entering the United States from Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean. It serves as a permit to operate a vehicle, an identification source and proof of citizenship in the US. It makes it far easier to gain entry into the country and is also more affordable than the cost of obtaining a permit. In addition, it is more beneficial and serves far more purposes than the passport alone. The special license is not available for residents in allstates. Currently people who wish to reside in the states of Vermont, New York, Washington, and Michigan have the option of obtaining the enhanced driver’s license. There are a number of other states that are in the planning stages of offering the enhanced license but have yet began to offer it.
People who already have a valid driver’s license in the respective state are not required to take any further testing to obtain the enhanced license. However if a current valid driver’s license is not available, all of the regular driving test must be taken before the license can be granted.

How to Obtain an Enhanced Driver’s License

Obtaining an enhanced driver’s license is easy. You must be at least 18 years of age to apply for the driver’s license, however there is a special permit offered for teens. This permit is called the Enhanced Intermediate Driver’s license. You must apply for the enhanced license in person, and must reside in one of the states that currently offer the license. You will need to visit the local DMV, or Department of Motor vehicles, to obtain the license.
As you might expect there are fees that must be paid in order to obtain an enhanced driver’s license. These fees must be paid at the time of application for the license and are renewed each time a new license is obtained. The fees vary according to your state. Currently the rates for the license are as follows:

  • Michigan: $45
  • Vermont: $25
  • New York: $30
  • Washington: $35

What you Need to Apply for an Enhanced License

In order to apply for an enhanced driver’s license you need to make sure that you take several items with you on the day of your appointment. Without these items your application will not be processed and you can greatly delay the time that it takes to get your license. There are no special circumstances allowed, so if you do not have one or more items, get them before your appointment time. The following items are required:

  • Proof of Residency: Proof of residency is needed for the state in which you are applying for a license .this can be a copy of a lease, a utility bill, etc.
  • Proof of Identity: If you have a state issued identification card, this is all that you need. If not a passport or other form of citizenship in the US is required.
  • Keep in mind that all of the documents that are provided to the local DMV must be original. No copies will be accepted.

Fast Facts: EnhancedDriver’s License

Here are a few fast facts about the enhanced license that you might be interested to know.

  • In order to apply for a driver’s license it is required that you have either a US passport, birth certificate or other official document that proves US citizenship.
  • Enhanced licenses can be granted for those who are applying for commercial and motorcycle licenses as well.
  • The enhanced license is good for travel at sea and land border crossing points. They are ineligible for use for airplane travel.
  • The enhanced driver’s license is similar to the US Passport, though it takes far less time to apply for, costs a considerable amount less and is easier to obtain.

There are a number of differences between and enhanced license and a regular license. One of those differences is the word ‘enhanced’ is written on the front of the license. The license also contains a RFID chip that makes it easier to get past border crossings and a flag image that indicates a person holds US citizenship.

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