Getting a Delaware drivers license for the very first time as either a teenager or an adult can be an exciting process. In the state of Delaware, you must hold a DMV license in order to operate a motor vehicle because driving a car without a license can lead to serious consequences. If you meet the eligibility requirements for getting a DE license, you can apply to get the license by following certain steps and providing certain documentation. Understanding what you need to get your license is an important part of being prepared, and it can help you to have a better overall experience.

When learning how to get a drivers license, it is also necessary to understand that the process for getting a license in Delaware is slightly different for teenagers and adults. If you are 18 years of age or younger, you must follow the graduated licensing requirements. To learn more about how to apply for a drivers license as an adult and as someone who is younger than the age of 18, continue reading the sections below.

How to Apply for a Drivers License in Delaware as an Adult (18 or Older)

If you are getting a DE DMV drivers license for the first time and you are 18 years of age or older, you can apply directly for a class D drivers license as long as you have held a valid learners permit for the appropriate amount of time. As long as you meet the drivers license requirements set in place, you can apply for and receive a valid Delaware license in very little time.

When you apply for a drivers license as an adult, you must meet the eligibility requirements to actually obtain a new license. These eligibility requirements include that you must:

  • Hold a valid learners permit for at least 10 days before applying.
  • Be 18 years of age or older.
  • Pass the required vision, written and road tests.
  • Provide proof of Delaware residency, full name, date of birth and legal presence in the United States.
  • Disclose your Social Security number, if you have one.

If you find that you meet the criteria listed above, you may begin your driving license application through your local DMV office location.

Steps for Getting a Drivers License in Delaware as an Adult (18 or Older)

The drivers license process must happen in-person at a Delaware DMV office in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover or Georgetown. Getting a new drivers license online is not an option. An important piece of Delaware drivers license information is that, regardless of your age, before you can get a license you must first obtain a temporary instruction permit or learners permit. However, if you are an adult aged 18 or older, you only need to hold a valid learners permit for a total of 10 days before you are eligible to apply for a license. To get a learners permit, you must pass both a vision test and a written knowledge test. The permit is then valid for six months.

You can visit drivers license services at a local DMV office to take your road test after you have held the permit for a total of 10 days. To complete your road test, you must schedule the test at the DMV location where your permit was issued during their testing hours, then visit the DMV and bring the following:

  1. Valid vehicle registration card and insurance card for vehicle that you will use during the test.
  2. Driver’s license of the driver who came with you.
  3. Your learners permit.

After you successfully pass the on-the-road skills test, you can officially apply for your license. To do so, you must:

  1. Complete and sign a driver license application form.
  1. Provide valid documentation:
  2. One identity/legal presence document:
    1. S. Birth Certificate
    2. S. Passport
    3. Foreign Passport
    4. Appropriate INS document or Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit.
  3. Proof of Social Security number:
    1. Social Security card
    2. W-2 form
    3. Paystub with full SSN
    4. 1099 form
  4. Two forms proving Delaware residency:
    1. mortgage or rent statement
    2. Credit card bill
    3. Utility bills
  5. Name change documents, if applicable:
    1. marriage certificate
    2. court ordered name change document
    3. divorce decree
  6. Pay the $40 license fee.

Once you complete the steps listed above, you will be issued your new license. Your DMV license is valid for a period of eight years from the date of your last birthday.

Getting a Delaware Drivers License as a New Resident

If you move to Delaware from another state, you must apply for a DE DMV drivers license within 60 days of becoming a resident. You must surrender your out-of-state license, provide proof of legal presence, provide proof of Social Security number, two proofs of Delaware residency and proof of legal name change, if applicable.

You will then need to fill out an application form, pass a vision screening test and pay the license fee of $40. Typically, the written and road tests are waived as long as your out-of-state license is still valid.

How to Apply for a Drivers License in Delaware as a Teen (Younger Than 18)

Knowing where to get a drivers license as a teenager is as important as understanding what the required steps are when obtaining a license. Getting a Delaware drivers license online is not an option, so you must visit a DMV location office in Wilmington, New Castle, Dover or Georgetown to apply.

To get a graduated driving license, you will be required to hold a learners permit for a certain period of time, present identity/legal presence documentation, take the required tests and pay a fee. The graduated new drivers license program in Delaware requires that you must hold a learners permit for at least 12 months before you can qualify for a license. Also, you must be at least 16 years of age but younger than 18 years of age, and you must have passed a certified Delaware Driver Education course to be eligible. Plus, you must also be prepared to show documentation to prove your Social Security number, identity and Delaware physical address.

Participating in a Delaware drivers education course is a requirement if you are interested in getting a level one learners permit and eventually a class D Delaware driving license if you are younger than 18 years of age. You must present a Delaware Driver Education Certificate as proof that you successfully passed a certified Delaware Driver Education Course. If you completed a course in another state, your out-of-state certificate must be approved by the Department of Education.

Steps for Getting a Drivers License in Delaware as a Teen (Younger Than 18)

In order to complete a successful driver license application, you must first obtain a learners permit. To get this permit, you must:

  1. Present a blue Delaware Driver Education Certificate.
  2. Complete a drivers license application and have it signed by a sponsor, such as a parent or legal guardian.
  3. Present valid documentation:
  4. One identity/legal presence document that includes parent(s) or legal guardian(s) name(s), such as a birth certificate or court document.
  5. Proof of Social Security number, if applicable.
  6. Two forms proving Delaware residency, unless the sponsor is a licensed DE driver and lives at the same address as the applicant.
  7. Pass a vision test.
  8. Pay the $40 license fee.

After you hold the learners permit for 12 months, your learners permit will automatically convert into an unrestricted class D DMV drivers license as long as you are at least 17 years of age, have had no suspensions for a full year and have completed at least 50 hours of driving practice with at least 10 hours at night.

Delaware Drivers License Costs

There are drivers license costs that you should understand before you apply for a license. These fees include:

  • Learners permit renewal: $5
  • License fee: $40

Payments can be made to the DMV through Cash, Checks and Money Orders, as well as with a VISA, MasterCard, American Express and Discover card.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.