The Vermont enhanced driver’s license (EDL) is a special type of driving credential issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that offers other benefits in addition to the standard driving privileges. If you obtain an enhanced license, you will be able to return to the U.S. from certain neighboring countries without a passport. Therefore, this DMV enhanced credential serves as a sort of drivers license passport.

By obtaining this enhanced license, you may save both time and money. For example, if you are not planning on traveling to countries other than those listed on the enhanced license, you will not have to apply for a passport. Note that the requirements for this enhanced license involves criteria that are more stringent than those for applying for a standard driver’s license.

You can also obtain a VT enhanced ID card if you are ineligible for a driving license or you choose not drive a vehicle. The department’s enhanced identification card (EID) provides the same identification and border-crossing privileges as the EDL credential. However, unlike the enhanced license to drive, the EID does not provide any driving privileges. The requirements to obtain this identification card are similar to those that apply for the EDL credential. In such cases, however, you will not have to pass any driving exams. The following sections provide information on the requirements for enhanced ID cards and driving licenses, as well as how to get them.

What is an enhanced driver’s license in Vermont?

If you are wondering, “What is an EDL in Vermont?” note that the document can be seen as a combination of a driving license and a passport card. It is only issued to U.S. citizens, who can utilize this license to travel by both land and sea. The countries and regions from which holders can return to the United States with an enhanced credential are:

  • Canada.
  • Mexico.
  • The Caribbean.
  • Bermuda.

If you plan on traveling to and from other countries or locations, in addition to the enhanced driver’s license states listed above, you will need a standard U.S. passport. Note that the enhanced identification credentials issued by the state DMV are REAL ID-compliant cards. Therefore, your DMV enhanced license will meet the standards of the federal REAL ID Act.

What is an enhanced ID in Vermont?

The state DMV also issues Vermont enhanced ID cards, in addition to its EDL document. Therefore, even if you do not drive or are unable to obtain an enhanced credential, you can still get this convenient border-crossing document in the form of a state-issued ID card. Note that this enhanced card offers the same identification and border-crossing benefits as the EDL credential, but it does so without extending any driving privileges.

Vermont Enhanced License Eligibility Requirements

When applying for the DMV driving license passport in Vermont or the enhanced ID card, you will be required to meet several additional requirements, apart from those that apply for the standard REAL ID credentials. The general enhanced license requirements are as follows:

  • You must be a state resident and a U.S. citizen.
  • You must be at least 18 years of age if applying for a license.
  • You must have passed the required licensing exams if applying for a license.
  • You must be mentally and physically fit to operate a motor vehicle, if applying for a license.
  • You must have the necessary identification proofs.
  • You must pay the applicable enhanced driver’s license cost or the ID card fee.

The above list of requirements for a VT enhanced ID document or an enhanced driver’s license will vary to a certain degree depending on factors like your age and whether you are applying for a non-driver credential or a license to drive.

Documents Needed for an Enhanced Driver’s License in Vermont

If you are wondering, “What do you need to get an enhanced driver’s license in Vermont?” note that you will be required to submit the same types of supporting paperwork as those needed for a REAL ID-compliant card. Therefore, prior to visiting a nearby DMV office to apply for your enhanced driving license or ID card, you will be required to collect the following items:

A photo ID proof of identity:

  • A state-issued driving license or identification card
  • A U.S. passport or passport card
  • A U.S. military identification card

Proof of your Social Security Number (SSN):

  • A Social Security card
  • A W2 or a 1099 form
  • Pay stubs with your SSN

Proof of U.S. citizenship:

  • A U.S. birth certificate
  • A U.S. passport document
  • A Certificate of Citizenship or a Certificate of Naturalization

Two proofs of state residency:

  • Utility bills
  • Rental agreements
  • Property tax bills

Name change documents, if you have legally changed your name:

  • A marriage certificate
  • A divorce decree
  • A court order authorizing a new name

The submitted enhanced ID paperwork must be in its original form or as certified copies, since the department does not accept faxed or photocopied documents. Also, if you are younger than 18 years of age, your parent or guardian must accompany you to the DMV office and submit evidence of parental relationship. As proof of relationship, the state DMV accepts documents such as a birth certificate bearing the parents’ names or an adoption document or court order.

How to Get an Enhanced License in Vermont

If you would like to know how to get an enhanced license in Vermont, note that you will be required to submit an in-person request through a nearby DMV site. The department does not offer other application methods for a DMV enhanced license, since your supporting paperwork must be immediately verified.

If you are applying as a minor applicant younger than 18 years of age, you will also need your parent’s or guardian’s approval. Note that only a select number of DMV offices accept requests for enhanced credentials.

To finalize the application process for a VT travel drivers license or ID card, you will be required to fill out the corresponding application form. The department offers separate forms for non-driver credentials, regular driving licenses and commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs). Then you will be required to submit the necessary documents, as outlined above, have a new photo taken and pay the applicable fee. If you are applying for an enhanced license to drive, you will also have to pass all licensing exams.

Note: You can also utilize the option to upgrade drivers license credentials when renewing or replacing a state driving license or ID card that does not comply with the federal REAL ID regulations.

How long does it take to get an enhanced license in Vermont?

After applying for a Vermont enhanced ID or driving license, the department will manufacture the credential and mail it to your address on file. Due to the longer processing and manufacturing times for this special document, you must allow at least two weeks for the delivery.

Note that you cannot currently expedite the processing time for your drivers license passport or state-issued ID. If you do not receive your card within three weeks of submitting your request, contact the department.

Enhanced Driver License Cost in Vermont

Paying the Vermont enhanced driver’s license cost is one of the last steps when applying for an enhanced credential. Note that the costs for the DMV enhanced driving license and identification card are an addition to the basic licensing fees.

If you are purchasing an EDL credential, for instance, you will be required to pay a $30 enhanced credential fee in addition to the base $51 fee for a four-year license or a $32 fee for a two-year license. Depending on your circumstances, however, the total costs may vary. For instance, if you are upgrading a standard driver’s license, you will not be required to pay the total fee amount.

Enhanced Licenses vs. Passports in Vermont

Drivers purchasing a DMV enhanced license in Vermont often wonder about the differences between these enhanced credentials and a regular U.S. passport or passport card. Note that while both enhanced driver’s licenses, enhanced ID cards and U.S. passports serve as proofs of identity, U.S. citizenship and border crossing documents, the enhanced DMV credentials can only be used to return from a select number of neighboring countries.

The VT EDL and EID credentials are also available at a lower cost than official U.S. passports. Therefore, if you are planning on traveling by land or sea to Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean, you can obtain an enhanced credential. By doing so, you will ultimately save time and money, since you will not be required to apply for more than one identification form. If you obtain an enhanced driving license, you will also have the added benefit of having driving privileges within Vermont.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.