Check the Expiration Date on Your Current Driver's License

Foreign Service employees and their family members may move multiple times in a 5 to 10 year period. Those who fail to keep their U.S. driver's license current while posted overseas run into logistical challenges. Maintaining a valid U.S. driver's license, regardless of your assigned country, is necessary for a number of reasons. Here are a few:

  • Presenting a valid U.S. driver's license to the Human Resources Office at post is often a requirement for the paperwork needed to obtain a diplomatic license in your host country;
  • Some countries allow you to drive on a U.S. driver's license;
  • Renting a vehicle in the U.S. during vacation visits, emergency travel, or while on evacuation status often requires a valid U.S. driver's license;
  • Your vacation destination in the U.S. may not be the state in which you hold your driver's license so renewal while in the states might be difficult; and
  • Employees and family members who return to the U.S. for a domestic assignment might wait 4 to 6 weeks for the arrival of their vehicle from overseas. Whether you rent a vehicle in the meantime, borrow a car, or immediately purchase a car, a valid U.S. driver's license is necessary to get on the road!

Check the expiration date on your current license and take active measures to renew before the expiration date! Once the license expires, it is more difficult to obtain a new license. Resources that can assist you follow:

USA Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) Offices by State

District of Columbia | License Renewals
Driver licenses, IDs and vehicle registrations can be renewed online. Your driver license and ID can be renewed online for every other renewal period. Renewal is valid for eight years. If you are renewing a driver license by mail, check to make sure you have included the proper documents in your request and the . The license will be mailed to the address of record. Note: If your DC driver's license has been expired for more than 365 days you'll need to visit a DMV service location and pass a knowledge test.

Maryland | License Renewals
Maryland drivers licenses expire 5-8 years from the date of issue. You can renew your license by mail, online, at an MVA kiosk, and in person. Note: If your license has expired for more than one year, you will need to have your vision screened and pass the applicable knowledge and skills tests.

Virginia | License Renewals | License Renewals for Diplomats Outside of VA
You may renew your driver's license as early as one year prior to the expiration date on your license in Virginia. Licenses are generally valid for eight years. You may renew in person, and every other year by mail  or onlineNote: If your license has expired for more than one year, you will need to have your vision screened/pass the applicable knowledge and skills tests.

If you are on active duty in the military stationed outside of Virginia or in the U. S. Diplomatic Service stationed outside of the U.S., or a civilian employee or contractor of the United States government or an agency acting on behalf of the U. S. government serving outside of the U. S. you may be granted a license extension for up to three years in lieu of license renewal. See the following for more details:

National Driver Registry (NDR)- The NDR is a division of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that tracks transgressions (e.g. suspensions, cancellations) and reports them to the State of Inquiry and State of Record. According to the NDR, "When a person applies for a driver's license, the State DMV checks to see if the name is on our NDR database. If a person has been reported to the NDR as a problem driver, the license may be denied."  

Disclaimer: This information is as of  February 2018. Please check the official DMV site for updates. Every effort has been made to provide accurate and complete information. However, we cannot guarantee that there will be no errors. Neither the U.S. Government nor the State Department assumes any legal liability for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, product, or process disclosed herein, or represents that use of such information, product, or process would not infringe on privately owned rights.