Military families move around a lot, and that can make many things complicated. Thankfully, most states let you retain your out-of-state driver’s license if you are living elsewhere only because of Permanent Change of Station (PCS) orders. But what happens when your driver’s license is expiring? How can you renew it without traveling to that state? Every state has it’s own rules and procedures. Use the list to find out what to do for your state.
Alabama: Alabama will let military service members and their dependents renew their driver’s license by mail, as long as they have obtained a driver’s license in person within the last four years.
“Military personnel and their dependents residing out of state, college students enrolled full-time out of state, employees temporarily placed on assignment out of state, missionaries serving out of state, and individuals under a doctor’s care out of state may complete the following information to request a renewal or duplicate Driver License, if they have obtained an Alabama Driver License with their picture and signature in the last four years. A Renewal License may be applied for 180 days prior to current expiration date.”
The form is available online: https://www.alabamainteractive.org/dl_renewal/welcome.action
Just select which action you want: renew, duplicate, reprint, or change emrgency contact info.
Alaska: If you are a military service member or a spouse who is living outside Alaska due to military orders, your driver’s license does not expire until 90 days after your return to Alaska or discharge from the military. You do not have to do anything, but you may choose to print out the Military Expiration Endorsement to prevent any confusion with officials who do not know Alaska law.
Arizona: If stationed outside of Arizona, you may renew your driver’s license by mail. Submit a notarized driver license application, a photocopy of the front and back of your current driver license and military ID card, and a check or money order for $10.00. The form has a box to check to indicate that you are a military member or military family member.
Send the materials to the address below.
Motor Vehicle Division
P.O. Box 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85001
However, if you are a CDL holder on active duty serving in the United States Armed Forces you may be granted an exemption from the five-year license renewal requirement. Mail, fax, or email the exemption information to one of the following addresses a legible copy of the military orders.
CDL Military Exemption
Motor Vehicle Division
P.O. Box 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85001
Arkansas: Although not from the DOT or DOF website, since that information wasn’t available, “Unless the driver’s license is suspended, canceled, or revoked, a driver’s license issued by this state to a military member shall not expire while the military member is not residing in this state if the military member applies for an official extension of the expiration date as required by the Office of Driver Services.”
However, you are not required to renew your license. “If you are out of state on active military service in the United States Armed Forces, your and your spouse’s California driver licenses will continue to be valid beyond the normal expiration date. If your driver license has expired and you are out of state, call (916) 657-7790 to update your driving record. DMV will send you an Extension of License for Person in Armed Forces (DL 236) card to carry with your driver license. The DL 236 card shows California Vehicle Code (CVC) §12817 which authorizes the extension of your and your spouse’s driver licenses. It is important to update your driving record to prevent it from being purged.
Ask the authorities in the state or country where you are on duty if they will honor your extended license. Your driver license is not valid if it has been suspended, canceled, or revoked.
Your and your spouse’s extended licenses are good for 30 days after you or your spouse return to California. If honorably discharged, carry both your driver license and discharge papers during those 30 days.”
However, if you would like to renew your license, you can probably do so by mail. California allows most people to renew their driver’s license by mail. The application form has the questions to see if you qualify to renew by mail.
Colorado: Most people in Colorado can renew their drivers license online or via mail. Internet license renewals must be mailed to a Colorado address. If you need to have your license sent to a location outside of Colorado, you must apply by mail. You can start the process at this website: https://mydmv.colorado.gov/_/
Colorado allows all eligible drivers to extend their driver’s license expiration if they are not physically located in the state. Military folks may extend up to three years. This can be done online here, or completed on paper using this form and mailed to the following address:
Connecticut: So, Connecticut is very unclear. Their online renewal form has a whole section for active duty military folks renewing their license, but it makes no mention of spouses. It also asks for information about license holder’s address at the time of their induction into the military. If they are using the right language, this implies that folks who obtain legal residency in Connecticut at some time after induction would not be eligible to maintain their driver’s license there. However, we all know that sometimes people use military terms incorrectly.
I had a nice chat with a customer service representative at the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. She stated that a spouse could renew a driver’s license using this form, using the active duty member’s military details. You certainly could try that.
Delaware: “…the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles permits active duty military personnel, Department of Defense contractors and civilian employees of the military, and their dependents that are stationed or have been deployed outside of the State of Delaware to renew their driver licenses through the mail.
While we can accommodate remote military renewals, many times circumstances prevent soldiers and support staff from being able to conduct business with the DMV during their deployment. Therefore, the DMV will not charge late renewal fees for active duty military personnel, Dept of Defense employees, or their dependents when renewing their driver licenses beyond the expiration date if it is proven that they were deployed or stationed outside of the State of Delaware at the time of expiration. Military identification along with military assignment orders will provide this proof. If the orders are expired, please submit a statement on Armed Forces letterhead, signed by a commissioned officer as to your current status.
Delaware driver license renewals are valid for eight years. Duplicate licenses will have the same expiration date as the one that was lost or stolen.”
Full instructions for renewal can be found here, but you must be logged in to see information and continue.
Florida: “If your license is scheduled to expire when you are deployed or stationed outside Florida, the Department encourages you to renew before you deploy or move. Florida drivers may renew a license up to 18 months prior to the expiration date printed on the license.
If you are out-of-state or country with a digital image license (does not have a blue sticker or no-photo), and interested in renewing your license by mail, click here where you can enter your Florida driver license number, check the status of your driver license and if eligible download a renewal application.”
“If you are not eligible to renew online and hold a Class E (Operator) driver license, the Department can issue a military extension card that extends the expiration date of the license you currently hold until 90 days after you permanently return to Florida or are discharged from the military. You may delay the purchase of a driver license renewal by requesting this free extension card. Click here to download an application. If you have a Commercial Driver License, (Class A,B, or C) your license must be renewed, because we cannot extend commercial licenses.
If you are interested in renewing your license by mail, click here where you can enter your Florida driver license number, check the status of your driver license and if eligible download a renewal application.
Military extension cards may not be accepted in some countries when serving overseas.”
Georgia: “Military personnel on active duty can request a Georgia driver’s license/ID card renewal through the mail.
The same privilege is also extended to a military person’s spouse and any licensed dependents or ID card holders living with the person who is on duty in a foreign domain or in a state other than Georgia.”
The Mail-In Renewal information can be found here, complete with the pdf packet of forms to be completed.
Hawaii: To renew a Hawaii driver’s license by mail, “Please send us a letter requesting to renew your Hawaii Driver’s License. Your letter should include:
- Name (as it appears on the license)
- Mailing address
- Social Security Number or Hawaii Driver’s License number
- Date of birth
- Email address (to notify you of any discrepancy or incomplete paperwork)
You will be eligible for a renewal by mail provided you are not temporarily authorized to be in the U.S. You must provide original documents for proof of identity, legal presence and social security number when returning your completed renewal packet. Notarized copies are not acceptable. The following link provides information regarding Hawaii’s Legal Presence Law and a listing of acceptable documents: http://HIDLDocs.com
You may mail your letter to Driver’s License Section, P.O. Box 30340, Honolulu, HI 96820-0340 or you can fax it to (808) 832-2904. When we receive your letter, we will mail a renewal packet to you. Appropriate instructions will be included in the packet. You must complete and return all the forms. Upon successfully completing the requirements, we will mail your license which may be valid-without-photo license. If your image is found in our driver license database, both the file photo and the signature will be utilized.”
Idaho: “Active duty U.S. military personnel, or members of their immediate family, upon providing active duty orders,may be granted extensions valid up to four years. They may be issued multiple extensions not to exceed their active duty status period. Military extensions expire 60 days from date of discharge/separation/retirement from active duty or the expiration date on the extension card, which ever occurs first.”
Request an extension using this form: http://itd.idaho.gov/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/3153.pdf
Illinois: “Members of the U.S. Armed Forces on active duty outside of Illinois, along with their spouses and children, may drive with an expired Illinois drivers license for up to 120 days upon their return to the state. To have this extension, a Military Deferral Certificate must be carried with your expired license.”
“To request this certificate, mail a copy of your current Illinois driver license, a copy of the front and back of your Military ID Card and your out-of-state address to the following address:”
Secretary of State
License and Medical Review Unit
2701 S. Dirksen Parkway
Springfield, IL 62723
Currently, no option to apply for a renewal online is available, but information is also provided on the page for renewing by mail or phone if eligible.
Indiana: The Indiana driver’s licenses of military members and their dependents remain valid regardless of the expiration date of the license.
“Indiana Code 9-24-12-6 provides that the driver’s license of any Indiana resident, serving in the United
States Armed Forces and residing outside Indiana, or the spouse or dependent of the service member,
remains valid for ninety (90) days after discharge or post-deployment regardless of the expiration date of
While operating a motor vehicle, you should hold in your possession your most current license along with
this letter and proof of service in the armed forces.
To renew your license within the ninety (90) day period following discharge or post-deployment, you
will be required to show proof of discharge or post-deployment from the armed forces and pass a vision
To renew your license beyond the ninety (90) day period following discharge or post-deployment, you
will be required to show proof of discharge or post-deployment from the armed forces. You may also be
required to take a vision screening, knowledge exam or skills exam depending on your current driver
status or license type.
If you require further information or assistance, please contact the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles at 1-888-692-6841. ”
Iowa: Some people are eligible to renew their Iowa driver’s licenses online. https://iowadot.gov/mvd/driverslicense/driverslicense/renewalrequirements . For military service members and their dependents who are ineligible to renew online, Iowa allows for an extension of the expiration date on the driver’s license. You must apply for this extension:
“An extension of operating privileges may be given to military personnel who cannot return to Iowa to renew their driver’s license in person and do not meet eligibility requirements to renew online. The extension is valid until six months following separation from active duty.
Iowa law also provides for an extension to dependents of active military personnel. This extension is valid for five years from the expiration date of the license. A copy of the dependent’s military identification must accompany the written request.
A request for an Extension for Military Service, along with the active duty assignment orders, may be emailed, faxed, or mailed to:
Office of Driver Services
Iowa Department of Transportation
P.O. Box 9204
Des Moines, Iowa 50306-9204
Kansas: Active duty military and their dependents stationed outside of Kansas are eligible to renew their driver’s licenses by mail. You must submit photocopies of your Kansas driver’s license, current orders or a Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), and proof of relationship such as marriage license or birth certificate.
The form to use can be found here: Kansas Department of Revenue Form DEMI-1.
This form can be emailed or mailed to
Mail: Driver Services PO BOX 2188 Topeka, KS 66601
Kentucky: Kentucky permits military service members to renew their driver’s licenses by mail. I have been told that spouses are also permitted to do so, but it isn’t clearly stated on the website. I suggest you contact a Circuit Court Clerk’s office for instructions.
- Kentucky residents currently serving in the United States military who are stationed or assigned to a base or other location outside the boundaries of the Commonwealth may renew a Class D operator’s license by mail. Contact the Circuit Court Clerk’s office in the Kentucky county of residence for an application and instructions.
- If a Kentucky resident has been serving in the United States military and has allowed their operator’s license to expire, they shall, within 90 days of returning to the Commonwealth, be permitted to renew their license without having to take a written test or road test.
- A Kentucky resident serving in the United States military who does not renew their expired license within 90 days of returning to the Commonwealth shall be required to comply with all procedures of renewing a license that has expired.
Louisiana: “All renewal applications requesting driver licenses for Military/Peace Corps personnel and their dependents who are stationed out-of-state or overseas must be sent to the OMV Headquarters for processing. The address is OMV Headquarters, Attn: CDL Help Desk, P.O. Box 64886, Baton Rouge, LA 70806-4886. ”
However, “The Louisiana driver’s license of members of the Armed Forces/Peace Corps and their dependents who serve outside of Louisiana shall remain valid for sixty days after discharge, provided the license was valid upon entrance to service and not expired, suspended, or revoked. The driver’s license will be expired/delinquent on the 61st day after discharge. ” Louisiana does not offer any sort of form or letter to explain this expiration extension, so you probably want to renew to avoid any sort of problems.
Maine: You may be able to renew your driver’s license online at this webpage: https://www5.informe.org/cgi-bin/online/bmv/dlr/dlr?. If you are unable to process your renewal online, contact contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, License Services, at 29 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333-0029 or telephone 207-624-9000 Extension 52114 for instructions.
Maryland: If you are living away from Maryland, military members and their dependents may renew their licenses by mail. The webpage is messy and confusing, but if you read just this part, it makes sense.
“Active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their dependents (who temporarily reside with the active duty member outside of Maryland) may apply for a renewal, duplicate or corrected license. To apply for an absentee driver’s license, the licensee must request an application by mail by calling 1-410-768-7000 or e-mail us. Proof of active duty status may be required. In addition, if the licensee will be absent from Maryland for less than 90 day, a 45 or 90 day temporary license may be requested. The licensee must fax a written request with full name, date of birth, out-of-state or out-of-country address, and telephone number along with a written signature. Please fax the request to 410-787-2988.”
For purposes of clarification, I wrote to Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration. Here’s what they said:
“A Maryland license held by a resident who is a member of the United States Armed Forces and who is absent from this state on active service, shall remain in full force and effect during such absence. The license shall also remain valid for a period of 30 days following the licensee’s return to Maryland, or their discharge or separation from active service. This also applies to military dependents residing with the member outside the state.
These provisions apply only if the licensee is not otherwise refused, canceled, suspended or revoked.
The driver’s licensing and identification card information for members of U.S. military is available through the link below.
Military personnel and dependents are strongly encouraged to keep their Maryland license renewed since the driver record of license holders expired more than one year are subject to automatic deletion. Also, some insurance
companies, states and other countries require U.S. military personnel and dependents to possess a valid license.
You may elect to renew your license by mail (by requesting an Absent from State renewal packet) by replying to this e-mail, by calling the MVA’s Customer Service Center at 410-768-7000 or by fax to 410-787-2988.
Please provide the following information:
> full name
> date of birth
> driver’s license number
> Maryland address
> current out of state address
> daytime phone number.
MVA will accept an APO or FPO address for those who are on overseas assignment. This address will be reflected on the driver’s license during your tour outside the country.
If you are active duty military, a dependent or a government employee, please complete and return the form VR-102 (Address Certification-United States Government Employee). This form requires the signature of the employer for an out of state address to be placed on your MVA record.
Please mail it to the address printed on the form or you may fax it to 410-768-7578 (attention: Rachel or Kathy).
The form is available for printing through the link below.
If the renewal license issued to you states “Valid w/o Photo” you will need to visit MVA within 15 days of your return to Maryland for a new license.”
Massachusetts: Massachusetts permits active duty service members to retain an expired driver’s license, but dependents must renew their license. There is a form to renew your license by mail. It is unclear if Massachusetts will send a renewal license to an out-of-state address.
A request must be mailed with a completed Class C, M, or D/M license and ID card application along with a copy of military identification and applicable fee to the Driver’s Licensing Department.
Registry of Motor Vehicles
The Driver Licensing Department
P.O. Box 55889,
Boston, MA 02205-5889
Michigan: Michigan permits military members and dependents to renew their driver’s licenses online. You may also renew early if you are leaving or visiting Michigan.
“Your standard or enhanced driver’s license may be renewed up to 12 months early at a branch office if you are unable to renew it on time for any reason.
If you are stationed out of state, you may renew your license by mail as long as it has not been expired more than four years and the Department of State has an electronic photograph of you on file. Proof of your Social Security number will be required if it hasn’t been verified by the Department of State. For more information, contact the Out-of-State Resident Services Unit at:
Michigan Department of State
The Special Services Branch
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918
Spouses and dependents of active military personnel stationed out of state may also renew by mail, but they are not granted the same time extension. They should renew no later than their birthday in the year indicated on their license. Contact the Special Services Branch for more information.
Online renewal through ExpressSOS is available for standard licenses for military personnel and their families if they meet the eligibility requirements. Licenses expired more than four years cannot be renewed online.”
Minnesota: Minnesota does not require active duty members or spouses to renew their licenses, but they must notify Driver and Vehicle Services of their military status. It also appears that you can renew your license via mail.
“To ensure that your driving record will be maintained after your license expires, please notify Driver and Vehicle Services of your military status. Send a written statement to DVS indicating that you are in military service, accompanied by a copy of your military ID card and a copy of your orders or letterhead statement from your commanding officer listing the date they enrolled in active duty. Please send to DVS, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101.
To keep your license active, complete an out-of-state packet (request one via email at DVS.email@example.com or (651) 297-3298), which includes a vision screening, a license application that must be completed in print (not online) and notarized by an official notary, and appropriate fees – money orders or checks only (no starter checks will be accepted) made out to DVS, do not send cash.
Please allow six weeks for receipt of your new card; you can opt to expedite your application, which is an additional $20 fee, please enclose a separate check if you chose to expedite your application.
Expedited applications cannot be mailed to a post office box, APO military address or foreign country address. If you have one of these addresses, the regular out-of-state procedure will be used.”
Mississippi: Mississippi permits active duty military to renew their driver’s license by mail. It does not state whether this applies to spouses or other dependents, so I emailed them. Here was the reply:
“We do recognize dependents. We will need all documents for renewal of license. These are the items that are needed: a copy of the order, a letter from the commanding officer on his letterhead, stating in that letter spouse or dependent full name, license number, date of birth and the time he or she that is active has left on order. We will need a self- address stamp envelope along with a cashier check for the fee of $25.00 if the license is expired. $24.00 if not expired. Please mail to this address: DEPT OF PUBLIC SAFETY P O BOX 958 Jackson, MS 39205 attention Ms McKinnon”
From the website:
“Any person in the armed services of the United States, holding a Mississippi driver’s license and being out of state due to military service at the time said license expires may renew said license by mail with the following documents:
- A photocopy of Mississippi driver’s license or social security card.
- First page of military orders placing you at your current duty station.
- Letter from your commanding officer stating name, driver’s license number and deployment status.
- Certified check made out to the Mississippi Department of Public Safety for $24.00 for regular renewal, $25.00 if expired or $11.00 for replacement of lost license.
- Self addressed stamped envelope.
Office of Central Print
P.O. Box 958
Jackson, MS 39205
Missouri: Missouri also allows renewal by mail for members of the armed forces and their dependents. Applicants should submit renewal Form 4317 (available on-line at http://dor.mo.govforms/4317.pdf, or faxed upon request), along with required documents and fees.”
“Active duty service members may apply for a military driver license exemption. This exemption renders your license valid up to 90 days after honorable discharge, regardless of the expiration date printed on the license. Exemptions are indicated by having a 90 day exemption notice printed on the back of the license. Service members may also have “9999” printed on the front of their license in place of an expiration date.”
“To apply for a license expiration exemption, you will need to:
- Submit form 34-1303 to the address indicated on the form
- Submit a copy of your current driver license OR birth certificate OR US passport
- Submit a copy of military orders OR leave and earning statement”
“Family members who are stationed with service members are not eligible for a license expiration exemption, however, they are eligible for up to 2 consecutive mail-in renewals or license replacement by mail.” Directions for renewing by mail are available at this webpage: https://dojmt.gov/driving/driver-licensing/#DLID150.
Nebraska: If you have a Nebraska driver’s license, you may choose to renew it online or take advantage of the exemption that delays your license expiration date. These rules apply to active duty and family members.
“There are special driver’s licensing rules if you are on active duty in the military and stationed outside of Nebraska as well as renewing in person upon your return to Nebraska. These rules also apply to family members of active duty military personnel. There is a Military Exemption process or you can chose to keep your license current by renewing by mail or online if possible. If you are in the state of Nebraska, you will follow the regular In-State Renewal process listed above. If you are stationed out of the state of Nebraska and wish to keep your license current you can renew online, by mail, following the Out-Of-State Renewal process listed above, as well as including one of the following: a) copy of your current orders, b) copy of your leave papers, c) copy of your discharge papers, valid for 60 days after discharge, or d) military ID card.
You will be required to prove Nebraska residency, even if stationed outside of Nebraska. If you no longer have a physical Nebraska resident address, you will need to provide a current LES statement showing taxes paid to Nebraska and then two proofs of resident address for the state you are now residing in, or APO/FPO address.”
Nevada: “Driver licenses must be renewed prior to expiration. Nevada does not grant automatic extensions to military members, spouses or dependents. However, active duty members of the U.S. Armed Forces, federal employees and their spouses and dependents may renew by mail continually.
We suggest that, if possible, you renew your driver license in person at a DMV office while you are in Nevada. You may renew at any time. You do not have to wait for the expiration date to approach. You may renew at any DMV office regardless of your city or county of residence.
If you have received a renewal application with an access code, we encourage you to create a MyDMV account and renew by Internet. If you have not received a notice, or if you received a post card notice with no access code, you may renew by mail if you meet all of these qualifications:
- You are an active duty military member, an employee of the federal government, or their spouse or dependent.
- Your legal state of residence is Nevada.
- You have an out-of-state mailing address.
- Your license or driving privilege is not suspended, revoked, canceled or denied in any state.
- Your license is not a commercial driver license.
- Your license is current or has been expired for less than two (2) years.
To apply, please Contact Us. Mail the following documents to the address on the DMV 204 application:
- Application for Nevada Driver License by Mail (DMV 204)
You must have the eye exam completed. Applicants age 71 and older must complete the physical exam.
- Leave and Earnings Statement or federal employment record
This must indicate Nevada as your legal state of residence.
- Check, Money Order or Credit Card Authorization (VP 205)
See Driver License Fees to determine the correct fees. You are not charged late fees.
- Change of Address Notification (DMV 22) if needed
Use this to update your vehicle registration records, handicapped placards and records of other Nevada-licensed drivers in your household.
If your application is accepted, DMV will mail a new license to you if we have a valid photograph on file. We will notify you of the reason if your application is rejected.
In some cases, we may mail a “Valid Without Photo” license. You are required to surrender this for a photo license within 24 days of returning to Nevada. Please allow a minimum of 10-14 days for mail and processing.
DMV may place an “S” restriction on your license if it is expired or if you have had more than three moving violations within the past 4 years. The “S” restriction means you are required to complete a written test and possibly a skills test prior to your next renewal.”
New Hampshire: “Any person who is a member of the armed forces of the United States and who, at the time of induction, call of active duty, or enlistment into the armed forces for two (2) or more years, was a resident of this state and was a holder of a valid New Hampshire license is entitled to renewal of a driver license at no cost. Pursuant to RSA 263:5-b members of the military and their spouses who are currently stationed or deployed out-of-state are eligible to request a duplicate license or renew a driver license as many times as necessary by mail during the period of active duty, provided a photo identification is on file with the Department. If you do not have a photo on file, you may request a non-photo license. Upon returning to New Hampshire, you have thirty (30) days to visit a DMV office and have a new picture taken.
Renew a Driver License While Out-of-State
An active duty service member who is stationed out-of-state can renew his or her driver license by mail by completing and sending the following documents:
- An Armed Forces Affidavit of Residency .
- Photocopy of military identification.
- The correct application for the license type: Driver License or Commercial Driver License . You must provide a New Hampshire address in the “Address Where You Live” section of your application.
Please mail the application, residency affidavit and a photocopy of your military identification card to:
NH Dept. of Safety
DMV – Driver Licensing
23 Hazen Drive
Concord NH 03305
If for any reason the DMV does not have your image saved in our system you will receive a license without an image. Upon your return to New Hampshire you will need to visit a New Hampshire DMV office in person to have a new picture taken.
Military Spouse License Renewal
The spouse of an active duty member of the Armed Forces who is stationed out-of-state but who has already established New Hampshire residency, is eligible to renew his or her license by mail by sending the following completed documents:
- The correct application for the license type: New Hampshire Driver License or New Hampshire Commercial Driver License .
- An Armed Forces Affidavit of Residency .
- Results of a visual acuity test conducted by an eye doctor or State licensing examiner.
Mail the documents, along with a check made out to “State of NH-DMV” for your renewal fee to:
NH Dept. of Safety
DMV – Driver Licensing
23 Hazen Drive
Concord NH 03305″
New Jersey: New Jersey does make considerations for active duty: “If you are on active military duty and have been deployed, including New Jersey National Guard and Reserve, you and your immediate family are entitled to automatic extensions for your driver license, registration and inspection requirements.
- Your license, registration and inspection documents will remain valid for as long as you are deployed..
- When you are demobilized, you will need to renew your expired documents within 90 days of your demobilization date or return from duty.
- Law enforcement officials are aware of this extension. Please carry the Administrative Order along with your active duty military credentials at all times when operating a vehicle. See Related Links below for extension instructions to obtain the Deployed Military Administrative Order.”
New Mexico: New Mexico extends indefinitely the expiration date of a driver’s license held by a military member or their spouse. There is a letter you can download to present with your license.
“A. Unless the license is suspended, canceled or revoked as provided by law, a driver’s license issued by this state that is held by a person who is on active duty in the armed forces of the United States and is absent from this state, or is in this state only on leave status, remains valid beyond the expiration date of the license.
History: Laws 2005, ch. 124, § 1.”
New York: The New York Department of Motor Vehicles only lists information for service members who are “on active military duty related to the war on terrorism.” I have no idea how broadly or narrowly that is defined. For folks who fit that criteria, their driver’s license does not expire. You can submit a MV-75 Notification of Military Service so that your driver’s license record is not purged from the system.
There does not seem to be any similar provision for military spouses.
However, there are directions for renewing your driver’s license online or by mail. They don’t seem to provide mailing to an address other than that on your license, though.
North Carolina: “Military personnel, their spouse and dependent children who are temporarily residing out of state may renew their licenses by mail if:
- North Carolina Driver License has not expired more than one year;
- DMV has last image on file;
- DMV has a record of your Social Security number or a United States government issued document indicating legal presence, and
- a permanent North Carolina verifiable residence address.”
North Dakota: North Dakota permits military members and their spouses to renew the driver’s licenses by mail. They recommend calling the Central Office of Transportation at 701.328.4353.
Ohio: You may renew an Ohio driver’s license by mail if you meet the qualifications.
“If an Ohio resident is temporarily located outside of Ohio, an out-of-state duplicate or renewal packet may be processed if the driver possesses an Ohio driver license and meets the following criteria:
- Must have an Ohio address on BMV record
- If not a citizen, must be a permanent resident and present documentation to verify valid USCIS I-551 status
- Cannot be a CDL holder unless wanting to downgrade to a class D operator license
- Cannot be suspended or subject to any warrant blocks
- Cannot be incarcerated
If the license is expired less than 180 days, renewal packets may be mailed to the address listed on the provided self-addressed envelope. The packet may be sent in care of someone with an Ohio address, but the license itself must be mailed to the applicant at an out-of-state address.
When mailing the packet back to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV), it must be postmarked within 180 days of the driver license expiration date.
How to Request
- Call the BMV at (614) 752-7600
- Email the Registrar“
Oklahoma: Oklahoma will permit military members, spouses, and dependents to renew their driver’s license by mail. It appears from the instructions that you can only renew by mail one time.
This website should have instructions and more information once you are logged in.
source: https://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=437313 https://www.ok.gov/dps/Renew_an_Oklahoma_Driver_License_ID_Card/Driver_License_or_ID_Card_Renewal_or_Replacement_by_Mail_When_Out-of-State.html https://www.ok.gov/dps/documents/renewal.pdf
Oregon: Oregon residents who are residing out of state can may request a “Valid with Previous Photo” license, which I cannot find on the DOT website. You will probably need both a Certification of Residency (Form 735-7182)and Certificate of Vision (Form 735-24). I recommend you call the Oregon Department of Transportation at 503-945-5000 and ask them for help with the Valid With Previous Photo application instructions.
Then come back and tell me what you learn!
If you need a license due to loss or change of address after your license has expired, you must renew in order for PennDOT to produce a license. PennDOT cannot issue a duplicate license after the license has expired.
You may wish to apply for a Military Status Endorsement Card. This will ensure that your PA driving record remains valid during your enlistment and extended absences from PA. You may complete Form DL-176(PDF), “Military Status Endorsement Card”, and submit it along with proof documentation to the address listed on the form for processing.
source: http://www.dmv.pa.gov/Information-Centers/Military-Veterans/Pages/Military-Personnel.aspx The relevant part is a ways down the page.
Rhode Island: Rhode Island permits you to renew your license online here, but you must have it mailed to the address listed on your license. If you don’t have access to that address, that might be a problem!
South Carolina: If you’re an active duty military member or a dependent, or a Department of Defense employee stationed outside South Carolina, you may renew your driver’s license online or by mail. To renew your license by mail, submit all of the following documents:
- Mail-In Renewal Application (SCDMV Form DL-63)
Provide a special mailing address, like your APO, for the new license to be mailed to.
- Current color photograph of yourself (from the top of your head to your shoulders) without your face or head covered
- Military orders showing continuous active duty outside of SC
- Check, made out to the SCDMV, for $25
Mail all the documents to the following address:
PO Box 1498
Blythewood, SC 29016-0035
To renew online, use the SCDMV site here.
South Dakota: South Dakota permits you to renew by mail, and use an out-of-state address if you are military or a military dependent. You can find links to the necessary documents here: https://dps.sd.gov/driver-licensing/renew-and-duplicate/renew-mail
- You must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
- You must currently have an unexpired, federally compliant driver’s license/ID card with a gold star in the upper right corner.
- You must complete a license application form. Applications will not be accepted without a signature and date included on the bottom of the form.
- You’ll need to mail two documents to prove your residential/physical address (no more than one year old and in your name). Active military personnel and their dependents may use two documents proving their out-of-state residential address or APO/FPO address (if stationed overseas).
- Please provide proof of military status if applicable.
- If you’re 65 or older, a vision statement less than six months old is also required. Scores must be recorded on our vision statement form.
- Drivers who wear bioptic lenses aren’t eligible for mail-in renewal.
- Include the application fee of $28 for Class 1, 2 or 3; or $33 for Class A, B or C (hazmat endorsement cannot be renewed by mail). Make checks payable to “Department of Public Safety.”
- Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope for license return.
To check the status of your by-mail renewal, email us or call (605) 773-6883.
You need to visit a Driver Licensing location if:
- You have not applied in person in the last ten years.
- You wish to change your name.
- You wish to change your license class, CDL class or endorsements.
- You are required to take a driving test.
- You wear bioptic lenses.
If you have been issued a driver’s license or ID card in another state, your South Dakota license or ID card is inactive, and you are not eligible for renewal by mail.
Tennessee: Tennessee offers online driver’s license renewal through their E-services portal, but it’s unclear if those licenses can be mailed to addresses other than that listed on the driver’s license.
Tennessee also offers a “Code 30” on the driver’s license of active duty military. This suspends the expiration date of the license, but is not available to spouses or dependents. Basic information is below, but more information can be found here.
“If a person holds a valid Tennessee license and is in the United States Armed Forces, that license shall remain valid regardless of the displayed expiration date as long as:
- the person remains on active duty; and
- is based outside the State of Tennessee, and
- the license is not surrendered, canceled or suspended.
While on active duty the military personnel may have a “Code 30” placed on his or her license (which will indicate the license does not expire). The license with a “Code 30” remains valid unless surrendered, canceled, revoked or suspended.
Code 30 Necessary Documentation
- Notarized Copy of the front and back of applicant’s military identification card.
- Copy of military orders verifying active duty status and representing being based outside the state of Tennessee. A letter on military letterhead from the commanding officer or a leave and earnings statement (LES) if it identifies current deployment station may be accepted in lieu of orders.
The mailing address to request a “Code 30” on your license is:
Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security
Driver Services Division – Special Handling Unit
Attn: Military Coordinator
Browning Building, Room 253
1150 Foster Avenue
Nashville, TN 37243 (use zip code 37210 for overnight shipping)”
Texas: Individuals may renew or request a replacement of their Texas driver license or ID card while living outside of the state if their true, fixed and permanent home (domicile) is in Texas.
Examples of people living outside of the state who have Texas domicile include certain U.S. active duty military members, students whose parents live in Texas and people temporarily living outside of Texas for work.
NOTE: The expiration date of a driver license is automatically extended for active duty military personnel stationed outside of Texas unless the license is suspended, canceled or revoked. Active duty military members may have an address outside of Texas. Active duty military personnel, including military spouses and dependents, whose driver license has been expired for more than 2 years may submit an application for their Texas Driver License or Identification card to have their Texas driver license reestablished. Military personnel honorably discharged receive a 90 day extension from the date of discharge or after returning to Texas, to renew their driver license.
A new driver license or ID card will be mailed within 45 days after DPS receives the request.
Required Items for All Out-of-State Requests
To renew or request a replacement driver license or ID card:
- Download the Out-of-State or Out-of-Country packet.
- Complete an application for out-of-state.
- The address field is the Texas address that appears on your driver license or ID card.
- The mailing address field is your current address.
- Texas Residency Documentation
- Send the required fees to:
Texas Department of Public Safety
PO Box 149008
Austin, TX 78714-9008
We accept checks or money orders payable to Texas DPS.
- Proof of Social Security Number
In addition to the above requirements, individuals changing their name must also send documents that verify a name change.
Individuals replacing a driver license because it was lost, stolen, damaged or the mailing address must be changed, do not need to submit additional items.
To renew, the driver license or ID card:
- Will expire in less than one year; or
- Expired less than two years ago.
In addition to the items required for all out-of-state requests, mail the following:
- All applicants must complete the Explanation for Eye Specialist.
- Individuals renewing a Class A or Class B noncommercial driver license must complete the Exemption Certification.
Active-Duty and Recently Discharged Military Members
To renew a driver license or ID card that is not expired or has been expired for less than two years, please follow the instructions provided in the “Required Items for Out-of-State Requests” section.
To renew a driver license or ID card that has been expired for more than two years, active duty members of the U.S. military and U.S. military members who have been separated for less than 90 days can still renew their driver license or ID card by mailing the following:
- Everything listed in the “Required Items for Out-of-State Requests” section
- Application for Texas driver license or ID card
- If available, a copy of their expired driver license or ID card
- A color copy of their military ID card* (front and back)
*It is not illegal to provide a copy of a military ID to another governmental entity.
In order for an expired driver license to remain valid, please carry your military ID card and Texas driver license with you while operating a motor vehicle.
NOTE: Renewing an expired driver license or ID card by mail only applies to active duty or recently discharged military members, spouses and dependents.
Eligibility Requirements to Renew Through Out-of-State / Country Desk
Individuals who meet the following criteria are eligible to renew their license through the out-of-state/country desk.
- Card will expire in less than one year and has not been expired for more than two years, unless active duty military;
- Is between 18 and 78 years of age;
- Is not renewing/replacing a commercial driver license, learner license, provisional license or occupational license;
- Is not a sex offender subject to the registration requirements of Chapter 62, Code of Criminal Procedure;
- Vision, physical or mental condition have not changed in a way that affects the ability to operate a motor vehicle;
- License is not currently suspended, revoked, canceled and individual does not have any warrants or outstanding traffic tickets (check your driver eligibility status);
- Driver record does not reflect an administrative or card status due to driving ability or a medical condition that requires periodic review, including any medical or physical condition that may affect the licensee’s ability to operate a motor vehicle;
- Is a U.S. citizen;
- Social security number is on file with the Department; and
- Does not currently hold a limited term driver license;
- Meet Texas Residency Requirements.
Utah: Utah suspends the expiration date for military service members and their dependents who are living outside the state.
Vermont: Vermont offers an automatic four-year extension of the expiration date for the driver’s license of an active duty military member. There is no such extension for spouses or dependents.
If you are living outside of Virginia, you may renew your Virginia driver’s license online. The instructions and forms can be found at this webpage: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#outsideva/renew_outside.asp
You may also choose to extend your current license by using the instructions and forms found at this webpage: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/general/#outsideva/military.asp
Most types of Washington state driver’s licenses can be renewed by mail using this form.
However, active duty, spouses, dependents, and domestic partners of active duty may also request a Washington State Department of Licensing “Authorization Card” that overrides the expiration date on the license. These Authorization Cards must be obtained in person at a driver licensing office.
“Military personnel (17B-2-12) driver’s license of any person in the armed forces is extended for a period of six months from the date the person is separated under honorable circumstances from active duty in the armed forces.
The Division may, upon request, renew the driving privileges of a licensee who is temporarily located out of state at the time their license expires. The Division shall not issue a new driver’s license to the licensee. The Division will issue a certified driving record to the licensee indicating that the licensee has renewed his or her driving license with a notation of the new expiration date. The licensee shall obtain a new license upon returning to West Virginia. For further information call 1-800-642-9066.”
Wisconsin does not state that it includes spouses and dependents in its military rules.
“Under Wisconsin Statutes 343.20(4), any license issued to a person on active military duty does not expire. Your license will expire 30 days after you return to Wisconsin or 90 days after discharge from active duty, whichever is earlier.
You can either renew your driver license through the mail or have the DMV put a notation on your driving record to extend your license expiration date until you are no longer on active duty or return to Wisconsin.
Renew by mail
You may renew by mail by completing an application and mailing it to the DMV along with other renewal materials (see out of state driver license and ID card renewals for more information). Please note that the late fee will be waived if your license has expired because you are on active duty.
Extend your driver license expiration date
To have your driver license expiration extended until you are no longer on active duty or return to Wisconsin, you will need to send a signed statement that includes your name, date of birth, current Wisconsin address and your temporary mailing address. The statement may be submitted by you, a relative or friend and should indicate that you are on active duty.
Fax the statement to (608) 261-8201 or mail it to:
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
Driver Eligibility Unit
4802 Sheboygan Avenue
P.O. Box 7995
Madison, WI 53707-7995
DMV will place a notation on your driver record indicating that your license will expire 30 days after your return to Wisconsin or 90 days after your discharge. A copy of your driving record with this notation will be mailed to you at the temporary mailing address that you provide to us. You must carry this record with your expired Wisconsin license. You will not be issued a new license.
Within 30 days of your return to Wisconsin, you will need to visit a DMV customer service center to renew. If you will not be returning to Wisconsin within 90 days of your discharge from active duty, you should renew by mail following the instructions above.”
Wyoming: “An active-duty military member may have the expiration date of his/her license waived. If you present your valid active-duty military ID card when applying for a Wyoming driver license, your license will be issued with an “I” restriction that will waive the expiration date of your Wyoming driver license as long as it is accompanied by active-duty orders or active-duty military ID card. ”
The site does not specify whether spouses and/or dependents can have the same waiver.
Wyoming also permits both military members and dependents to renew their driver’s licenses by mail.
“Active-duty military personnel may renew by mail as often as is necessary; however, when you visit Wyoming again, you will need to appear in person at a local driver exam office to be issued a new Driver License with an updated photo. The active duty member simply needs to complete the ” active duty request form” and to email to the address on the form. A special statement will be displayed on your driver’s license that indicates the license expiration date is waived when accompanied by an active-duty military ID card. There is no fee to renew active duty members.
Military Dependents: May renew by mail as often as necessary; however, when in Wyoming again, you will need to appear in person at a local driver exam office to be issued a new license with an updated photo. Military dependents are required to complete the application form, have the vision section completed and signed by a vision specialist or DMV office and pay the required fee. $30 for a class C, $40 for a CDL, add $6 if you have a motorcycle class code. The fee is $10 for an Identification Card. ”
As with most things government, your results may vary. It is entirely possible that a state may permit you to renew your license even if there doesn’t seem to be provision for it.
I can’t keep up to date on every change and update from each state, so I rely on you to help me keep these things straight. Please comment below with any thing you find to have changed from this posting. Thank you!
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