I have confidently driven in three States in the US with my EU licenses. However, like in the EU there are these little quirky differences for which it is impossible to know it all. The only solution is to drive defensive.

I would love to be able to do a drivers test to see how much I actually know about traffic regulations and a result obtain a drivers license. It would not only prove that with a EU drivers license it is safe to drive in the US, it was also be an awesome souvenir.

Can I do such a test as a tourist?

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    Theoretically, you probably can, but I believe you need to provide a proof of address when booking the tests - this needs to be from an official source, e.g. a letter from a bank, utility bill, credit card statement, etc. - if you have a US-based address, then, yes, you should be able to do it. Note though that the tests are per state, with each of them having different theory and practical elements; and you may need to book it quite some time in advance.
    – Aleks G
    Jul 7, 2014 at 9:03
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    From everything I've heard, compared to the EU, you'll probably find a US driving test to be a trivial joke. And you'll almost certainly spend most of a day tediously waiting in lines. Jul 7, 2014 at 18:12
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    Consider that in the US the de facto ID card is the driver's license. People who can't drive can (and do) still get a "driver's license" because it's needed in many situation as identification. (Of course this license doesn't actually allow them to drive.) The de facto primary function of the "driver's license" is an ID. To get a driver's license you probably need to satisfy requirements that would be typical elsewhere for getting a local ID---such as being a resident.
    – Szabolcs
    Jul 11, 2014 at 19:40
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    @Szabolcs the residency requirement arises from the fact that driver's licenses are only issued to residents, which is true in most countries and predates the development of the ID function in US driver's licenses. The primary function of a US driver's license, like every driver's license, is to show that the state allows the bearer to drive certain vehicles on public roads. The identification function is secondary.
    – phoog
    Jul 9, 2020 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


I don't know if you can take the test but US states only issue driving licenses to residents so you can't get the actual license without proof of residence which, as a tourist, you don't have.


It will depend on your travel purpose and the state where you will be getting the license. The USA.gov site recommends checking the DMV site of the state you will be requesting a license from (http://www.usa.gov/Topics/Foreign-Visitors-Driving.shtml). Usually you need proof of residence and/or identity. For example, New York state requires you to prove your date of birth and name (see http://dmv.ny.gov/forms/id44.pdf).

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