Driver's License Examination
Applicants must pass a knowledge exam, a vision screening (20/40 visual acuity required), and a driving test for an original license.
A vision screening is required every 8 years upon renewal of license.
Graduated Driver's Licensing
Delaware has a system of graduated licensing for novice drivers.
At age 16, individuals who have successfully completed an approved driver education course and have passed both a written and road skills test are eligible for a learner’s permit.
- A learner’s permit holder must be supervised by a licensed driver age 25 or older riding in the front passenger seat and who has held a Class D license for at least 5 years.
- No passengers other than the adult supervisor and 1 other passenger may be in the vehicle during the first 12 months of holding the learner’s permit (immediate family members are exempt).
After 6 months, learner’s permit holders are eligible for an intermediate license as long as they have completed 50 hours (10 at night) of supervised driving time.
- In the intermediate stage, drivers may drive unsupervised between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Intermediate stage drivers may drive between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. only when supervised, unless they are traveling to or from church activities, work activities, or the license holder’s school.
- Intermediate license holders may not transport more than 1 passenger who is not a family member.
At the age of 17 and after 6 months of holding an intermediate license, a driver in the intermediate stage may apply for a Class D license.
Driver education is required for all license applicants under 18.
Driver’s License Renewal
Driver’s licenses are in effect for a period of 8 years.
When an application for a license renewal is made, the driver must surrender the expired license, fill out an application, and pass a vision test.
Military personnel, their dependents, and students may renew licenses by calling (302) 744-2506 or by mail.
Military personnel and their dependents are not required to acquire Delaware driver licenses and vehicle registrations until 60 days after separation from the service.
The DMV shall not renew a license when the licensee has failed to pay outstanding fines or fees for traffic offenses.
Types of Driver’s Licenses
Driver Education Learner Permit: Authorizes the holder to operate the same vehicles as a Class D license while taking an approved driver education course.
Class D Operator’s License: Authorizes license holders to operate any vehicle with a Gross Weight Rating (GWR) of less than 26,001 lbs., and cannot be designed to transport more than 15 passengers or carry hazardous material.
Driving Privilege Card or Learner’s Permit: Authorizes holder to operate any vehicle permitted by a Class D Learner’s Permit or Operator’s License.
CDL Class A: Any combination of vehicles with a GWR of 26,001 lbs. or more, provided that the GWR of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 lbs.
CDL Class B: Any single vehicle with a GWR of 26,001 lbs. or more.
Endorsements and Restrictions: H — authorizes driver to carry hazardous materials; L — restricts the driver to vehicles not equipped with airbrakes; T — authorizes driving double and triple trailers; P — authorizes driving vehicle carrying passengers; N — authorizes driving tank vehicles; and X — combines both H and N endorsements.