I am a US citizen who has been living in the UK for the past 6 years. Immediately prior to moving abroad I had a PA state drivers license, but it has long expired. Prior to that I had MA and ME state drivers licenses which have also expired. I do not have a UK license or any unexpired license. I will be moving back to the US to live in the Washington DC area. Is there a way to get a US driver license without having to take the written and road tests?

  • Virginia, Maryland or Washington, DC?
    – Karlson
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:50
  • @Karlson whichever state will give me a license without taking a test. I am happy to screw up my taxes to avoid taking the test.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 17:52
  • 1
    I just took the road test (in NY). A friend took me, after letting me drive her car for an hour or so on my learner's permit. It was pretty painless. Road tests are not as intimidating when you've got 15 years of driving behind you, even if it has been 5 years since you last drove.
    – phoog
    Commented Jun 1, 2015 at 18:04

2 Answers 2


No, unless you've been on active military duty, a license expired for over a year won't work for you.

Washington, DC requires you to retake the written and road tests if your license has been expired for over 90 days.

Virginia requires your license to be "valid" to avoid any of the exams; I assume this means unexpired, because no one would be accepting a forged or revoked license on purpose, right?

Maryland requires you to you to retake the written and road tests if your license has been expired for over a year.

If you had been on active duty, your former PA or MA licenses might count as having been renewed even without you renewing them, so would still be "unexpired" in a sense, and you could probably avoid driver exams based on that. Looks like that wouldn't work with a ME license.


Sounds like you might just have to bite the bullet and take the test. Not sure whether I'm right but, if you're able to drive anyway, perhaps you're just nervous about being tested? If it's any consolation, I was so nervous when I had to take my test again in MA that I could hardly breathe, and not just because I had to take it in my boss's borrowed, brand-new red Mustang with his wife in the back seat. However, it turned out to be little more than a very easy and chilled-out spin round the block. And the written test was a laughably easy multiple choice. I remember to this day that one of the questions was, "if you see a pedestrian about to cross, do you: a) stop, b) slow down, or c) speed up?" I was so tempted to choose (c) but didn't, and passed with flying colours. Just revise the road signals beforehand and you'll be fine!

  • Not nervous at all. It is a timing thing. I need to drive for my work (and life). Presumably, I will lose 1/2 a day to take the driving test and another 1/2 day to get a "learners permit". I will also have to arrange a car to take the test in. I am not sure if a driving schools have a test only option, or if they require more of a time commitment.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Jun 10, 2015 at 15:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.