You are supposed to change over your driver’s license to a Louisiana one within 10 days of moving. We haven’t seen that rule enforced, but it is on the books.
Our friends suggested going outside New Orleans for a new license. Good to know – you can get a new license or car tag anywhere in Louisiana. They aren’t specific to a particular parish.
Our friend recommended a quick drive to Westwego, a small town on the West Bank (419 Avenue A, Westwego). It took us less than 30 minutes to get there from Uptown and we were rewarded with no more than 30 minutes of waiting at the DMV. Nice change of pace from waiting four hours for our last driver’s license.
WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
– Be prepared to wait. Have a book, an extra phone battery, etc. And we hear the lines are shorter on rainy days. The DMV workers think it is because people don’t want to get their hair messed up in the rain before taking their license pic.
– Take your current driver’s license. You’ll need to turn it over to get a new license. We tried to cajole the DMV woman into letting us keep our old license but she said it was against the law. Hmm.
– Have proof of auto insurance if you have a vehicle. We weren’t asked for the card, but a posted sign said we should be prepared to show it if needed.
– Take cash with you. A basic driver’s license is about $25, but some of the paperwork says it can go up to $47. The DMV doesn’t accept cards so plan ahead and carry cash. We brought $50 just to be safe.
– Gather items that prove your identity. According to the DMV, you need:
- One primary and two secondary documents OR
- Two primary documents OR
- If applicant has a Louisiana identification card/driver’s license with a photo which clearly identifies the applicant additional identification is not required.
Acceptable forms of ID via the DMV:
- Original certificate of birth
- Certified copy of birth certificate (long form) and Birth Card (short form) does not require a seal
- Birth registration card or certificate issued by a state or county bureau of vital statistic
- Certificate of Birth Abroad issued by the US Department of State.
- Certificate of Naturalization
- Native American tribal document
- US Passport book or Passport Card
○Applicants 17 and under must also present a certified birth certificate or documentation proving custody/legal guardianship
- Foreign Passport
○Must be appropriately stamped and accompanied by proper immigration documents
|Immigrants / non-immigrants
- DL or ID card issued by a state motor vehicle department with a photo that clearly identifies the individual.
- An official driving record from the last state of issuance is required if the applicant has lost his out-of-state license.
- A foreign driver’s license must be accompanied by proper immigration documents.
Social Security Number verification
- Social security card
- Official verification of the social security number from the Social Security Administration or verbal verification
|Identification Card (with photo)
|Educational diploma / certificate / license
- Driver Education Certificate
○Department of Education
○Six Hour Pre-licensing
○38 Hour Course
- Medicare / Medicaid card
- Medical eligibility card
- CDL Medical form / card
- Health insurance card
- Original adoption papers
- Baptismal certificate
- Original marriage license or certificate of marriage issued by a county, parish or city in the US or an original or certified copy of a divorce from a county, parish or city in the US.
- Official deed or title to property in Louisiana, including burial plots
- Vehicle registration or certificate of title of vehicle in applicant’s name
- Motor vehicle lien instrument
- Local utility statements showing name and address of the applicant or a receipt indicating utilities have been turned on
- Insurance policy (health, home, life, auto)
- One-payroll stub (printed)
- W-2 forms for 2 years
- Prison release documents or letter from probation officer
- Letter of verification / introduction from another state agency responsible for placement of deprived / impaired individuals (i.e., Blind Services)
- CDL driver’s log book
– No need for a driving test. If you have a current license from another state, Louisiana honors it. We didn’t have to take another driving test.
– Do you want to be an organ donor? Tell the DMV clerk and he/she will note it on your license.
– Be prepared for an eye test. We had to read letters from a little machine at the counter.
– Be prepped for a photo before you head back for your paperwork. BTW – the photo background at Westwego is blue. The picture, at least the day we went, only showed our head, neck and little of our shoulders.
– You can register to vote at the same time. Make sure you ask for the form to fill out. You’ll get your vote registration card in the mail later.
– If you want to change your car tag, do it at while you are getting your license. The same clerk can help you. We messed up and thought they were two separate lines so we had to wait twice to visit the window. Ugh. Make sure you have all your car info – make, model, VIN, current tag, where you bought it, how much you paid, mileages, etc.
– If you have any questions before you head out, give the folks at the Westwego DMV a call (504-896-1332). We found them to be very helpful on the phone.
Main phone number for Louisiana’s DMV: (225) 925-6146.
And now you should be the proud owner of a new Louisiana driver’s license. Congrats! And beware of parking tickets.