Section III


Each State and the District of Columbia administers its own driver licensing system. Since 1954 all States have required drivers to be licensed, and since 1959 all States have required examination prior to licensing. Tests of knowledge of State driving laws and practices, vision, and driving proficiency are now required for new licenses. A summary of State driver licensing requirements is given in a separate publication, Driver License Administration Requirements and Fees, published biennially. There is also a companion publication entitled State and Provincial Licensing System Comparative Data that may be obtained from the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, 4301 Wilson Blvd., Suite 400, Arlington, VA 22203.


Table DL-230 shows the year in which driver licensing laws were established in each State.
Table DL-201 shows the total number of licensed drivers in each State since 1949.
Table DL-220 displays the number of male and female licensed drivers by sex and age group. This data starts at 1963.


In 1990 (Highway Statistics 1989), a strict standard was established to determine the number of unrestricted drivers under the age of 16 on the road. This new rule stated that a driver must be able to drive inclusively between the hours of 5:00 A.M. and 12 Midnight without another licensed driver in the vehicle. Since this new standard cut the number of drivers from 1988 to 1995 approximately 60% in the "under 16" category, one must keep this in mind when comparing the data from earlier years.