How to Check License Status in the USA

If you are running a business and employing people under you, it can be a good idea to periodically check their license status and ensure that their licenses are valid. This is because employees can become a liability to the company if they drive around in a company’s car or run errands for the company in their own car without having a valid license.

Similarly, you also want to check in to ensure your own license is valid periodically. While you may be thinking checking your own license status in the USA will be as simple as looking at the expiry date, the truth is that licenses can also be suspended for various reasons, and that makes it important to know your license status at all times.

How Can You Check the License Status of an Employee?

For checking your employee’s license status, start by thoroughly examining their license visually. Since modern licenses are pretty difficult to forge, you can rule out foul-play by carefully considering details like the expiratory date, the employee’s photograph, signature, address, and date of birth.

You should double-check all information and see that it matches your system records. Many states already require drivers to have REAL ID-compliant licenses. Check to see that your employees’ licenses are REAL ID-compliant by the deadline allotted by your state.

Now, if everything seems fine with the license and it appears to be valid, you still want to make sure that it has not been suspended. The Department of Motor Vehicles can confirm the validity of a license, and, in most states, this verification can be done online. You will have to go to the website of whatever state issued the license and provide information like the driver’s date of birth and the license number and will immediately be informed of the license validity status.

In case the state does not offer online license status verification, you can visit the DMV website or call their office. Sometimes, license status information will be communicated to you over the phone, while at other times, you might be asked to visit the office and fill in some paperwork. You might also be charged a small fee like $10.

While it is entirely possible to check license status on your own, you can also utilize third-party services. However, when a third party retrieves license validity information for you, it is usually more expensive than if you do it independently.

Why Do You Need to Check Your License Status?

A license status record contains information about license standing (e.g., expired, suspended, revoked, valid) and your details like address, full name, and date of birth. It is necessary to keep this information updated and ensure your license status is valid to avoid penalties.

Driving licenses can be suspended for various reasons, not all of which have to do with driving without insurance or unpaid tickets. Many drivers are actually surprised to learn that their license is suspended. This is due to a lack of knowledge of different factors that can cause revoking of a license.

Some causes of suspension of a license include failure to appear at a traffic summons, failure to meet minimum vision requirements, and failure to pay child support. Sometimes, if you change houses and forget to update your address, you can miss important mail about your license status. 

If you are driving with a suspended license and are pulled over, you will be facing fines if the officer discovers your license is expired. If you are in an accident, a suspended license can mean your charges go from being a misdemeanor to a felony charge. Driving with a suspended license can cause revoking your license, meaning that if you want to drive legally, you will have to begin the process of obtaining a license from scratch. Thus, it can be quite beneficial to periodically check your license status and make sure it is still valid.


For businesses that employ drivers and for drivers themselves, it is necessary to ensure that their driving license is valid. If you are wondering how to check license status in the USA, you will see that most states have online resources where you can check the validity of your driving license. Other states will inform you of your license status after an in-office visit.