Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. Benji is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2021

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To Sum It Up

  • Most states don’t have driver’s license expiration dates if you are deployed
  • You will have a grace period to renew your license when you return from deployment
  • Many states will allow you to renew your license by mail or online if you are deployed

There are lots of things to think about when you’re being deployed, such as travel and living arrangements for you and your family. One thing you don’t want to struggle with is how to renew your DL while deployed.

Read on to learn if you need to renew your license and what steps you need to take while you’re deployed. You’ll also want to think about finding affordable auto insurance for military veterans to keep rates down during deployment and into the future.

Enter your ZIP code to compare veteran’s auto insurance quotes from multiple companies today, then read on to learn how to renew your license while deployed.

What are the requirements to renew your driver’s license while deployed?

Although each state has different rules and regulations for renewing your driver’s license, they all seem to be more lenient with the military. You will also generally have lower fees to renew your license, or the fee may be waived completely.

Many states don’t show an expiration date on your driver’s license if you are military. This allows much more flexibility, especially if you get deployed.

If your state does show an expiration date, the renewal process is usually different if you’ve been out of the country. States offer a grace period to renew your license without penalty, and it’s extended for the military and begins when you return to the U.S.

For example, in South Carolina, your driver’s license is still considered valid if it expires while you are stationed out of state for at least 90 days. When you return to the state, you will have 90 days to renew your license without having to retake your driver’s test.

A lot of states allow you to renew your driver’s license through the mail or online, streamlining the process and making getting a driver’s license in the military easier for military members and their families.

However, if you renew that way, your new license probably won’t have your picture since you won’t be at the DMV in person. Once you return stateside, you can have a new DL made that includes your picture.

Again, each state will be different with what they offer to deployed service members. You will usually need to provide the following items for these special considerations:

  • Valid military ID
  • Active duty orders
  • Proof of your permanent residence in your state, such as a valid driver’s license

Contact your local DMV to determine what the procedure is in your state.

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Do you have to renew your driver’s license when you’re deployed?

Can I drive with an expired license if I’m in the military?

That answer is a little tricky. If you are in the military, expired driver’s licenses can usually be offset by your military ID. If you are deployed or on a base, your military ID should be sufficient.

However, if you return to the U.S., you will need to renew your driver’s license as soon as possible. While most states give you a very generous grace period, you don’t want to be in a situation where you have to completely restart the licensing process.

It’s possible to find discount car insurance for current and retired military from a number of companies. So, before you buy veteran’s auto insurance, shop around to see which company can offer you the best deal.

You’ll need proof of insurance to renew a driver’s license when you return from deployment. Enter your ZIP code now to compare military auto insurance rates for free near you.