How long does it take to replace a lost license?

Most states will issue you a temporary or permanent replacement license as soon as you visit your local DMV or other driver license agency location. Some states also give you the option of ordering a duplicate license online or by mail, and these processes generally don’t take any longer than a couple of weeks.

It’s important to replace your lost drivers license as soon as possible; if an officer catches you driving without a license, chances are “But I lost it!” isn’t going to fly. Sure, he might believe you, but that won’t protect you from getting a traffic ticket for operating a vehicle without a drivers license.

If you lost your drivers license while you’re out of state, contact your state’s DMV or other driver license agency and ask how you can replace a lost license. Most states allow you to apply by mail, but some offer online and phone options.

Reporting Lost Licenses to Law Enforcement

To prevent identity theft, some states require you to report lost licenses to law enforcement. Be sure to check whether your state requires this. If it does, you also might be required to bring the police report with you when you apply for a replacement license.

Even if you’re not required to bring the report with you, doing so might help you. For example, if your license was stolen in Georgia, the DDS will help you prevent identity fraud by providing you with a new license number if you present the police report. In Florida, it’s an option, but presenting it waives your replacement fee.

Alabama Paper copy issued immediately in person. Hard copy takes 1-3 weeks to arrive by mail.
Alaska Issued immediately in person.
Arizona Issued immediately in person. Takes 5-10 days to arrive by mail if ordered online. Online ordering provides express mailing option for 2-3 days.
Arkansas Issued immediately in person.
California Paper copy good for 60 days issued immediately in person. Hard copy will be mailed within those 60 days.
Colorado Paper copy issued immediately in person. Takes roughly two weeks for the hard copy to arrive by mail.
Connecticut Permanent copy issued immediately in person. Can obtain an immediately temporary copy good for 10 days if you don’t have all the required documents.
Delaware Issued immediately in person.
Florida Permanent copy issued immediately in person. If ordering online, expect to wait 5-10 business days.
Georgia Issued immediately in person. If ordering online, expect to wait 30 days.
Hawaii Order in person, but wait time might vary by location. Call your office in Oahu, Kauai, Maui, or the Big Island.
Idaho Issued immediately in person.
Illinois Issued immediately in person.
Indiana Issued by mail.
Iowa Issued immediately in person.
Kansas Issued immediately in person.
Kentucky Issued immediately in person.
Louisiana Issued immediately in person.
Maine If applying in person, you’ll receive your permanent license in the mail within 30 days. If ordering online, you’ll print a temporary license good for 60 days and receive your permanent license in 2-3 weeks.
Maryland Issued immediately in person.
Massachusetts Order a replacement online or by calling the RMV Telephone Center. The RMV will drop your replacement in the mail.
Michigan Issued immediately in person.
Minnesota Issued immediately in person.
Mississippi Issued immediately in person. If you order online, expect to wait 10-12 business days.
Missouri Issued immediately in person.
Montana Issued immediately in person.
Nebraska Order in person, and you’ll receive your duplicate in about a week.
Nevada Temporary license issued immediately in person; permanent license mailed within 10 days.
New Hampshire Issued immediately in person.
New Jersey Issued immediately in person.
New Mexico Issued immediately in person.
New York Order a replacement online or by mail. The DMV will then drop your replacement in the mail.
North Carolina Delivered though U.S. Mail; expect a wait of 10 business days.
North Dakota Issued immediately in person.
Ohio Issued immediately in person.
Oklahoma Issued immediately in person.
Oregon Issued immediately in person.
Pennsylvania Handled by mail; time depends on whether you need a new camera card. If so, it could take up to 60 days.
Rhode Island Issued immediately in person.
South Carolina Issued immediately in person. If you order online, the DMV will drop your replacement in the mail.
South Dakota Issued immediately in person.
Tennessee Issued immediately in person. If you order online, expect to wait up to 20 days.
Texas Issued immediately in person.
Utah Issued immediately in person.
Vermont Issued immediately in person. If you order by mail, the DMV will drop your replacement in the mail.
Virginia Issued immediately in person. If you order online, expect to wait up to five days.
Washington Issued immediately in person.
West Virginia Issued immediately in person.
Wisconsin Temporary license/receipt issued immediately in person; permanent license mailed within a few weeks.
Wyoming Issued immediately in person.
Washington DC Permanent copy issued immediately in person. If ordering online, expect to wait a few weeks.

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