What to do with old driver’s license? [5 options]

What to do with old driver’s license? You know that feeling when your old driver’s license suddenly becomes simply a piece of plastic taking up space in your wallet when you obtain a new one?

However, before you throw them away or stuff them into a forgotten drawer, let’s talk about some possibilities for what to do with old driver’s licenses.

what to do with old driver's license

Should you keep it?

So, do one throw old driver’s licenses in the trash or store them with one’s old IDs away for the memories?

It makes sense to dispose of the old documents especially if you’re changing states or doubt you could keep it safe.

Option 1: shredding

Putting your old driver’s license into a cross-section shredder is the most effective approach to ensure its full destruction.

If you need that extra bit of certainty, take those shreds and distribute them a few bits at a time over a week.

You’ll be set if you gradually toss them in your garbage.

Option 2: cutting

Relax if you don’t have a powerful cross-section shredder shredder. An old-fashioned pair of scissors will still work just as well.

It may need a little more work, but this is a reliable and safe approach to cancel your old driving license. Simply cut repeatedly in both the vertical and horizontal directions, and presto!

Alternatively, focus on slicing through the vital facts, such as your license number, name, and date of birth. If you’re concerned about identity theft, you can also toss those pieces of your old driver’s license in different trash cans a few bits at a time.

what to do with old driver's license
Image credit: www.motorcyclenews.com

Option 3: the DMV

Another sensible option is to go to your local DMV with your old driver’s license. You may be startled to learn that in some places, once you’ve received the new one, they want you to return it.

Why? It’s all about maintaining order, after all. They don’t want your old driver’s license lying around somewhere it shouldn’t be, nor do they want you flashing several licenses when you get stopped over.

Therefore, make sure you phone your local DMV to see if they are aware of this requirement. If so, bring in your old license, and they will dispose of it. They usually punch a hole in the driver’s license to make it unusable for anyone else.

Here’s the thing, though: not all DMVs work in the same manner. Some people might ask you to destroy your old driver’s license yourself.

It is crucial to confirm with your DMV first for this reason. And it won’t matter if they don’t want to handle it. It’s always possible to shred your driver’s license at home.

Option 4: burning

An additional alternative for you is to burn your old license.

Burning it might work if you’re not a huge fan of shredders or don’t think they’re good enough.

Take out a lighter and start working. Just be careful you do it in a secure area. You will severely damage and ultimately destroy your driver’s license if you burn or melt it.

Furthermore, it’s a foolproof method to prevent identity theft or nefarious activities involving the acquisition of your personal information.

Option 5: keeping it in a secure place

You may want to keep your old driver’s license if your state permits you to use it for renewals. Additionally, it’s okay to preserve it as a memento if you’re feeling very sentimental about your driver’s license; just use caution.

Who doesn’t enjoy taking a walk down memory lane and looking at old photos and documents to see how much they’ve changed?

However, if you intend to keep your old driver’s license, make sure it is properly put away. If you’re all about preserving memories and keeping the photo, simply crop it out. If you’re determined to keep everything intact, put it in your home safe.

Another option? Place your old license in a locked cabinet in your room with your other essential documents. All you need to do is keep it out of the hands of curious children and away from anything that can damage it.

Why dispose of your old driver’s license?

Now, let’s discuss why it’s so important to cancel old driver’s licenses. You see, there’s not going to be much that your average criminal can do with it. They are not permitted to accrue parking tickets or other similar offenses.

Experienced identity thieves would see the old license as a golden ticket. Even though your name, license number, and address transcribed on the license may appear insignificant, if they get into the wrong hands, you risk identity theft.

Identity thieves can use that basic information to gain access to a multitude of information about your life, including your financial accounts.

Consider fraudulent websites that trick you into disclosing even more personal information, such as your phone number, employment data, or marital status. Unusual transactions at a fishy business or the post office may alert you to the fact that something is amiss.

If your old license is in the wrong hands, identity thieves could use the information they’ve obtained to redirect your correspondence to an entirely different post office.

They can easily get past your bank’s security questions with the correct information, shutting you out while they take advantage of your money.

Is keeping your old driver’s license illegal?

You can keep your old driver’s license. Whether you store it in your wallet or hidden somewhere in your home, you won’t be arrested for it.

But don’t unintentionally give a police officer your expired license if you get stopped over. Neither you nor the police officer want confusion, which is something that could result from that.

The problem is that most locations that issue licenses would prefer that you throw out the previous ones. Maintaining legality and ensuring that people aren’t violating traffic laws by flashing out-of-date identification are the most important aspects.

What to do in case of losing your driver’s license?

First things first, report this to the local police. By doing so, you have a paper trail to show the local police that you are not the offender if something dubious appears on your accounts.

Even though the majority of thieves won’t go full mastermind, they might still give you problems, particularly if your present address is on an expired driver’s license.

Imagine this scenario: someone observes your home to learn about your daily routine, and before you realize it, a home invasion has occurred. Pretty scary.

And, hey, it’s not just professional criminals who take precautions, throwing away the old license to make sure nothing dubious happens. Thus, you have to question yourself if the risk is truly worth it.

Easy renewal with an old driver’s license

In some cases, keeping your old license is a good idea. Why not, if it allows you to renew your new driver’s license without having to retake the driver’s test? After all, it’s a handy tool for documenting your driving history.

In several jurisdictions, including South Carolina, you can renew your new license for up to two years after it is set to expire by using an expired driver’s license.

Therefore, if that is the situation you find yourself in, keeping your old license around could be quite beneficial in the future.

It’s your choice

It’s all up to you! In addition to the usefulness, many people save their old licenses after the expiration date.

Looking at those photos and seeing how you’ve evolved throughout time is sort of neat, isn’t it? Some choose to preserve the driver’s licenses, while others choose to only crop out the picture.

Image credit: palawan-news.com


So, bottom line: ensure that your personal information is secure whether you want to shred, burn, give it to the DMV, or keep your expired license.


Can I keep my old drivers license in Texas?

Yes, without a doubt! You are free to keep old licenses in Texas. It’s not as though someone will knock on your door and take it away.