This Woman Learns a Hard Lesson in the Difference Between a State ID and a Driver's License

This woman learned a valuable lesson in the difference between a State ID and a driver's license after she jumped through hoops to get a license.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Nov. 13 2023, Published 4:31 p.m. ET

When many of us were growing up, the concept of getting a driver's license was sold to us as a rite of passage of adulthood and a sign of maturity, responsibility, and independence. In reality, though, getting one is a pain in the butt. Sure, it's useful to have as a form of identification in any establishment that needs it, but getting that first one is more stressful than we'd expect what with rigorous testing and the perpetual hell of the DMV.

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If you're a regular driver, a driver's license will always be important. If you don't drive, a state ID can be just as helpful as a form of identification. But as one woman on TikTok learned, the difference between a state-issued ID and a driver's license is a staggering one.

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This woman learned the hard way about the difference between ID and a driver's license.

In a lengthy TikTok video posted in late October 2023, @hstuart09 shared her increasingly frustrating story about the difference between a state ID and a driver's license. Strap in your seatbelts, because it's a baffling one.

She began by admitting that she'd gotten pulled over by a cop for driving and texting. When the cop asked OP for her driver's license, she gave them a state ID instead. For whatever reason, she assumed they were the same thing.

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The cop informed her that they were (spoiler alert) not the same thing. For all intents and purposes, she actually didn't have a driver's license to her name at the time. When she dug around for the last one she had, she discovered something shocking.

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As it turns out, her last driver's license had expired over seven years prior at the time. Apparently, she had renewed her license online when it had expired, but she pressed a button to receive a state ID rather than a driver's license.

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As you might have guessed, a state ID is not the same as a driver's license. Both are valid forms of state identification, but only a driver's license signifies that you have you are qualified to drive a commercial vehicle.

The cop ended up issuing a ticket just for texting while driving and let the lack of a license off with a warning.

Unfortunately, she didn't exactly get off scot-free. In many states, not renewing your license after two years means that you have to redo many of your driving tests in order to receive a license again. OP even had to receive a learner's permit again while she applied for a new license. Luckily, she passed all of her tests and got to renew her license. However, it's fair to say that she'll never forget the difference between a state ID and a driver's license ever again.

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However, folks in the comments are rather dumbfounded at her realization. Many assumed that the difference between these two IDs was common knowledge.

"I thought everyone knew ID and DL are totally different," one person wrote.

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Some folks wondered why her car insurance never caught the fact that she was using a state ID and not a valid driver's license. Others even claim that in their own home states, they only have driver's licenses issued to people and don't have state IDs to begin with.

To anyone looking to re-up their ID status, make sure you know which one you're going for and which one will serve your purposes better. No one wants to have to retake their driver's test.

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