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District of Columbia driver license, 1903

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District of Columbia driver license, 1903
NMAH, Transportation Collections


This object appears in the following sections:

Americans Adopt the Auto:
Americans Adopt the Auto — Licensing Cars and Drivers

District of Columbia driver's license
Currently on display
From the Smithsonian Collection
The District of Columbia licensed drivers early. By 1909 it and 12 states, mostly in the East, required licenses. Often, they were a formality.
Physical Description
artifact. paper.
Date Made:
Dist of Columbia

Early motorists were taught to drive by automobile salesmen, family and friends, or organizations like the YMCA. States required car registrations before they required licenses for drivers. Drivers licenses were issued by 39 states by 1935 and few required a test.

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