Total number of licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2016, by state

Licensed drivers in the U.S. - total number by state 2016 This statistic represents the total number of licensed drivers in the United States in 2016, with a breakdown by state. In 2016, there were a little over 489,800 licensed drivers in the District of Columbia.
U.S. licensed drivers by state

The driver’s license became mandatory in the United States in the early 20th century, with Missouri and Massachusetts being the first states to require an official license for operating certain types of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers or buses. New Jersey became the first state to require all drivers to pass a mandatory test before being granted an official driver’s license.

In 2016, there were about 222 million licensed drivers in the United States. At around 26.2 million, California issued the highest number of licenses in the country that year. Not only is California the U.S. state with the highest number of licensed drivers, but it is also the most populous state in the U.S. overall, representing close to 12 percent of the country’s total population. While 95 percent of residents aged 65 to 69 held a driver’s license in 2012, the percentage of U.S. driver’s license holders between 20 and 24 stood at only 76 percent in that same year.

When it comes to accidents, people aged 21 to 24 are most at risk. Across all age groups, the male population has substantially higher death rates than the female population.
Show more
Loading statistic...
Expand statistic
Number of licensed drivers
California26,199,436
Texas15,879,876
Florida 14,675,160
New York 11,947,568
Pennsylvania8,996,815
Illinois*8,514,644
Ohio 7,974,951
North Carolina7,267,042
Michigan 7,074,674
Georgia 6,975,900
New Jersey 6,238,436
Virginia 5,912,048
Washington 5,635,715
Tennessee 5,197,904
Arizona 5,082,305
Massachusetts**5,040,662
Indiana 4,553,259
Maryland 4,264,875
Missouri 4,249,579
Wisconsin 4,206,770
Colorado*4,066,580
Alabama 3,943,082
South Carolina 3,746,681
Louisiana 3,395,095
Minnesota 3,377,910
Kentucky 3,031,447
Oregon 2,855,746
Connecticut2,611,007
Oklahoma2,498,178
Arkansas 2,391,103
Iowa 2,245,640
Kansas2,030,025
Mississippi 2,018,862
Utah 1,960,366
Nevada 1,872,376
New Mexico 1,521,785
Nebraska 1,404,479
Idaho1,160,922
West Virginia 1,159,348
New Hampshire 1,096,264
Maine 1,021,332
Hawaii931,703
Montana 797,145
Delaware756,328
Rhode Island 753,143
South Dakota622,663
North Dakota 555,935
Vermont 553,670
Alaska*534,585
Dist. of Col. 489,831
Wyoming 421,098
Number of licensed drivers
California26,199,436
Texas15,879,876
Florida 14,675,160
New York 11,947,568
Pennsylvania8,996,815
Illinois*8,514,644
Ohio 7,974,951
North Carolina7,267,042
Michigan 7,074,674
Georgia 6,975,900
New Jersey 6,238,436
Virginia 5,912,048
Washington 5,635,715
Tennessee 5,197,904
Arizona 5,082,305
Massachusetts**5,040,662
Indiana 4,553,259
Maryland 4,264,875
Missouri 4,249,579
Wisconsin 4,206,770
Colorado*4,066,580
Alabama 3,943,082
South Carolina 3,746,681
Louisiana 3,395,095
Minnesota 3,377,910
Kentucky 3,031,447
Oregon 2,855,746
Connecticut2,611,007
Oklahoma2,498,178
Arkansas 2,391,103
Iowa 2,245,640
Kansas2,030,025
Mississippi 2,018,862
Utah 1,960,366
Nevada 1,872,376
New Mexico 1,521,785
Nebraska 1,404,479
Idaho1,160,922
West Virginia 1,159,348
New Hampshire 1,096,264
Maine 1,021,332
Hawaii931,703
Montana 797,145
Delaware756,328
Rhode Island 753,143
South Dakota622,663
North Dakota 555,935
Vermont 553,670
Alaska*534,585
Dist. of Col. 489,831
Wyoming 421,098
Download Settings Share
Chart type
Datalabels
Share on Social Media
HTML code to embed chart as PNG (FAQ)
Download started
Please be patient - this may take a moment
Description Source More information
This statistic represents the total number of licensed drivers in the United States in 2016, with a breakdown by state. In 2016, there were a little over 489,800 licensed drivers in the District of Columbia.
U.S. licensed drivers by state

The driver’s license became mandatory in the United States in the early 20th century, with Missouri and Massachusetts being the first states to require an official license for operating certain types of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, passenger vehicles, trucks, trailers or buses. New Jersey became the first state to require all drivers to pass a mandatory test before being granted an official driver’s license.

In 2016, there were about 222 million licensed drivers in the United States. At around 26.2 million, California issued the highest number of licenses in the country that year. Not only is California the U.S. state with the highest number of licensed drivers, but it is also the most populous state in the U.S. overall, representing close to 12 percent of the country’s total population. While 95 percent of residents aged 65 to 69 held a driver’s license in 2012, the percentage of U.S. driver’s license holders between 20 and 24 stood at only 76 percent in that same year.

When it comes to accidents, people aged 21 to 24 are most at risk. Across all age groups, the male population has substantially higher death rates than the female population.
Show more
Release date
September 2017
Region
United States
Survey time period
2016
Supplementary notes
* Age and /or sex distribution estimated by FHWA using Census population figures for that State and age group.

** State did not provide current data. Table displays 2015 data.

More information

Statista Accounts: Access All Statistics. Starting from $588 / Year

Statistics on "Car drivers"

  • Licenced drivers
The most important statistics
  • Car sales
The most important statistics
  • Traffic accidents
The most important statistics

Related Studies: Available to Download in PDF or PPTX Format

Car drivers

All Information
in one Presentation

Car drivers

Everything On "Car drivers" in One Document: Edited and Divided into Handy Chapters. Including Detailed References.

Other Reports & Dossiers

Statista for Your Company: The Research and Analysis Tool

  • Product Film
  • Statistics
  • Downloads

Our Premium Statistics - facts for your business

Currently, Statista provides more than 1 million statistics.
93 percent (all Premium content) are exclusively accessible via our professional accounts.

Unlimited access

As a Statista Premium customer, you receive unlimited access to all statistics at all times. Including downloads of data in the most common formats (XLS, PDF & PNG). Create relevant and significant statistics in no time.

You are in good company

Further Content: Statistics, Studies, and Topic Pages

Our Business Solutions: Save Time and Money

only

$588*

per year
Your advantages
  • Full access to all our statistics
  • Download as XLS, PDF & PNG
  • Relevant data: complete source information
All functions of our platform illustrated face-to-face
  • Learn how Statista supports your company
  • Extensive tour across the whole portal
  • Personal guidance by our support team
The knowledge database for your company
  • All functions of the Premium Account
  • Access to dossiers, forecasts and studies
  • Access to our international database
  • Publishing rights and other exclusive functions

Statistics on the topic

Topics

About Statista

Learn more about how Statista can support your business.

Request webinar