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.
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Number of licensed drivers
California26,199,436
Texas15,879,876
Florida 14,675,160
New York 11,947,568
Pennsylvania8,996,815
Illinois8,514,644
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
Massachusetts5,040,662
Indiana 4,553,259
Maryland 4,264,875
Missouri 4,249,579
Wisconsin 4,206,770
Colorado4,066,580
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
Hawaii*931,703
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
Illinois8,514,644
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
Massachusetts5,040,662
Indiana 4,553,259
Maryland 4,264,875
Missouri 4,249,579
Wisconsin 4,206,770
Colorado4,066,580
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
Hawaii*931,703
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
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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.
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Release date
February 2018
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.

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