Licensed drivers in the U.S. - total number by state 2018

This statistic represents the total number of licensed drivers in the United States in 2018, with a breakdown by state. In 2018, there were almost 17.4 million driver's license holders in Texas.

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 2018, there were about 227.5 million licensed drivers in the United States. At around 27 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.

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.

Total number of licensed drivers in the U.S. in 2018, by state

Number of licensed drivers
California27,039,400
Texas17,370,383
Florida 15,368,695
New York 12,194,360
Pennsylvania8,991,370
Illinois8,714,788
Ohio 8,032,665
North Carolina7,509,231
Georgia 7,168,733
Michigan 7,153,645
New Jersey 6,342,876
Virginia 5,929,031
Washington 5,909,967
Tennessee 5,422,429
Arizona 5,284,970
Massachusetts4,935,176
Indiana 4,589,405
Maryland 4,407,973
Wisconsin 4,288,171
Missouri 4,272,960
Colorado4,244,713
Alabama 3,999,057
South Carolina 3,846,069
Louisiana 3,425,435
Minnesota 3,391,057
Kentucky 3,032,530
Oregon 2,930,702
Connecticut2,605,612
Oklahoma2,504,253
Iowa 2,260,271
Kansas2,149,430
Arkansas 2,145,334
Mississippi 2,058,036
Utah 2,030,644
Nevada 1,983,453
New Mexico 1,458,433
Nebraska1,420,317
Idaho1,252,535
New Hampshire 1,161,665
West Virginia 1,136,775
Maine 1,040,582
Hawaii*948,417
Montana 806,204
Delaware786,504
Rhode Island 756,966
South Dakota638,428
Vermont 564,892
North Dakota 561,333
Alaska*536,033
Dist. of Col. 527,731
Wyoming 419,256
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Sources

Release date

January 2020

Region

United States

Survey time period

2018

Supplementary notes

Information was taken from state authorities; estimates were made by the Federal Highway Administration where data was unavailable.

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