How to Dispose of Old Driver’s License Safely

You take a lot of pride in your driver’s license.

Chances are that it’s not something you decide to let go easily. You feel that if you keep it, you will be able to store it safely and that it might also be useful in some unusual way down the road.

This article will show you the perfect way to get rid of that old license and protect your identity at the same time.

Why Destroy Your Old Driver’s License?

An expired driver’s license can compromise your healthcare coverage, your banking details, and your credit card information.

It’s not like they couldn’t put together an emergency kit to steal your identity. If they deleted your criminal record, they’d have much more to gain from you.

The issue isn’t that someone may exploit your expired driver’s license, but that a driver’s license may be easily forged, which will prevent a trusted person from gaining entry into your home.

The actual problem is that an experienced identity thief may use your outdated driver’s license to gain access to much more sensitive data.

Is It Illegal to Keep an Old Driver’s License?

It is not against the law to keep a license when it is expired. In fact, many states allow you to carry an expired license for up to two years. It’s also not against the law to let your licenses expire.

You will not be arrested if an officer asks you to hand over your driver’s license.

Prevent giving an expired license to a police officer because many states require drivers to present their current license with them upon request.

Driving with an expired license can lead to penalties, especially if it is a first offense. In some states, it is a misdemeanor or a serious crime.

Some states, like Arizona, include expired driver’s licenses on their list of controlled substances.

How to Dispose of Old Driver’s License Safely

Burn or melt it using a lighter. Melt it using a lighter. Use caution when melting or burning your license to prevent the license from being damaged.

You should destroy your previous driver’s license by cutting it up.

You might be tempted to tear it into pieces so it can’t be used again, but this isn’t the best idea. The destruction of your license should be immediate and permanent.

Pull out your scissors or a knife and start cutting. Don’t worry about any pieces of your license that could still be used.

Pay special attention to your signature, name, and security number. It’s important that you destroy the license as soon as possible, and your disposal method shouldn’t take more than a few seconds.

It may lead to identity thieves, so it is important to make sure to destroy it or shred it to prevent fraud.

Licenses obtained from other states must be destroyed because they are not valid in Alaska. Licenses obtained via online transactions must be destroyed or destroyed securely.

Even though the method differs by state, most states recommended that you shred or shred and then incinerate the license.

Shredding is certainly the most secure way to dispose of the license, because it prevents anyone from copying it. Some states, including Florida, recommend that you destroy old driver’s licenses by burning them.

Burns destroy, or otherwise render unusable, the license. Some states, including Oregon, also recommend that you burn your driver’s license.

Burn Your Old License

Your personal information will be secure and cannot be recovered, even if the license is completely destroyed.

This process may take a few minutes or be very slow depending on how thick the license paper is. It is recommended to wait until the license is completely cooled before disposing of it.

Burn or melt the license using a candle, match, lighter, or lighter fluid. Use the license smoldering if possible. Be careful not to breathe in the smoke or breathe too deeply.

Take It to Your Local DMV

Bring your expired driver’s license to your local DMV’s customer service counter. When you bring your old driver’s license to a DMV, the clerk will issue you with a carbon copy of your new one.

Some states require you to surrender your old license to the DMV. Others require that you mail it to them or return in person.

When a policeman pulls you over, do you have to show your driver’s license?

Probably not in most situations, but you will if you’re transporting people or operating a commercial vehicle. So it’s a good idea to keep a copy of your license in a secure place that you don’t forget.

Some DMVs refuse to accept your previous license, which is why you need to call ahead or call in.

That’s why you should contact your local DMV and ask if they provide instructions or call for the shredding services.
You can always shred it at your office or at home.

Use Scissors to Cut It

If you don’t have a high-quality shredder, shred some of the important papers in a high-traffic area so it’s harder for people to access them.

If you’re worried about identity theft, separate the garbage cans before you dispose of them.

In addition to saving you time, it’s a secure method to get rid of your old driver’s license.

It will require a little more work on the front end, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to shred the license in no time.

Shred your Old License

Running an outdated driver’s license through one of these machines will destroy it beyond recognition.

The plastic and paper, in turn, will cause no trouble for our environment.

Take the little, shredded pieces and toss them away in an approved garbage can.

You can also take them to a recycling center so they can shred them for you and turn your garbage into usable items, like potting soil. Having a license is a privilege, not a right.

You can shred it the right way and get rid of it.

Also Read: How to Dispose of Old Diesel Fuel Safely


If your driver’s license is stolen and you need a replacement immediately, there are measures you can take to obtain one. Always request a copy in writing of the new driver’s license.

Shredding, ripping up, and punching holes in your old driver’s license is the safest way to dispose of it.

You may also burn it if it’s the last copy of your license. This will completely destroy your license, but be sure you do not throw your piece of paper in the garbage after shredding it.

You may also take it to your local DMV to be disposed of.

There are situations when you may need your old driver’s license, even though it’s best practice to throw away your old one. Be careful to secure it in a safe place in your house if that’s the case.

You’ll be sure it doesn’t end up in the wrong hands this way.

Even while it’s best to get rid of your old driver’s license, it may still be important to have it around in case something happens to your license. For example, you may be required to show it if you are pulled over by a police officer.

If that’s the case, keep it hidden or frozen somewhere safe until you need it. Better yet, destroy it completely.

You can avoid it staying in the wrong hands by shredding the document or punching holes in the middle. This creates paper confetti that is easy for people to throw away.