In the United States, driver's licenses are issued by each individual state (including Washington, D.C. and the territories), rather than the federal government because of the political concept of federalism. Drivers are normally required to obtain a license from their state of residence and all states recognize each other's licenses for temporary visitors subject to normal age requirements. A state may also suspend an individual's driving privilege within its borders for traffic violations. Many states share a common system of license classes, with some exceptions, and commercial license classes are standardized by federal regulation at 49 CFR part 383.
In 1899 Chicago and New York City were the first locales to require testing before being allowed to operate a motor vehicle.Massachusetts and Missouri were the first US states to require a license for operating a motor vehicle in 1903; however, Missouri did not require testing before a license was granted.
Pennsylvania's 1909 licensing laws were the first to give an age restriction ("18 years of age") and the first state to allow 16-year-olds to drive (accompanied by a licensed driver) was Connecticut in 1921.