Are NASCAR Drivers Required to Have a Driver’s License?

Published 12/21/2021, 10:04 AM EST
Sep 26, 2021; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; NASCAR Cup Series driver Denny Hamlin (11) leads driver Tyler Reddick (8) driver Kevin Harvick (4) driver Martin Truex Jr. (19) and driver Joey Logano (22) during the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports | Courtesy Reuters

Motor racing is a serious business, and no team owner will be stupid enough to let anybody hop into their cars. The same is true for NASCAR and its requirements to be an official driver clearly lay emphasis on this. It is interesting to note that NASCAR drivers do not need a regular street driver’s license to compete.


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Instead, the governing body hands drivers an annual license at $2,420. Unfortunately, this does not translate into a valid state driver’s license. What drivers need to do is go to the NASCAR headquarters and send an application for a completely different license. They can head to the nearest licensed track and send an application there as well.

Of course, obtaining a license is not as easy as taking a simple driving test. The racers need to prove that they have a strong background in the racing arena. This includes a bit of racing experience and technical knowledge of the cars. It is also advisable that drivers first attend a NASCAR-sanctioned driving school. This is necessary to help them get a better understanding of the sport.


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What else is involved in getting a license for NASCAR drivers?

Of course, these licenses are not given out for free and are actually quite expensive. Firstly, these licenses cost around $110, but there needs to be insurance coverage of around $1 million. Another necessity is for the same license to be renewed after certain periods of time. In order to renew the license, drivers and crew need to fill out an application and send their resumes. Furthermore, everyone has to go through a mandatory drug test and pass it.

Nov 6, 2021; Phoenix, AZ, USA; An overall view of the track during the Xfinity Series Championship at Phoenix Raceway. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Interestingly, even the crew members require licenses and it costs them $100. While this may seem small, the important thing is that the primary expenditure is elsewhere. This includes expenditure on the car, its maintenance, crew salaries, travel costs, and more.


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Dhruv George

12544 articles

Dhruv George is a senior Motorsports author for EssentiallySports, having authored nearly 12000 articles spanning different sports like F1, NASCAR, Tennis, NFL, and eSports. He graduated with a PG Diploma in Journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communications. Dhruv has also conducted interviews with F1 driver Pierre Gasly and Moto2 rider Tony Arbolino.