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What Is The Correct Spelling Of “Driver’s License?”

Have you ever stopped mid-sentence to wonder – how do you spell driver’s licence? Well, if you want to learn more about how to use the possessive form of “driver license,” keep reading!

What Is The Correct Possessive Form?

To answer quickly, “driver’s license” would be the correct term when talking about a license that someone uses to drive. This is because “driver’s” is the correct form when you are talking possessively. In some odd cases, such as legal documents, “driver license” may be correct. However, it is never correct to say “drivers license.”

When using possessive words that end with an “s,” it is customary to add an apostrophe, such as in “driver’s.” In other words, the apostrophe in “driver’s” shows that the driver is the one that owns the license.

Can You Use “Driver License” And “Drivers License?”

As mentioned, “driver’s license” is the true, correct form. However, there are still cases where people use the other forms. For instance, “driver license” can be seen on some legal documents and was fairly popular to use in everyday speech a few decades ago.

Additionally, even though “drivers license” isn’t correct, it is still used by many conversational English speakers today, so you may still see it!

What About “Divers’ License?”

This form is “drivers’ license” with an apostrophe at the end. With this apostrophe at the end, the word implies that multiple drivers would be owning/possessing the same license.

As you can probably guess, it doesn’t make sense to say or use “drivers’ license” because it is impossible for several people to own a single license.

Luckily, there is a specific case in which you can use “drivers’ license.” This case is when you are talking about multiple drivers, each having a singular license. To use this, you must change “license” into its plural form, “licenses.” For instance:

  • The policeman collected all of the driver’s licenses.

Plurality Regarding “Driver’s License”

When used in these cases, “driver’s license” is singular because it refers to a singular license owned by a singular individual.

Technically, to make “driver’s license” plural, it would have to be “driver’s licenses.” This is incorrect, however, as that would imply that a singular driver holds multiple licenses, which is usually impossible.

In other words, “driver’s license” is singular, and it is the only form you should use in your everyday writing.

Can You Say “Driving License?”

To answer quickly, “driving license” is technically a usable term, however only when utilized in specific circumstances. With this in mind, though, “driver’s license” is still the most popular and correct term, so you might as well stick with that.

“Driving license” tends to be more popular in British English, whereas “driver’s license” is predominant in American English.

What Is The Correct Spelling For “License?”

You may have also noticed that people can write “license” and “licence.” In general, both of these spellings are correct. However, they each are normally designated in either British or American English. It is important to know that in both dialects, “license” has been the most popular throughout history, so that is probably the best spelling for you!

According to the rules of American English, the only correct spelling is “license.” It is rare to see other spellings.

In contrast, it is much easier to find both “license” and “licence” used in British English. This is because “licence” is the officially correct term in British English. However, “license” has also gained popularity due to its prevalence in American English.

More American And British English Differences

In American English, “driver’s license” is the most common and acceptable term. However, you can also technically use “driving license.” In most cases, however, you should use “driver’s license” in your writing.

In British English, “driving licence” is the most popular spelling. However, “driver’s licence” is considered the most correct within the dialect.

Canadian Spelling

Many people also wonder if Canadian spelling plays a significant role in this phrase. Generally, Canadian English usually tends to follow British English rules. For instance, they use “licence” instead of “license.”

Australian Spelling

Similarly, Australian English also follows the rules of British English. They also tend to use “licence” as the correct spelling. There are, however, some differences with the term “driver’s,” as it is correct for them to say “driving licence.”

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By Ryan Fisher

Ryan holds degrees from Pacific Lutheran University and specializes in proofreading, editing, and content writing with an emphasis on business communication.

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