IMPORTANT NOTE:  Wait ten days after arriving in the United States to apply for a driver’s license so that your Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record” information can update in all U.S. government computer systems.

If your state requires a Social Security number (SSN) to apply for a driver’s license, go to your local Social Security Administration (SSA) office and apply for a SSN.  If you are eligible to work, you may receive a SSN. If you are not, you may receive a Form SSA-L676, “Refusal to Process SSN Application.” Either is acceptable to submit to the DMV.

Documents needed to get a Driver’s License or ID Card

You will need to show the following documents to obtain a Driver’s License or ID Card. You must bring these documents to a Driver License Center to obtain your ID Card or information on how to obtain your Driver’s License.

  • An Enrollment Verification Letter from the Office of Records and Registration may be required by your state.
  • Your social security card or Form SSA-L676.
    • If you are not eligible for a Social Security number, you will need to bring a letter of denial/indecision (Form SSA-L676) from the Social Security office. You can obtain this letter at the Social Security card center. Be sure to take all your immigration documents with you to obtain this letter.
  • Proof of residence.
    • Acceptable forms of proof of residence varies from state to state. Please check the DMV website for your state to confirm what is required.
  • Your original immigration documents to verify your status and authenticate your duration of stay:
    • I-20 (F-1), I-797 (H-1B)
    • EAD (if any)
  • Your valid passport.
  • I-94 card (if issued paper I-94) or I-94 printout (if issued electronic I-94). Refer to the automated I-94 process.
  • Your valid visa.


F-2 visa holders must go to the DMV with the primary F-1 student.

NOTE: Information is subject to change. Please contact your local DMV for updates.