Driving in the USA
F students and their dependents may be eligible to drive a car while living in the United States.
First students need obtain a driver’s license. Driving without driver’s license is illegal. To acquire a driver’s license, you must apply at your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
These steps include:
- Confirming with your DSO that your student record is Active in the SEVP system.
- Waiting 10 days after arriving in the United States to apply for a driver’s license so that your form I-94 is updated in all the government systems.
- Bringing the proper documentation to the DMV.
The DMV may need to verify your nonimmigrant student status to determine if you are eligible for a driver’s license.
When you apply for a driver’s license at your local DMV, make sure to bring original copies of the following documents:
- All signed versions of your Form I-20
- A valid passport and your most recent student visa
- Proof of residence
If you are an F-2 dependent, go to the DMV with your primary F-1 and make sure you both have all your required documents.
After a successful application process, a DMV official will explain the next steps for attaining your driver’s license. It is normal for some nonimmigrants to only get temporary licenses.
A driver’s license applicant may also need to pass both a driving and written test. If you have a license from your home country or another state, the DMV may or may not require you to take the tests.