Documents Required for US Driving License for Indian Students

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To get your non-US citizen driver’s license, you will need to prove that you are an international student living in the United States. You should have the following documentation:

  • Your unexpired foreign passport with required US entry markings
  • Your Form I-20
  • Two documents to establish your state residency–for example, a utility bill or bank statement
  • Your Social Security Number or a letter from Social Security stating non-eligibility
  • Your school enrollment form (DL-1/93)
  • A US visa with supporting documents, all valid for at least 160 days
  • Form I-94

Documents Required for US Driving License

New drivers under 18 years old:

  • Before you get your driver’s license, you typically are given your “Learner’s Permit”, with which you are allowed to practice driving with an adult of 21 years or older present.
  • Some states you can apply for your learner’s permit as early as 14 years old, while in others you must wait until you are 16 to apply.
  • Most Common Documents Required:
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  1. Certified US birth certificate (in some states you may need to provide more than one form of identification, but typically this will do)
  2. Social security card or proof of social security number
  3. Proof of school enrollment or graduation.
  • In addition to the documentation, you must bring a cash payment for the exam you are taking (written, visual, practical, etc).
  • The steps prior to obtaining a license differ from state to state.
  • In some states, teens will only have to pass a practical exam, in some states the applicant may also have to pass a written exam.
  • On top of that, you will be required to do a certain amount of practice, commonly known as “Driver’s Ed”. Driver’s Education is offered by private companies as well as in some public high schools.
  • Most states require you to do around 30 hours of behind the wheel driving practice or an approved driving education course.
  • In most states, you cannot obtain an unrestricted license until you’ve held a learner’s license for at least six months.
  • With the unrestricted license you are allowed to drive on your own, and after a certain age (typically 16-18 years depending on state) you no longer have a curfew.
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New drivers 18 and older:

There is a certain list of documents that you must bring with you in order to apply for a license (depends on requirements of each state). Just like for teen drivers, these documents vary according to state, but in general, you will need to supply:

  1. Proof of identity (some states only require one form of identity while others require two, and sometimes they will specify which type)
  2. Social security card or proof of social security number
  3. Proof of address or of state residency
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  • At some RMVs you will have to fill out a form or an application beforehand (pick it up from the RMV or print it from the internet) or fill one out when you get there.
  • Some states require you to have to pass a written exam and/or pay a fee for the written exam, but this is specific to certain states.

International drivers:

If you are not from the United States, but you have a valid driver’s license from your country, you can apply for an International Driving Permit. The IDP translates all of your driving privileges into ten different languages and is valid for a year.

When traveling and driving in the United States, it is not required that you get an IDP but it is highly recommended. Either way, you must have your valid driver’s license on you as well. To obtain the IDP, you must apply for it in your home country.

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