|Applying for a Driver’s License or State Identification Card|
It is recommended that international students obtain a California Driver’s License if they plan to drive in the United States. A California Driver's License is also required when purchasing a car and obtaining car insurance.
The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. The IDP is also referred to as an International Driver's License or International License.
If you plan to purchase a new or used motor vehicle (a car, scooter or motorcycle), you must insure it—and most insurance companies will not provide coverage unless you have a valid California Driver's License.
Who is eligible for a driver’s license or ID?
Any F, M or J nonimmigrant in lawful status may apply for a driver’s license or ID card.
The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website outlines the process of obtaining a California Driver’s License. The application process includes a written test and driving skills test administered by the DMV.
You must present necessary supporting documents required to verify legal presence in the United States.
In general, you should present the following:
Please be aware of the following timing requirements before applying for a driver’s license or
To learn more about applying for a Driver's License or State ID, please click here.