Applying for a Driver's License or State Identification Card

  • If you have a license from your home country, you can use that to drive in the U.S. for up to one year. 
  • Please note that several states, including PA, require that a nonimmigrant have at least six months remaining on your qualifying immigration document to be eligible for a license. 
  • To get a drivers license, you will need to get a physical. This can be done at Student Health Services.

What do you need in order to apply?

Read about the process at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) here. Bring your:

  • Passport 
  • F-1 Visa
  • I-94
  • Two forms of proof of PA residency
    • What qualifies as proof of PA Residency?
      • Tax records
      • Lease agreements
      • Mortgage documents
      • W-2 Form
      • Current weapons permit
      • Current utility bills (water, gas, electric, cable, etc.)
  • Original I-20 (if you are an F-1 student), DS-2019 (if you are a J Exchange Visitor), OR Original I-797 (if you are on H-1B or O-1 status)
  • Social Security Card (SSN), receipt notice, or Social Security Rejection Letter
    • If you do not qualify for a Social Security Number (are not authorized to work in the US and/or do not have a job in the US) then you need to visit the Social Security Administration Office, show them your I-94, I-20, passport and F-1 Visa, and explain that you do not qualify for a SSN. They should give you a "Social Security rejection letter."

      • Social Security office: 

      • 2 PENN CTR STE 2000A
        1500 JFK BLVD 20TH FL
        PHILADELPHIA, PA 19102
      • Phone number
        Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
      •  If  you will apply at a different office, find the telephone number at Field Office Locator | SSA 

Visit a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Office:

Note – For Current Utility Bills: Cellular/Mobile or Pager Bills are not acceptable. If you reside with someone, and have no bills in your name, you will be required to bring the person you reside with along with their driver’s license or ID card, to a Driver License Center.

All documents must show the same name and/or date of birth, or an association between the information on the documents. Additional documentation may be required if a connection between documents cannot be established (e.g. Marriage Certificate, Court Order of name change, Divorce Decree, etc.).