How to obtain a Driver's License
Driver’s License: What is it and where do I get it?
You must have a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle in the United States. Your international driver’s license authorizes you to drive in the US, but local laws and driving procedures may be very different from those in your home country. You may wish to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.
A driver’s license can be obtained from the Georgia Department of Driver Services
Fees and Proof of Identification
- To apply for a driver’s license there is a small fee (~$20). You must also show the following as proof of identification:
- Proof of residence (utility bill, bank statement, rental/leasing contract, etc.)
- PassportI-20 form or DS-2019 form
- I-94 form
- Fee for license issuance
- Social Security Number. If you do not have a social security number, you will have to obtain a Form SSA-L676 'SSN CARD DENIAL NOTICE' from a local SSA office before visiting a DDS Customer Service Center to apply for a driver's license. You may contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or http://www.ssa.gov to find the SSA office nearest you. After obtaining the form, bring it to the Customer Service Center when you apply for your driver's license or identification card.
Immigration Status Verification
The Department of Drivers Services (DDS) is required by US federal law to check the validity of your immigration status in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) verification system known as SAVE. If you are new to the US, you should wait 10 days after entering the US and be sure your SEVIS record has been activated before applying for the license to ensure your information has been uploaded to the SAVE system. If your information matches up successfully in the SAVE database, DDS staff can proceed with your application.
Sometimes there are problems with the verification process in SAVE. If SAVE does not verify your identity on the first check, you will be asked to leave and return in 5 days. DDS should provide you with a case number, and you can phone a DHS help line: 1-888-464-4218. You will need your case number and immigration documents on hand when you call.
Validity Period of License
The expiration date of your new license will match the end date of your I-20 or DS-2019 form (not to exceed a validity period of 3 years). If you are currently pursuing post-completion Optional Practical Training, the expiration date will match the end date of your OPT as listed on your EAD card.