Office of International Education

Wait ten days after arriving in the United States to apply for a driver's license so that your Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record" information can update in all the government systems.

Indiana requires a Social Security number (SSN) to apply for a driver's license. Go to the Fort Wayne Social Security Administration (SSA) office and apply for an SSN. If you are eligible to work, you may receive an SSN. If you are not, you may receive a Form SSA-L676, "Refusal to Process SSN Application." Either is acceptable.

When you go to the local DMV, bring originals of the following documents:

  • All signed versions of your Form I-20.
  • A valid passport with visa (You do not need a visa if you are from a visa-exempt country, such as Canada or Bermuda).
  • Proof of residence. This varies from state to state and might be a bill or a letter addressed to you.
  • If your state requires it, an SSN card or a Form SSA-L676
  • If you are on optional practical training, bring your Form I-766, Employment Authorization Document. The DMV will use the A number on this card to verify your status.

You may have to take both a driving test and a written test. In many states, if you have a license from your home country or another state, the DMV may not require you to take the tests. Please note that not all states accept driver's licenses from other countries.

Once you pass the tests, if required, and submit all the necessary paperwork, an associate at the DMV will explain the next steps. It is normal for some nonimmigrants to only get temporary licenses. In addition, you may receive the license immediately or you may have to wait several weeks, depending on the state.