Getting turned away at your appointment because of a lack of paperwork can be frustrating! Here's the lowdown on the identification documents required for your DMV appointment!
What do you need to get your driver's license as a non-US citizen?
1. Identification documents and proof of legal presence
Unexpired foreign passport with Visa
For F- and M-visa holders: I-20 Certificate of Eligibility
For J- visa holders: DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility
For H-visa holders: I-797 Employment Authorization, which should show the end date of your authorization (if your petition has been extended, bring a copy of your H1-B extension petition)
2. Social Security Number (SSN)
Social Security Card
*F1- and F2-visa holders: You do not require an SSN unless you are or have been on OPT or CPT
*J2 dependents are required to have an SSN only if they have employment authorization
3. Proof of California Residency
You will need at least 2 pieces of documents, which can be made up of:
Mortgage or utility bills (includes mobile phone bills)
Rental or lease agreement
4. $35 application fee (for Class C license)
5. (If applicable) Legal document supporting the name change
Name change document (adoption, etc.) that contains legal name before and after the name change
Dissolution of marriage document that contains the new legal name
Other Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Can I convert my driver's license issued from another country?
Unfortunately not. To get a California Driver's License, you will need to apply for a driver's license and take both the written and road test*.
*The road test may be waived, at the DMV's discretion, if your Driver's License is from out-of-state
For H- (H-1B, etc) visa holders: Can I apply for renewal of my license while my petition is still pending?
DMVs in California do not issue or renew a license while your petition is pending.
I'm not interested in a driver's license, can I get just a California state ID?
Yes, you can get a California state ID which can act as a form of photo, age, and name verification.
I have other questions!
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