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?

  • Unexpired foreign passport with Visa

  • I-94

  • 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)

  • Name change document (adoption, etc.) that contains legal name before and after the name change

  • Marriage certificate 

  • 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!

You can check out Skip's Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) or drop us a message by clicking the little blue button below!

Other relevant articles

Transferring an out-of-state license to California
Registering a vehicle in California

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