us government fact sheet provides advice for f, m, or j nonimmigrants for a drivers license or state id

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently released a Fact Sheet providing F, M or J nonimmigrants and their responsible program officials with information concerning obtaining drivers’ licenses or identification cards. Due to the fact that each state has its own individual requirements, F, M and J nonimmigrants are advised to familiarize themselves with regulations, policies and guidelines for each state. The Fact Sheet lists links to web sites for each state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

As a general rule, any F, M or J nonimmigrant may apply for a driver’s license or ID as long as s/he is in lawful status and presents necessary supporting documents required to verify legal presence I nthe USA. Before applying for a license or ID, the nonimmigrant student or exchange visitor should:

  • become aware of the appropriate state requirements
  • contact a designated school official (DSO) or responsible officer (RO) as applicable. The DSO or RO will provide guidance and assist in familiarizing the nonimmigrant with the expectations of the DMV, as well as explain the general process for obtainining a drivers license
  • wait a minimum of 10 days after initial entry as F, M or J nonimmigrant to apply for a state drivers license or state ID.

The Fact Sheet, including an information summary on a state by state basis, can be found at

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