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Driver's License

If you will be driving in California, we recommend that you get a California Driver’s license.

Information on applying for a California drivers license

When to apply?

  • If you are a new J-1 Visitor wait two weeks after you have submitted the arrival confirmation web form before applying for a California driver's license.
  • If you are a new F-1 or J-1 student wait 30 days after the I-20/DS-2019 program start date before applying for a California driver's license.  If you need to apply earlier, you can submit a Student Validation Request.
    Do not submit this form until you have attended a Maintaining Legal Status session and updated your SEVIS (U.S.) address in Axess. We will validate records once a week. You can visit Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) 10 days after the validation date. 
  • In your application for a Driver's License you will need to provide 1 form of CA residency. For student visa holders only, options include a copy of your housing agreement, a certification letter from our office, a piece of mail, or an online statement with your address on it.  If you wish to request a DMV certification letter, please complete the DMV Certification request form. Allow 5-10 days for processing.