Obtaining a Driver’s License
In order for an F-1 or J-1 student visa holder to obtain a state driver’s license or state government photo ID, they must wait 10 calendar days after entry into the U.S. and have been in Active status in SEVIS for at least two federal business days.
Some students choose to live in either southern New Jersey, or Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and its nearby suburbs. You should apply for a driver’s permit and/or license or government issued ID in the state for which you temporarily reside. Below you will find information on how to apply for a driver’s license in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Obtaining a New Jerse Driver's License
International students and their families may apply for a New Jersey driver's license at any MVC office. The State of New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission details the process for obtaining a New Jersey drivers license. The application process includes a written test and driving skills test administered by the MVC. The online driver’s manual is a valuable resource when preparing for these tests.
Required Documents at the MVC
There are four requirements for 6 Point ID Verification:
- At least one Primary ID
- At least one Secondary ID
- Social Security Number
- Proof of Address
Primary ID: Valid Passport and Printout of electonic I-94 (arrival/departure form) or valid passport with I-551 stamp
Secondary ID: University photo id with transcript and Rutgers University I-20
Social Security number or Social Security Administration letter of ineligibility. Please see the Social Security Administration Web site for more information.
Proof of Address: You must show at least ONE of the following documents. The documents must show YOUR name and CURRENT address.
- Utility or credit card bill issued in the past 90 days.
- Checking or savings account statement from the past 60 days.
- High school or college report card/transcript from the past two years.
- Original lease/rental agreement.
- Property tax bill, statement or receipt from the past year.
- Mail received from the IRS or state tax office in the last year.
- First-class mail received from any government agency in the past six months.
Obtaining a Non Driver ID Card
International students who do not drive may wish to obtain a non driver ID card. The non-driver ID is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive.
How to get a non-driver identification card:
- Complete the front side of a non-driver ID application (BA-207 form)
- Pass the 6 Point ID Verification
- Pay $24 fee.
Visiting the MVC
Listed below are the MVC offices located closest to campus:
Camden (agency, driver testing)
2600 Mount Ephraim Avenue
Camden, NJ 08104
Cherry Hill (agency, driver testing)
Suite 110, Building #1
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Cherry Hill (inspection, road testing)
617 Hampton Road
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
To reach MVC by phone call (888) 486-3339 toll-free in NJ or (609) 292-6500 from out of state.
Obtaining a Pennsylvania Driver’s License
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) requires that non-immigrants’ entry documents (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797) be valid for one year or more to be eligible for a Driver’s License. Thus, if at all possible, obtain your PA driver’s license or ID in your first month of arrival in Pennsylvania.
To obtain a driver’s license you will need to show the following documents:
- Letter from OIS to verify your non-immigrant status.
- Social Security Number – The SSN card or a letter stating ineligibility
- Two of the following as proof of residency in Pennsylvania (1) Current utility bills* (2) Tax records (3) Lease agreements (4) W-2 forms (5) Mortgage documents (6) Car insurance statements. A bank statement may be acceptable if you have only one of the above-mentioned documents.
- Your original immigration documents to verify your status and authenticate your duration of stay: I-20 for F-1 status •DS-2019 for J-1 status • I-797 for H-1B status
- Valid passport and I-94 card or passport with I-551 stamp
*Utility bills include: electric, cable, telephone, etc., but not cell phone bills
*Online billing statements are not acceptable. You may use two of the same type of utility bill as long as they are for two different months.
The Driver’s License application forms are available for download at: http://www.dmv.state.pa.us/
Driver License Centers in Philadelphia, near Rutgers-Camden:
Philadelphia (knowledge, road testing)
801 Arch Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Philadelphia (inspection, road testing)
1530 South Columbus Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19147