Steps to Obtain a Driver’s License for Non - US Citizens

Nearest DDS Customer Service Centers

Marietta Customer Service Center #56
1605 County Services Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30008
Tuesday - Friday 7:30am - 6:30 p.m.
Saturday 7:30 a.m. - 12 noon
Kennesaw/Acworth Driver Services
3690 Old 41 Highway NW
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Tuesday - Friday 7:30am - 6:30m
Saturday 7:30-am – 12 noon

Entry Requirement: A student must be present in the U.S. for at least 10 days and ACTIVE in the KSU system BEFORE they can apply for a driver's license.

Previous Licenses or Instructional Permits: You should present your Out of Country or International License or Identification card to receive a Georgia license or Identification card. Your license will be returned unless it is a commercial license or permit.

Once immigration documentation is verified with USCIS, a Georgia driver's license or identification card may be issued with an expiration date that matches the immigration documentation expiration date, but no longer than 3 years. If there is no expiration date on the immigration documentation, a license/identification card can only be issued for a period of 1 year. The cost of the license/ID is approximately $20.

STEP 1: Get Social Security Identification Documents

If you do NOT have a Social Security Card:

Obtain a letter of ineligibility (Form SSAL676) from the Social Security Administration Office located at: 1415 Franklin Rd. SE, Marietta, GA 30067. You will need to present your I-20 or DS-2019, visa and passport for the letter. Then take the letter to DDS as shown below.

STEP 2: Obtaining a Driver’s License and Permit

Present the following immigration documents in person at a DDS Customer Service Center to prove legal presence in the US:

  • Ineligibility Letter from Social Security (from Step 1) or Social Security Card if you have one
  • Visa
  • Valid passport
  • I-94 information
  • I-20 (F1/F2) or DS 2019 (J1/J2)
  • Support letter from KSU SEVIS Office, DSO
  • Proof of Residency: You have to provide evidence of your current home address:
    • School record or transcript
    • Bill that shows current address, such as cell phone bill, water, or electric bill
    • US Bank Statement that shows your current address
  • Employment Authorization (EAD/I-766/OPT only) - if applicable and on OPT
  • Refugees and Asylees: I-94 only (no passport required) or Refugee Travel Document (I-571)

Driver’s Permit vs. License

NOTE: You will receive a driver’s permit first. You may not drive alone with this permit!

In the United States, before a person receives a driver’s license he receives a permit which has rules that a full license does not have. Permits are given to individuals who are “learning” to drive for the first time. The permit requires that you ride with someone who has a full license for a certain period of time before you can drive alone. DO NOT DRIVE ALONE WITH YOUR PERMIT. You have to have the LICENSE. If you have any questions or concerns, please check with the International Coordinator, an International mentor, or close friend.

STEP 3: After Receiving Your Driver’s License and Auto Accidents

Insurance Liability

  • Any car that a student drives must be covered by auto insurance

  • If you rent a car opt to buy rental insurance from the car rental venue

  • Insurance is in the name of the person who owns or drives the car

  • Make sure you have insurance, before you drive any car.
  • If you are riding with another person, please make sure the owner of the vehicle has an insurance policy which covers passengers in the car.

  • If you are borrowing another person’s car to drive, it is not likely that you are covered by the auto insurance of the owner.

  • Do not drive another person’s car without knowing whether the insurance will cover you for any accidents or damage.

Insurance Payments

You must continually pay an insurance bill, this is called a premium - which is the cost of auto insurance
Deductible - Amount of money you must pay if you get into an accident.

Collision Policy - If you want insurance to cover the repairs to your vehicle if you have an accident, add on collision insurance. This policy is usually optional and is usually needed.

How much insurance should I buy?

Buy enough insurance coverage so you can pay for repairs or hospital bills if you have an accident and to cover all parties involved in the accident.

Your auto insurance company or the rental venue can advise you on how much coverage you may need

Denial of Driver’s License

If you are denied, check with the KSU SEVIS Office to make sure you are ACTIVE in the system. In some cases DDS SAVE verification of immigration status may take several days or several weeks. Until verification by USCIS, DDS is unable to issue a driver's license or identification card. If the verification was unsuccessful, the customer will be given a form with instructions and time frames to contact USCIS or return to the Customer Service Center at a later date.

Important Reminders

Follow all laws and regulations of driving in the state of Georgia and the United States per the Driver's Manual.

  • Do not drive while intoxicated (or drunk) or while you or other persons are drinking alcohol

  • Do not text and drive at the same time, it is illegal in the State of Georgia and you can be arrested and sent to jail.

  • If you are in an accident, call the police immediately and wait until they arrive. DO NOT LEAVE an accident site! Never leave an auto accident site until police arrive.

  • If you are pulled over by a police officer and given a citation, cooperate fully and inform the SEVIS Office as soon as possible.