Driver's License or Identification Card
Below is information on how to obtain a Georgia driver's license or identification card from the Department of Driver Services (DDS).
The nearest DDS Customer Services Centers are in Kennesaw and Marietta.
Should you have any questions about the process or need any assistance, please contact the ISSSO at 470-578-6336.
Know Before You Go
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.
Residency: Students and scholars in Georgia for 30 days are considered residents of Georgia for driver's license purposes and should take steps to obtain a Georgia driver's license or ID.
SAVE Verification: In some cases the Department of Driver Services' 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.
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.
Expiration Date of License or ID: A Georgia driver's license or identification card may be issued with an expiration date that matches your I-20 or DS-2019, but no more than three years. Students on OPT will receive an expiration date that matches their OPT end date.
Step 1: Obtain Social Security Documents
If you do NOT have a Social Security Card, obtain a Letter of Ineligibility (Form SSAL676) from the Social Security Administration Office in Kennesaw. 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.
If you DO have Social Security Card, locate it and procede to Step 2.
Step 2: Obtaining a Driving Permit, License, or ID
Present the following immigration documents in person at a DDS Customer Service Center to prove legal presence in the U.S.
- Ineligibility Letter from Social Security (from Step 1) or Social Security Card if you have one
- Valid passport
- I-94 information from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov
- I-20 (F1/F2) or DS 2019 (J1/J2)
- Support letter from the ISSSO
- Proof of Residency: You must provide two separate documents as evidence of your current
home address. The most common are below, or see the full list of options here.
- 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
If you are applying for a driver's license, you will be required to take (in most cases) a computerized test on road signs and driving rules, as well as an in-car driving exam. Students must have a personal vehicle for the road test and be able to present the car insurance and registration.
The cost of the license or ID is approximately $20.
If you are seeking a driver's license, please note: In most cases, you will receive a driver’s permit first. You may not drive alone with this permit!
In the U.S., before a person receives a driver’s license he receives a permit that 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 must have a license to drive alone. If you have any questions or concerns, please check with an ISSSO advisor.
Step 3: Car Insurance for Drivers
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.
You must continually pay an insurance bill, this is called a premium - which is the cost of auto insurance. Please also be aware of your deductible, which is the amount of money you must pay if you get into an accident. 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.
Important Driving Reminders
- Follow all laws and regulations of driving in the state of Georgia and the United States. See the Drivers Manual HERE.
- 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 ISSSO as soon as possible.