Driving in New Jersey

International Drivers License

Quick facts for foreign visitors about driving in the United States

1. An international driver's license must be obtained from your home country. This permit only verifies that you hold a valid license in your home country. It is your foreign driver's license that allows you to drive in the United States. Contact the authorities in your home country to get an international driving permit, as the United States does NOT issue international driver's licenses to foreign visitors.

2. If you obtain a valid international driver's license from your country of origin before you come to the U.S., you may rent a car and drive before you get your U.S. driver's license.

3. A U.S. driver's license is not a federal document, but it's a permit issued by one of the 50 states' motor vehicle departments. If you're going to reside in the U.S., it may take several months to obtain a U.S. driver's license.

4. International Students can only obtain a driver's license from the state in which they reside. Each state has its own driving rules and regulations. The guidelines for obtaining a New Jersey driver’s license are listed below.

5. Once you receive your U.S. driver's license from a state motor vehicles department, you will be permitted to drive in all other U.S. states. The laws in each state vary from one to another. It is your responsibility to know and obey the laws of that state while driving.

How to Obtain a New Jersey Drivers License

Go to the Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV):

All nonimmigrant visa holders (which include F1 and J1) who want to apply for a New Jersey driver’s license can apply at one of the DMV’s four regional centers.  The DMV regional center closest to Montclair State University is in Wayne:

Wayne Regional Service Center 1578 Route 23 North, Wayne, NJ 07470

Directions: Rt.80 to Rt. 23 North. Once you drive through the first traffic light on Rt. 23 North, stay in the right lane. The Regional Services Center entrance is on the right across from the Wayne Manor (right next to a Wendy’s)

Documents Needed:

All applicants who visit a motor vehicle agency must present proof of age, identity and address under the guidelines of the Digital Driver License (DDL) Identification Verification regulation. This ID verification program also requires those applicants who are not naturalized U.S. citizens to prove that their presence in this country is authorized under federal law.

The new ID Verification program lists specific personal documents that may be used by motorists to verify their identity when applying for or renewing a New Jersey driver license, non-driver identification card or boat license. Applicants will be required to prove their identity through a prescribed combination of documents. Each type is assigned a point value, and the total point value of all documents presented must be at least six (6) points.

The following documents must be presented by international students to DMV:

• School Documents: Montclair State University I-20, University photo ID card, and Official transcript/ school records - 2 points

• Primary ID: Foreign passport with INS or BCIS verification and with valid record of arrival/departure (Form I-94) or valid I-551 stamp in passport – 4 points

• Secondary ID: Bank statement, or Current NJ PHOTO driver license, or Social Security card – 1 point (you cannot use more than 2 of the 1 point documents)

• 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.

  • A valid or recently expired driver’s license from your home country and/or international license (if applicable)

For details on the other regional DMV centers, or more information, call 1-888-486-3339 toll free in NJ or 1-609-292-6500 from out of state, or visit their website.