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Getting a Driver’s License

General Information

  • This page is specially designed to assist foreign nationals driving in the U.S.
  • A U.S. driver’s license is not a federal document; it is a permit issued by a state’s Motor Vehicle Commission or similar entity.
  • 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.
  • Once you receive your U.S. driver’s license, you will be permitted to drive in all other U.S. states, but driving laws vary from state to state. It is your responsibility to know and obey the laws of the state in which you are driving.
  • If you live in NY and are attending/working at Montclair State University, you may have difficulty in obtaining a driver’s license in either NY or NJ.
  • If you obtain a valid International Driving Permit in addition to a valid driver’s license from your country of origin before you come to the U.S., you may rent and drive a car before you get your U.S. driver’s license. Contact the authorities in your home country to get an International Driving Permit, as the United States does not issue International Driving Permits to international visitors.
    • Note, an International Driving Permit is not the same as a U.S. driver’s license.

How to Obtain a New Jersey Driver’s License

For detailed information, visit the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission’s website. Here you will find guides to assist you with studying for the driving exams as well as assistance in meeting the MVC’s required six points of identification. You may also call the Department of Motor Vehicles at 1-888-486-3339.

All nonimmigrant visa holders (including F-1 and J-1 students and scholars) who want to apply for a New Jersey driver’s license can do so at one of the MVC’s regional centers. The MVC center closest to Montclair State University is in Wayne:

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

Documents Needed:

We recommend that you take the following documents with you when applying for a New Jersey driver’s license, driver’s permit, or state ID card:

  • Valid passport.
  • Valid I-94 (you can print your I-94 record on the CBP’s website).
  • Valid visa document to correspond with non-immigrant status:
    • F-1/F-2: valid I-20
    • J-1/J-2: valid DS-2019
  • Proof of address (bills, checkbook, bank statement or university letter).
  • Student ID and proof of enrollment (recent acceptance letter or official transcript).
  • Social Security Card (if you have one). If you are not eligible for a Social Security card, you must complete the DMV’s Affidavit of No Social Security form.

Road Tests & Other Requirements:

According to the NJ MVC, a road test waiver cannot be guaranteed when a license from another country is presented to the NJMVC to transfer.

The Licensing Center representatives have the authority to verify and grant a road test waiver based upon a full review of the documents provided. If a road test waiver cannot be granted, the applicant will be required to schedule a road test. Once the road test waiver or requirement has been made, the decision cannot be reversed or overturned by any other License Center.

Please contact the NJ MVC for additional information: Contact Us.