Driving In The United States – Office Of International Engagement - Montclair State University
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Driving in the United States

General Information

  • This page is specially designed to assist foreign nationals driving in the U.S.
  • 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. In addition, you will not be required to take the written portion of the driving test—only the driving portion. 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 international visitors.
  • 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.

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:

  • If you have one, a valid international driver’s license. You will not be required to take the driving portion of the test (only the written portion) if you have an international driver’s license.
  • 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 get a letter from the Social Security office stating your ineligibility.