Driving in the U.S.


When to get your first’s Driver License?

International students in America can get a U.S. driver’s license. You may want to apply for a driver’s license right away, but you must be patient:

  1. Wait ten days after you arrive in the United States. These ten days allow time for all the government databases to update with your arrival information. Talk to your Designated School Official (DSO) about your state’s driving rules and regulations.
  2. Make sure you are in active status in SEVIS. SEVIS is the database that manages information for all F and M students and J exchange visitors in the United States. Your DSO activates your record in SEVIS when you register for classes or check in for a program. Talk with your DSO before you apply for a license to make sure you are active in SEVIS.
  3. Wait two days after your DSO activates you in SEVIS. You should wait at least two business days before you apply for a driver’s license to ensure that the nonimmigrant’s Active status updates in all relevant databases.
  4. Several states require that a nonimmigrant have at least six months left on the Form I-20, to be eligible for a driver’s license. Either consult with the state or territory’s DMV or visit its website to see if this is a requirement.

What Documentation must an F nonimmigrant present to the BMV?

  1. Valid passport with visa (if applicable)
  2. Form I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record)
  3. Form I-20 (For an F student)
  4. Form I-797 (Notice of Action in cases of change of status)

Does an F nonimmigrant need an SSN to apply for a driver’s license?

No, a nonimmigrant does not need a SSN.

How to register your vehicle?

  • Present proof of ownership (Certificate of Title)
  • Provide your Ohio’s driver license
  • Proof of car insurance
  • Present inspection documents, if required.
  • Pay all applicable fees and taxes.

NOTE: Your license plates will be mailed to the address on your registration. You’ll receive a temporary permit that will allow you legally drive while you wait for the plates to arrive.

You can get your driver license here:


1720-A S. Erie Blvd.

OH 45011

(513) 868-2180

8:00-5:00 M-T-Th-F

8:00-6:00 Wednesday

8:00-2:00 Saturday

5140 Princeton-Glendale Rd.

OH 45011

(513) 695-2927


775 Reading Road

Mason, OH 45040

(513) 398 -8928






Ohio requires that you be financially responsible for any costs that may occur due to incidents with your vehicle.

Ohio Car Insurance Requirements

Liability Insurance

The most common way to comply with Ohio’s financial responsibility law is by carrying liability car insurance to help pay for injuries or property damage resulting from a car accident that you cause.

Your car insurance policy must have at least the following minimums:

  • $25,000 for injuries or death, per person
  • $50,000 total for injuries or death to 2 people or more in any 1 accident.
  • $25,000 for property damage in an accident.

Ohio Proof of Insurance

When registering your car in Ohio, you must submit a signed statement that you have and will continue to have OH proof of insurance while operating your vehicle.

You must provide your proof of insurance:

  • When you are involved in a car accident that results in injury or property damage exceeding $400
  • At the request of an officer during traffic stops.
  • When randomly selected by the BMV.

If you are unable to provide proof of insurance to an officer during a traffic stop, you will be given a notice that will explain options you may take in order to prove that you had insurance at the time of your citation in order to avoid consequences of insurance violation.

Fines and Penalties

When proof of insurance is required, failure to show or provide proof of insurance will lead to penalties that include:

  • Loss of driving privileges
  • Suspension of plates and registration



Here are some companies that can help you out to get the right quote and insurance your car.

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