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International Student Services

NYS Driver's License or Non-Driver ID

HOW TO APPLY FOR A NEW YORK STATE DRIVER LICENSE OR NON-DRIVER ID

 
Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
22 Market St.
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
845-486-2130
Monday - Friday:  9 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

 

Do I have to get a US driver’s license?

  • If you have a license from your home country, you do NOT have to get a New York State driver license.
  • You can drive in New York State using your country’s license (the rules may be different in other states!)

CIP recommends:

  • Always carry your passport while driving. A foreign driver license is not a valid form of identification in the United States.
  • We recommend obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) from the issuing authority in your country, especially if your license is not in English. Be careful, there are many online scams offering “international licenses,” so please make sure to obtain an official IDP. You MUST carry your foreign driver’s license with you in order for your IDP to be valid.
  • If you are to stay in the US for over a year, we highly recommend that you obtain a New York State Driver License.
  • If you have a driver license from another US state or Canadian province, you must exchange it for a New York State Driver License within ten days of registering your address with SUNY New Paltz. Drivers who have Canadian citizenship or permanent residence need not exchange their license.

 

How can I apply for a New York State driver’s license?

  • Go to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles and hand in the paperwork:
  • Application form MV-44
  • Your current driver’s license
  • Show six points of ID (http://dmv.ny.gov/node/63 )
  • DMV letter issued by the Office of International Student Programs

 

What are the six points of ID?

The six points of ID are listed at (http://dmv.ny.gov/node/63)

International F-1 / J-1 students must show the following pieces of ID:

  • 3 points = Passport/ I-94/visa/ I-20 or DS-2019
  • 2 points = US college photo ID with transcript
  • 0 points = DMV letter from the Center for International Programs
  • 2 points = Social Security card or letter (if you have one).
    OR
  • 0 points = Letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Office

 In order to obtain the remaining points for a total of at least 6, students usually show the following pieces of ID:

  • 1 point = US Health insurance card
  • 1 point = Utility bill (gas or electric) if you live off campus
  • 1 point = US credit card or US debit card, cancelled check, or bank statement
  • 3 points = Employment Authorization Document (no letter from International student programs needed in this case)

Note: Each point category may be used only once!

 

What if I cannot get a Social Security number?

  • Go to the Social Security office and apply for a Social Security number
  • The SS office will give you a letter of non-eligibility
  • Take that letter, form MV-44, and other forms of identification (six points of ID in total) to the Department of Motor Vehicles to apply for a driver’s license

 

I want to apply for a State ID card

 

How can I learn to drive in the US?

 

PLEASE NOTE: IF YOU ARE A NEW STUDENT, WE CANNOT ISSUE A DMV LETTER UNTIL YOU HAVE BEEN IN THE US AT LEAST 10 DAYS.  ONCE YOU RECEIVE A LETTER FROM US, WAIT A FEW DAYS BEFORE GOING TO THE DMV OFFICE.

 

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Administration Office is located in Poughkeepsie, NY.  If you do not have access to a car, you may choose to take the bus to Poughkeepsie.  Office hours are between 9:00 AM and 4:00 PM Monday through Friday except legal holidays.  If you have any questions, you may contact the Social Security Office directly.

Social Security Administration
332 Main Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
1-877-405-6747
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.