International Students

Obtaining a NC Driver's License

According to the NC laws, temporary residents are authorized to use their home country driver's license. International students are considered temporary residents, so you should use your home country driver's license. Please make sure to have available a translation of this document into English. If you have an International Driver's License, it serves as a translation, and therefore should be kept with your home country driver's license.

Even though you are allowed to use your own driver's license, we also recommend that you read the "Driver's Handbook" available at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website. This manual will provide you with vital information about the driving rules which will help you be a responsible and safe driver in North Carolina.

If you do not have an "out of state" (i.e. another U.S. state) or foreign driver's license and you need to apply for a North Carolina driver's license, you may be eligible for a North Carolina driver's license.  For proof of legal presence in the U.S., you will need to provide the following valid, official documents: I-20 or DS-2019, passport, I-94 and visa (can be expired – Canadians exempt), proof of residency (e.g. a utility bill or apartment lease), and proof of car insurance.  Please visit DMV.org for more information.

**Note that you do not need a SSN to get a driver's license. Also note that you must already be registered in SEVIS by the DSO before the DMV will process an application for you. Please check with your DSO in the Office of International Programs before going to the DMV office to make about this.

You do not need a SSN or a NC driver's license to purchase a car. You will also be able to transfer a car title at the DMV using your home country driver's license and passport.

If buying a car, you will be required to purchase car insurance. You may locate insurance companies which do no require a SSN (GEICO is one of them). You will need to submit your home country driver's license and a driving record report issued by your home country DMV (both translated into English).

The closest Motor Vehicle Department office to campus is located at:

2001 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston-Salem, NC 27103
(336) 761-2258

The closest License Plate Agency (for car registration and license plates and title transfers) is located at:

1141 Silas Creek Parkway
Winston Salem, NC ‎
(336) 725-2795 ‎

Winston-Salem State University

601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive

Winston-Salem, NC 27110

Phone: (336) 750-2000



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