Extending your License

If you have a Virginia driver’s license or ID card, it will probably expire when your I-20 or DS-2019 expires. For students, this is usually when you graduate. If you plan to stay in Virginia and drive, you must extend it. You can apply to extend your Virginia driver’s license or ID Card at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). See the Reves website for Williamsburg address, hours, and directions.  When extending, all documents must be originals.

Students with Approved Work Authorization

If you have OPT or AT work authorization that has been approved, you can extend for the length of your work authorization. If you applied for OPT but did not yet receive your card, you cannot extend for the full period of your OPT, but you can extend for your grace period.

Required:

  • Valid passport with F-1 or J-1 visa (even if it's expired)
  • I-94 card or printout 
  • I-20 listing OPT approval period or DS-2019 showing AT extension. When your work authorization is approved, you can request this from the Reves Center 
  • F-1 students only: Employment Authorization Document (EAD): OPT card
  • Proof of Virginia residency 
  • Proof of SSN (if you have been issued one)
Dependents of Students with Work Authorization

If you have a dependent who will be extending their license or ID, you must go with them when they apply, and bring your work authorization proof, and they must bring:

  • Valid passport with F-2 or J-2 visa (even if it's expired)
  • I-94 card or printout
  • Dependent I-20 listing OPT approval period or DS-2019 showing AT extension
  • F-1 student will need to present their EAD (OPT card)
  • F-1 student will need to present their I-797 Approval Notice (e.g., OPT approval)
  • Proof of Virginia residency
  • Proof of SSN (if they have been issued one)
Students and Scholars Extending for the Grace Period

If you are graduating, but not applying for OPT or AT (or it has not yet been approved), or if you are a scholar and your program is ending, you can extend your license or ID card for your grace period.

You have a grace period (60 days for F-1 students, 30 days for J-1 students and scholars) where you can legally remain in the US after your I-20 or DS-2019 ends. You can renew your license or ID for this period, but DMV will not extend it if your grace period ends less than 30 days from when you apply.

  • J-1 students and scholars: Renew your license/ID card by the date your DS-2019 expires, as your grace period is 30 days after this.
  • F-1 students: Renew your license/ID card at least 30 days before your grace period ends.
  • OPT: If you applied for OPT but do not have your OPT card, you can also apply for a 60 day extension of your driver’s license or ID. When you receive your OPT card, you can apply for another extension of your license/ID card for the length of your work authorization.

Required:

  • Valid passport with F-1 or J-1 visa (even if it's expired)
  • I-94 card or printout
  • Proof of Virginia residency
  • Proof of SSN (if you have been issued one)
  • I-20 or DS-2019 (even if it's expired)
    • F-1 students: The eligibility for the 60 day extension is listed on page 3 of your I-20 under “Instructions to Students”, in the section called, “Period of Stay.”
  • Students only:
    • Students graduating in May 2017: Complete an Enrollment Verification/Degree Verification Request. Submit this signed form to Emily Bailey at the Reves Center before Friday, May 5, 2017.
    • You will receive a letter from the Registrar's Office with proof of completion of your studies (letter from the Registrar’s Office). You will receive an email when it is ready, so that you can pick it up, or you can have it mailed to you. Letters will be available a few days before or after graduation.
    • This letter must have an original signature, and must be from someone with the title “Registrar.” It must say that you have completed degree requirements. Please use the form template above, and do not request an emailed or faxed version, as the DMV will reject scanned/faxed copies.
    • VIMS students can submit this form during our Sowers House office hours, 1:00-3:30pm, Thursdays.
    • Undergraduate exchange, Law exchange, and ELP students: Your letter will be different. Request it here:
      • DMV Letter Request (Non-Degree Students (iStart)
        • Login to iStart using your W&M ID and Password.
        • Click on International Office in the menu on the left-hand side.
        • Then, click on DMV Letter Request (Non-Degree Students) and complete the form.
Dependents of Student/Scholars Extending for the Grace Period

If you have a dependent who will be extending their license or ID, you must go with them when they apply, and they must bring:

  • Valid passport with F-2 or J-2 visa (even if it's expired)
  • I-94 card or printout 
  • Dependent I-20 (even if it's expired) or DS-2019
  • Proof of Virginia residency
  • Proof of SSN (if they have been issued one)
  • Dependents of Students only: F-1 or J-1 student’s proof of successful completion of studies (see above for specific instructions)
Proof of Virginia Residency

These must show your legal name and Virginia address (physical address, not mailing). 

Accepted documents include (you only need to show one of these):

  • Your current (unexpired) driver’s license or Virginia state ID card
  • Official transcript; when requesting, list your physical address When requesting the transcript, list your street address on the form, as what you list will be printed on the transcript. If you live on campus, street addresses can be found on each individual hall page.
  • Current automobile or life insurance bill
  • Payroll check stub issued by an employer within the last two months
  • US IRS tax W-2 form or 1099 form (not older than 18 months)
  • US or Virginia tax return from the previous year
  • Original monthly bank statement not more than two months old
  • Utility bill, not more than two months old issued to applicant (such as gas, electric, sewer, water, cable or phone – cellular phone bills not accepted)
Moving to another state?

Check with your new state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for how to get a license or identification (ID) card.

  1. Each state has its own rules and requirements.
  2. In some cases you may want to first extend your Virginia driver’s license or ID card using the methods above, and then later apply for a new license or ID card in your new state. 
  3. If you own a car, check with your new state’s DMV to see if you must title your car in your new state and for how to register your car and get new license plates.