Driver’s licenses and state identification (ID) cards are issued by the state in which you reside; the laws for each state are different. You may obtain a Virginia driver’s license or state ID card from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
Students: If you are a full-time student and have a valid foreign license, you may drive with that. Be sure to have an English translation of the foreign license, or consider getting an international driving permit. If you are employed in the US, you must obtain a Virginia license within 60 days.
Scholars: You can drive with your valid foreign license for no more than 6 months. Be sure to have an English translation of the foreign license, or consider getting an international driving permit. If you plan to continue driving in the US after 6 months, you must obtain a Virginia license. However, if you are employed in the US, you must obtain a Virginia license within 60 days.
Employees: If you wish to drive in Virginia, you must apply for a VA license within 60 days of moving here.
New Student or Scholar?
As a new student or scholar, to be eligible for a Virginia driver's license or ID card, your immigration record must first be registered
You will receive an email once your immigration record has been registered.
People who want to apply for a driver's license, learner's permit, or state ID card will need to present the following documents to the DMV:
All documents must be originals.
Proof of Identity
Applicants must present two proofs of identity. Documents submitted must show your full legal name and date of birth. They may both come from the primary list of documents, or one from the primary list and the other one from the secondary list.
Proof of Legal Presence
Applicants must present one proof of legal presence. Accepted documents include:
Proof of Virginia Residency
Applicants must present two proofs of Virginia Residency. Accepted documents must show the current street address (not PO Box, CSU Box, or GSH box) and include:
Proof of Social Security Number (you need one from this list only if you have a Social Security Number)
Applicants must present one proof of SSN only if they have been issued one.
State Identification (ID) Card Application Process
If you want just an ID card (does not allow you to drive but is useful when proving age for buying alcohol), you can obtain one with the documents above. The fee is $10.
Driver's License Application Process
If you have never had a driver's license (in any state or country):
If you are 19 years old or older, you must provide proof of successful completion of a state-approved driver education program or you must have held a learner's permit at least 60 days before you can take the road skills test. When applying for a driver's license, you must complete an application (form DL 1M). You may complete this form before or after coming to the DMV.
If you are under age 19, you must complete a state-approved driver education program and hold your Virginia learner's permit for at least nine months.
If you have a license from another state or country:
Regardless of age, you may be required to take a written test, or take both a written and driving test, depending on the country that issued your license. You will need to ask directly at the DMV.
If you have a license from another U.S. state, Canada, Germany, or France, then you may simply obtain a Virginia license by completing the application and paying the fee. Licenses from other U.S. states or Canada will be invalidated when you receive your Virginia license.
The driver's license will be issued for the period listed on your I-20 or DS-2019, not to exceed 5 years. The cost of the license is $4 for each year issued,
Renewing Your Driver's License or ID card After Graduation
Learn more about this process.
For additional information, contact:
Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Center - Williamsburg
5235 John Tyler Highway, Williamsburg, VA 23185
Hours: 9am-5pm Monday - Friday,
Department of Motor Vehicles Customer Service Center - Gloucester
2348 York Crossing Drive, Hayes, VA 23072 (Food Lion Shopping Center)
Hours: 9am to 5pm Monday - Friday,
Directions to the Williamsburg DMV by Bus
Take the Jamestown Line of the Williamsburg Area Transit (free with your W&M ID).
Google Transit allows you to search for routes using public transportation.