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International Student Affairs

Driving in New York State

You must have a valid driver’s license (DL) to drive in New York State (NYS). A person of any age who does not intend to drive can apply to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) for a non-driver photo ID card (NDID). Visit the DMV website to learn how to apply for a non-driver ID card. If you wish to drive, please check the chart below to see what you should do based on your situation:

I have... What to Do
A valid driver's license from another U.S. state or territory, or a foreign country

You can drive in New York with a valid driver’s license from another state or country. Students from other states or from other nations who attend school in New York State are normally not considered NY residents and are not required to get a NYS DL. As long as your foreign driver’s license is still valid, you do not need to exchange it for a NY license, but you must have English language documentation of your license information. Read 'Out-of-state and Foreign Driver’s Licenses' below for more details. (Source: https://dmv.ny.gov/driver-license/drive-new-york-state)

Never had a driver's license or your foreign driver’s license is expired 

1. First, apply for a Learner’s Permit at a DMV office. The Learner’s Permit allows new drivers to gain actual driving experience while being supervised by a licensed driver riding in the same car.  If you have a NYS Learner’s Permit and you do not have a valid foreign DL, NYS law requires a supervising driver to ride with you. The supervising driver must be age 21 or over and must have a valid driver license to operate the vehicle that you drive.

2. After obtaining a Learner’s Permit, a driver's license test may be scheduled with the New York State DMV to test your driving abilities and knowledge of local road rules. You must pass the test to obtain a driver’s license.

Read 'How to Apply for a NY Driver's License or Non-Driver ID Card' below for more details.

 

Out-of-state and Foreign Driver’s Licenses

If you have a DL from another country you do not need to have an International Driving Permit, but it is helpful. If your license is in a language other than English, police officers who cannot read that language will be able to read the International Driving Permit and verify that you have a valid DL. Contact the motor vehicle authorities in your home country to get an International Driving Permit. If you don’t have an International Driving Permit, you should carry a certified translation of your DL. The translation must be certified by a consulate, the U.S. Department of State, or another official agency. The translation must include: 

    • your name
    • your date of birth
    • the expiration date of your foreign driver’s license
    • a list of the types of vehicles that your foreign driver’s license allows you to drive

(Source: https://dmv.ny.gov/more-info/moving-new-york) 

How to Apply for a NY Driver's License or Non-Driver ID Card

We recommend that you carry your DL or NDID with you instead of your passport and keep your passport in a safe place. You must provide original documents when you apply for a NYS DL or NDID. You can fill out the application form (Form MV-44) at the DMV or download it from: http://www.dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv44.pdf. For quicker service, we recommend that you make a reservation online before going to the DMV office. Read more about how to apply for a DL on the DMV website.

When applying, you must show proof of your name:

    • If you have your Social Security Card, you must have 4 points of proof of name in addition to your Social Security Card.
    • If you do not have a Social Security Card, you must have 6 points of proof of name.

All proofs of name must show the same name. For students who transferred from another U.S. institution, please make sure you pick up your continued attendance I-20 before you go to the DMV.

See how many points the different types of proof accepted by the DMV are worth in the table below. Be sure you have the correct total amount of points you need.

Number of Points Type of Proof
3
* Individuals with F1 (student) or F2 (spouse or child of student) status must also show the original INS/DHS form I-20, with any subsequent I-20 and “notice of approval” (if appropriate). Those with J1 (exchange visitor) or J2 (spouse or child of exchange visitor) status must also show the original INS/DHS form DS-2019 with any subsequent IAP-66 forms and “notice of approval” (if appropriate).
2
  • US College ID Card with Photo and Transcript
  • US Social Security Card
  • Photo DL issued by another US State, jurisdiction, Canadian Province or territory (must be current or expired no longer than 2 years)
1
  • US Health Insurance Card
  • US Utility Bill (must include your name and address)
  • US Computer Printed Pay Stub (must have your name)
  • Only one of these items, if issued by the same financial institution, will be accepted:

    • US bank statement
    • US cancelled check (must have your pre-printed name)
    • US cash card (ATM) (must have your signature & pre-printed name)
    • Valid major US credit card 

 

Find a DMV Office Near You

Garden City DMV Office (DL tests are NOT given at this location)
801 Axinn Avenue
Garden City, NY 11530

Directions via Meadowbrook Parkway:

  1. Depart Hofstra Blvd toward RT-24 W / Hempstead Tpke / Hempstead-Bethpage Tpke  
  2. Turn left onto RT-24 E / Hempstead Tpke / Hempstead-Bethpage Tpke
  3. Take ramp right for Meadowbrook Parkway North toward Mineola
  4. At exit M2 E, take ramp right toward Zeckendorf Blvd
  5. Keep straight onto Dibblee Dr
  6. Turn left onto Zeckendorf Blvd
  7. Turn right onto E Gate Blvd, and then immediately turn left onto Axinn Ave
  8. Arrive at 801 Axinn Ave, Garden City, NY 11530
Bethpage DMV Office
4031 Hempstead Turnpike
Bethpage, NY 11714-560