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California Driver’s License or California ID Card

Last updated on Sep 27, 2023

Steps to Getting a License/ID Card

F-1 students are eligible to obtain a California driver license or identification card through the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Documents required to obtain a California identification card or driver license:

  • Driver License or Identification Card Application (DL 44) Form. This form can be completed electronically. Hard copies can be found at any DMV location or received by mail by calling the DMV automated mail service at 1-800-777-0133.
  • Valid passport
  • Valid I-94
  • Current I-20 or DS 2019 (I-20 must be registered in order for the student to be eligible and documents cannot expire within 60 days of application)
  • You must also bring two documents to prove California residency. The list of approved documents can be found here. Documents CCA can provide, as long as your address in Workday is UP TO DATE:
    • If you are living on campus:
      • The Students living in on campus residence halls can download the Housing License Agreement from Symplicity.
    • All CCA Students:
      • Request an enrollment verification form from the Student Records Office (SRO) to confirm your enrollment.
      • Or, download a copy of your "Student Statement" from the Financials Worklet in Workday. This document will have your address and proof of resident tuition at a school in California. Instructions for obtaining this here.

Note: If you are obtaining a REAL ID, you may be asked for a US Social Security Number. If you are working on campus or off campus (CPT/OPT), you should already have a SSN. If you do not, you are not eligible for a SSN. You can make an appointment with ISS to request a full time status letter explaining you are not currently eligible for an SSN per federal regulations.

Even if you have a license from another country, you will be required to take a driving test. If you already have a license from another U.S. state, the driving test can be waived.

All driver license or identification cards will expire on the expiration date of your legal presence documents (I-20 or DS2019). If you are granted a program extension, you will need to renew your ID or license as well.

It is recommended to make an appointment with the DMV to avoid long wait times. Actual driving tests are not given without an appointment.

Click here to find CA DMV Locations:

San Francisco 1377 Fell Street San Francisco, CA 94117

Oakland 5300 Claremont Avenue Oakland, CA 94618