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The Brooklyn Bridge in New York City.

Driving in the United States: Know the Rules

October 17, 2012

According the Purdue Exponent, the student newspaper at Purdue University, “campus police say they have found international students driving without American licenses more times than they would prefer.”

If you are an F or M student studying in the United States, you can apply for a driver’s license. You may be eligible for this benefit, but remember that it is illegal to drive in the United States without a driver’s license. Make sure you know and follow the rules.

Timing is important in the driver’s license application process. Did you know that you need to wait at least 10 days after arriving in the country to apply? Or that your designated school official (DSO) must activate your SEVIS record before you can apply? 

For more information on the entire driver’s license application process, see our Driving in the United States and Driver’s License Application Process pages. You must follow these rules because you must maintain your status during your entire program of study in the United States.

Talk to your DSO if you want to get a driver’s license. If you have questions your DSO cannot answer, contact the SEVP Response Center at 703-603-3400 or If you are having trouble getting a driver’s license or have questions about the process, e-mail


Police catch more international students driving without licenses; Purdue Exponent

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