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International Students

California Driver’s License

Visitors in California over 18 years of age and have a valid driver’s license from their home state or country may drive in California without getting a California driver’s license as long as their home country’s license remains valid.


The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver’s license. California does recognize a valid driver’s license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident.


The IDP is only a translation of information contained on a person’s foreign driver license and is not required to operate a motor vehicle in California. Citations issued to a person in California who has an IDP, but does not have a California driver’s license will be placed on the Department of Motor Vehicle database.


The IDP is also called an International Driver License, International License, etc.


The DMV will require proof of your birth date and legal status when you apply for a driver’s license. You should be prepared to show a valid passport, I-94 card and I-20. You do not need a social security number to apply for a California driver’s license. However, you will need to get a letter from the Social Security office verifying that you do not need a social security number. For more information on obtaining a California Driver’s License, please visit the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website.


The DMV office in Pomona is located at 1600 S. Garey Avenue, Pomona, CA 91766. Office hours are Mon, Tues, Thurs, Friday: 8:00 AM-5:00PM and Wednesday: 9:00 AM-5:00 PM. Be sure to check their website for changes in hours of operation.