Obtaining a Driver’s License
International students may drive with both a license from their country of origin and an International Driver's License for 90 days in the US before they have to obtain a driver's license issued by the state of residence. A Florida driver's license or a State of Florida identification card can be obtained at any Department of Motor Vehicles office.
All customers - regardless of their citizenship status - may go to any Division of Driver's Licenses office in Florida to apply for a new driver's license or State of Florida identification card.
Driver's licenses are issued for one year at a time, renewable until the end of the student's program. F-1 students who have completed a course of study or optional practical training can be granted a license for an additional 60-day period to allow them to prepare for departure or to process a transfer. J-1 students and scholars who have completed an exchange visitor program can obtain an additional 30-day period.
Dependents of F-1 or J-1 students and scholars (i.e. dependents in F-2 or J-2 status) are allowed the same period of driver's license validity as the F-1 or J-1 students and scholars.
For first-time issuance of a State of Florida driver's license or identification card, Florida law requires the following items from students in F-1 or J-1 status:
- Passport; and
- Proof of non-immigrant classification provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Form I-94); and
- F-1 or J-1 status documentation (Form I-20 or DS-2019); and
- Two original proofs of residence (cell phone bills, utility bills, official, original transcripts from Florida Tech, apartment lease). Students who live on campus will need to obtain proof of residence from Campus Services.. Also, any official letter, for example a bank letter or letter from Florida Tech sent to your on-campus address will suffice as proof of residence, and
- SSN cards if one has been issued.
It is recommended that you take your foreign driver's license, if one has been issued. You may be exempt from the otherwise mandatory drug and alcohol traffic education course, the driving test, or parts of it. Complete information on the required tests and a link to the driver's manual can be found online.
There are currently three driver's license offices in Brevard. The closest location to Florida Tech is approximately 5 miles from campus:
Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
Driver License Division
1515 Sarno Road
Melbourne, FL 32935
Driving tests given by appointment only. Appointments are also available for all other services.
You are strongly advised to make an appointment. If you go without an appointment, expect a long wait for your turn. To schedule an appointment and for the most up-to-date information on driver's license requirements, check the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles' website.
Other Useful Links:
USCIS Fact Sheet on Applying for a Driver's License or State ID Card
(basic info on eligibility for F, M or J nonimmigrants)
Florida Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC)
(general information on Florida motor vehicle rules)
The Florida Driver's Manual
(comprehensive rules related to driving in Florida)