Quick facts for foreign visitors about driving in the United States.An international driver's license must be obtained from your home country. This permit only verifies that you hold a valid license in your home country. It is your foreign driver's license that allows you to drive in the United States. Contact the authorities in your home country to get an international driving permit, as the United States does NOT issue international driver's licenses to foreign visitors.
If you obtain a valid international driver's license from your country of origin before you come to the U.S., you may rent a car and drive before you get your U.S. driver's license.
A U.S. driver's license is not a federal document, but it's a permit issued by one of the 50 states' motor vehicle departments. If you're going to reside in the U.S., it may take several months to obtain a U.S. driver's license.
Foreign visitors who become U.S. residents can only obtain a driver's license from the state in which they reside. Each state has its own driving rules and regulations. Check with your state`s motor vehicles department to find out how to apply.
Once you receive your U.S. driver's license from a state motor vehicles department, you will be permitted to drive in all other U.S. states. The laws in each state vary from one to another. It is your responsibility to know and obey the laws of that state while driving.
The residency requirement for obtaining a U.S. driver's license varies with each state. Consult the motor vehicles department in your state for more information.
If you are a foreign student coming to the U.S. to study, contact the university or college you will attend, as most institutions provide students with driving information and most have websites.
The U.S. government has issued warnings about Internet vendors of worthless international driver's licenses. It is important to educate yourself about the dangers of these costly and illegal operations.