In order to drive in North Carolina, students and scholars must have a valid driver’s license.  This may be a valid license from the student/scholar’s home country or a valid North Carolina driver’s license. Students and scholars in possession of a valid license from their home country may drive in North Carolina as long as they intend to return to their country.

We recommend that students and scholars apply for and obtain a driver’s license or N.C. State Identification card in order to use for identification purposes in the U.S.   An applicant will have to take several tests when applying for a driver’s license, including tests on vision, traffic signs, regulatory signs, driving knowledge and in some cases a driving skills road test.

What do you need to get a NCDL or ID card?

  • Proof of Age and Identity
  • Proof of legal immigration status
  • Proof of Residency
  • Proof of Liability insurance
  • Students/Scholars in F-1 or J-1 status must wait 10 business days from the date of check-in at ISSS before applying for the NCDL or State ID card.

Additional Resources:

  • Driver’s License requirements:
  • Information for new residents of North Carolina:
  • Driver’s Handbook:
  • Vehicle Registration: