Louisiana Driver’s License or State ID for Internationals
The regulations in this guide are taken from Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) materials, and they may change at any time. For official state regulations, please consult
Am I eligible to get a driver’s license?
You must have:
At least 30 days remaining on your immigration document (I-20, DS-2019, or I-797). Any grace period does not. count as part of the 30 days. If you get a license, it will expire on the end date of your immigration document.
A certificate of completion of an approved driver’s education course, unless you have…
A driver’s license from another US state or territory, or a German or Swiss driver’s license. The OMV has reciprocal agreements with these countries only. If you have any of these, you may go directly to the OMV or an auto title company and apply for a Louisiana driver’s license. If not, you must take a driver’s education course.
NEW STUDENTS: Your SEVIS record must be active before you can obtain a driver’s license, state id or Social Security letter. Before you go to the OMV, wait at least 10 days after your iGlobal check-in has been approved.
All internationals will need to attend a driving school and take a 14-hour pre-licensing course. Before taking the course, you will have to go to the OMV and get a Temporary Instructional Permit.
The course is 6 hours of class time and 8 hours of driving time. The school will provide
the vehicle for the driving time, and some schools will pick you up at home. The average price for the course is about $400, and the schools also provide the driving skills test for an additional $40. At NOLA Driving Institute the roadskills test is included.
What documents do I need to get a Temporary Instructional Permit or a driver’s license?
Gather items #1-6 for a Temporary Instructional Permit or items 1-7 for a driver’s license before you visit the OMV :
2. I-94 (Print from i94.cbp.dhs.gov)
3. Immigration documents: I-20, DS-2019, or I-797. F-1 students on OPT must present a valid EAD card.
Dependents must present their own immigration documents and their primary visa holder’s documents.
4. Social Security Number: If you do not have an SSN, you will need to get an ineligibility letter from the Social
Security Administration at 400 Poydras Avenue, 5th Floor. Bring your passport and immigration documents.
5. Splash Card or other photo ID
6. Proof of Louisiana residence: local utility bill in your name or your school fee bill (Print from gibson.tulane.edu > Billing > View Online Account > eStatements). We recommend you use your housing lease for this purpose.
7. Certificate of completion of an approved driver’s education course OR a valid license from another US state or Germany or Switzerland AND Temporary Instructional Permit.
The standard license fee is $32.25 (plus a parish fee of up to $6.00, and additional debit/credit card fees)
Where is the OMV?
The following offices are open Monday-Friday, 8 am-4 pm.
2150 Westbank Expwy
Harvey, LA 70058
421 Williams Blvd
Kenner, LA 70062
1100 4 th Street
Westwego, LA 70094
100 Veterans Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124
What is the process at the OMV?
When you visit the OMV you will take a number and wait for service. You may need to wait many hours, so be patient and bring books or something to occupy your time while you wait.
If you were required to take a driver’s education course, you will need to present your certificate of completion, proof that you passed the general knowledge and road skills test through the driving school, and all of the documentation listed on the first page.
If you have a driver’s license from another U.S. state or territory, or a German or Swiss driver’s license, you will need to present this license and all of the documentation listed on the first page. All applicants are subject to a vision test. Applicants may have an interpreter to translate for him/her during the application and examination process. If you present the required documentation, you will receive your license that day.