Students coming to the U.S. from abroad often find getting around without a car to be challenging. However there are resources available to help you get where you need to go.



Area & Lodging for visiting campus

Area and Lodging

Driver Licenses & State-issued Identification

Driver Licenses

International students are able to get North Carolina driver licenses. Visit the North Carolina Department of Transportation website for full information about new drivers.

To help get started with the process, here are the documents that students will have to present certain documents at the time of application:

  • Proof of legal presence in the U.S.- Valid, unexpired foreign passport accompanied with an unexpired U.S. visa, and your most recent I-94
    • F-1 students should also provide their form I-20
    • J-1 students should also provide their form DS-2019

The greatest challenge international students often face in getting a driver license is obtaining proof of liability insurance. In the U.S., automobile insurance is usually associated with the purchase or lease of an automobile.

Students who do not own an automobile will need to acquire auto insurance for non-owners. Obtaining non-owners insurance online can be difficult as it is a specialized policy. In the past, students have been able to get insurance for non-owners by calling local insurance agents such as StateFarm Insurance, Progressive InsuranceNationwide Insurance or Allstate Insurance.

Once this insurance is acquired, students can take the driving test at the DMV using a friend’s vehicle or by reserving one of the Zipcars available on campus. After receiving a license, students should maintain the non-owners insurance policy until they purchase their own vehicle. If you purchase a vehicle please contact your insurance agent to change the policy to the correct car insurance for your needs.

Please note that insurance information is provided as a courtesy and does not constitute an endorsement of any product, service or organization. Please direct any questions about obtaining a driver’s license to

State-issued Identification

International students without a driver license may be issued a state of North Carolina identification card. Refer to the NCDOT website for instructions on obtaining a North Carolina identification card.