Requirements to get driving license for H4 Visa holders? No SSN?

by Kumar · 54 comments

Getting a driving license is very important for H4 visa holder. As I mentioned, It is not a good idea to carry your Requirements to get driving license for H4 Visa holders No SSNpassport for ID, it is important to get an official ID. There are some challenges and misconceptions among H4 visa holders on how can they get driving license. I will try to put in few scenarios in some states and hopefully it helps you all. In fact, you do this process to get the driving learners permit.

No SSN for H4 visa holder ? What should you do ?

As you know, H4 visa holders do not get Social Security Number (SSN). But, what you should do is, go to the Social Security Administration office and get a letter from them saying that “You are not eligible for SSN”. You will have to take your Visa, I-94, Passport & H4 papers (May be your spouse’s H1B papers). This letter is very important as you would have to take it to the Drivers license office.

Requirements for H4 Driving license :

This is not the complete list. For the most part, most of the states look for these kinds of documents. Not all of them are mandatory, some are optional. Here is the typical list of documents needed; these correspond to H4 visa holder.

  • Passport along with Visa
  • I-94 card.
  • H4  Approval notice ( I797 form H4)
  • H1B approval notice of the spouse (I797 form H1B)
  • Letter from SSN office that you are not eligible for SSN.
  • Utility Bill (  You can get electricity bill or phone bill on your name).
  • Rental Lease papers (If you have name on it.
  • Bank account Statements of US Banks.
  • Medical Insurance Papers
  • ITIN of H4 visa holder (Individual tax identification Number)
  • International Driving license ( if you have one from home country)
  • Depending on state sometimes they ask for H1B visa holders Passport, SSN and I-94. So, it is a good idea for your spouse to come along with you with documents.
  • Date of Birth certificate from Home country (in English)

Depending on the state, sometimes they give you ID right away. But some states, just give you a piece of paper and they will mail the Driving license or ID card to your home address in two weeks.

Rules of few states DMVs for H4 visa holders License:

Illinois H4 Visa Driving license situation: Illinois gives options for H4 visa holders to get an instruction permit as well as Driving license. They has something called a Temporary Visitor Driving license Program. Check the DMV website of Illinois Temporary Visitor Program

New York  H4 visa holders license : In New York State, it is point system. You need 6 points. Check this document Form ID 44 for Points weightage. You get 4 points for Passport, 1 point for Health insurance and 1 point for Bank Account/ATM card. Sometimes, you can also get 1 point for utility bill too

California H4 Visa holders Driving License : If you are in California, you can schedule an online appointment for office visit by filling out details. The process is pretty standard. If you need application form, you can call the DMV office and ask them to mail the form, then you can fill it at home and carry it. You need to carry the letter from SSA office that you are not eligible for SSN. More info check : Driving license and ID card information

New Jersey Driving License for H4 visa :  New Jersey has a 6 point system. You need passport, I94, SSN denial letter, Utility bills, health insurance and ATM/ Check card on your name. This gives you six points. Check the DMV 6 Point validation site of New Jersey . You can use the Online document selector to find out the eligibility by selection of options.

Virginia H4 visa holders Driving license : It is pretty much same for Virginia, you may have to explain more. You can check the DMV 141 Document for list of documents needed or you can use the online document guide for Driving license or ID cards.

I cannot really put in all the states, I have tried to put in the information of the most frequently asked states. I assume rest of the states are good.

Some things to try if you get Denied for H4 visa Driving license at any DMV :

Sometimes, you may get a NO from some DMV offices. The simple reason could be, they have never done it or the person you have talked to does not know the process and they say a NO straight away. You can do few things to get out of this kind of situation.

  • Talk to other person in the DMV. Ask you want to talk to the Supervisor or someone else. Be bold and ask it.  If you think, you cant, just go at a time when the person you talked to is not helping out and you get to talk to other person.
  • If you have no good luck with a DMV location, Change the DMV location. Try different DMV.  Sometimes, people in a particular DMV location may not know the process, so you are better off trying in multiple locations.

These are some of my thoughts, there is no universal rule for anything. Rules keep changing and sometimes they are strict and all the stuff I wrote above may not work…so, just be aware of the situation…

{ 54 comments… read them below or add one }

WMD July 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

I think the 6-month visa validity requirement for H4 in Illinois is outrageous. Depending on the employer’s business, sometimes visas are never valid 6 months or longer because they’re frequently extended for a few months. In our case, my employer is a global consultant agency, and the visas get extended only per client project which changes every 4-5 months.
That combined with the Illinois regulations means that my H4 wife cannot get a driver’s license in Illinois. This makes a normal life in the U.S. nearly impossible. They should change this regulation as soon as possible.

Reply

Sri July 18, 2014 at 8:46 am

hi,
I am on H4 visa status in chicago(IL). I took a written test on aug 2013. now the rules have been changed in IL that we need to apply online for appointments for road test. I am trying to book online and also trying the number given in the website, donno its always showing the appointments as booked and the number given is not at all connecting. Can i go directly to the dmv office and apply for a road test? plz lemme know is this possible?

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aparna July 18, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Hi Sri, where did you give the written test

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aish September 11, 2014 at 9:16 am

Hi Sri,
In case this question is still open, online appointments for tvdl is for individuals without a valid visa. Since you are on H4, you can directly walk into to the dmv office(not all though). The DMV in Chicago North, elston ave issues tvdl on weekdays. You can either apply for an instruction permit or directly go for the road test. Hope this helps. Just have 2 docs for address proof, passport, insurance for the vehicle and i-94 print out from CBP site.
Aish

Reply

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kk May 6, 2014 at 9:37 am

I have my Instruction permit for another 6 months and my visa is expiring in another 5 months(I am on H4 ). Am I eligible to take the road test now?

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vani November 7, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Hi,

I am on H4 visa and went to apply for state id in texas.
They took my information and tol d rhat they didn’t find my record in homeland security department database. Its been told that they had send a verification request and I will be getting a letter in 10days.
I am not sure why they didn’t find my details in homeland security database when it is correct in my I-94 in my passport.

Can someone help me in this

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anu January 14, 2014 at 3:44 pm

i am from Maryland and the same thing happened to me in Dec. They gave an denial letter and said DHS will call me. Its been one month and no letter.Did u have any luck yet?

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sukanya September 12, 2013 at 11:13 am

Hi,
My father in law is a green card holder. He wants to get a driver licence in US.( Texas)
What documents are required for him to submit at the DMV for taking the test.

Thanks in advance
Sukanya

Reply

S September 12, 2013 at 12:18 pm

The document required are,
Proof of Residence
Birth Certificate( Any legal document like passport etc is enough for that)
Proof of Residency.

He has to write a driving test which has 40 questions, after passing that he can straightaway that very day(in Texas) can go for road test.

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H4visa September 5, 2013 at 2:37 pm

I have my permit expiring in another 18 days and my visa expiring in another 4 months(Iam on H4 BTW).Am I eligible to take the road test now?

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mahi July 19, 2013 at 10:30 am

I am an H4 Visa holder, I have taken learner’s permit, do i need all this documents again for driving test too.

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H4 CoS July 19, 2013 at 7:38 pm

For the test you need to carry the learner’s permit, proof of financial responsibility for the vehicle, registration documents of the vehicle.

You can anyway carry your passport, I94 along with you and produce if asked..

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Johnas May 27, 2013 at 3:58 am

Saurabh,

I am on a H1b visa but the rental agreement is in my Friend’s name, with whom I am sharing the apartment. Is it an absolute necessity to have rental lease paper in one’s name before applying for NY state driving license. Thanks

Reply

Saurabh May 29, 2013 at 2:05 am

Johnas,
As the rules vary from state to state, it is better to look up on DMV NY site to see what the requirements are. Do you have any other address proof like bank statement or utility statement that can be used in lieu of rental agreement? You can also check w/ DMV office itself.

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Kirthi April 29, 2013 at 5:40 pm

Hi,
I m in h1 b visa and my visa has to be renewed in August 2013. I am in Chicago. I am planning to get my driving license here(I have my Indian driving license) .am I eligible to get my driving license here in US when my h1b visa renewing will be in few months. So far my husband didn’t processed for renewing our h1b.(he says one month before renew day we can start our process). Should I wait till my visa is renewed or can I do it right now????

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Saurabh April 29, 2013 at 9:18 pm

Kirthi,
You can go for DL now, but you will receive DL only until your current I-94 expiration date. Once you get the 797 extended, you will have to apply for DL extension.

If you get your H-1 renewed first (which will come w/ I-94 extension) and then you apply for DL, then it will come w/ longer expiration date.

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Samuel January 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Hi, I have B2 visa and live with my wife in VA. I often come and visit her. Can i apply for Lerners Permit in VA with the B2 Visa without SSN. I have all the other supporting document except the SSN.

I will be happy for any advice. Thanks.

Reply

Saravanan January 2, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Hi,

My H1B VISA expired in november 1st 2012.I have applied for VISA extension in July 2012 and received acknowledgement receipt from USCIS. My VISA extension in progress and probably it will be approved in 2 months.
I need to take the learner licence test in texas. Is it possible now or should i need to wait until VISA extension get approved.

Reply

Saurabh January 3, 2013 at 4:18 pm

Saravanan,
Most likely they will ask for proof of extension to ensure you are a legal immigrant here.

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Saravanan January 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Thanks Saurabh for the reply.I have the acknowledgement receipt which i was from USCIS. Is that enough to appear for LLR test?

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Saurabh January 3, 2013 at 10:27 pm

Saravanan,
Most likely they will ask for approval notice for the DL filing. However, it doesn’t hurt going to DMV and finding it out. If it doesn’t work out, you/employer can upgrade the petition to PP so that you get a faster response to your petition.

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Saravanan January 3, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Thanks Saurabh…

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Praveen February 5, 2013 at 1:33 pm

They need approved i797 original.

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George October 17, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hi There,
I read this blog and went to DMV for taking drivers permit but got rejected due to shortage of a point. I have US bank account and health insurance so it added up to 2 points, totally I have got 5 points. I have checked with DMV officer and got info that if you have shopper’s card in your name from wegmans/Price Chopper OR make sure that you have landline phone or some utility bill on your name(H4), so you are eligible for a point.

New York H4 visa holders license point system got changed, you get only 3 not 4 points for Passport (Visa & i94).

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Rashi October 10, 2012 at 3:12 pm

Hi guys,
I’m on H4 visa and have a valid Indian driving license. My visa is valid until dec’12 so the DMV in Wisconsin denied issuing me a driving license (requires at least 6months stay remaining). Can I drive the car on my Indian driving license ? Please advice.
Thanks,
Rashi

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Neil June 7, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Hi,

I did a lot of googling but could not find the right answer. Can somone let me knnow the right answer?

My wife needs to file for her Drivers License. She is on H4 visa here.
She does not have ITIN.
So can i apply for her ITIN or do i need to apply for her ITIN only at the time of filing my taxes?

I alredy have a SSN Number with me.

Reply

Saurabh June 7, 2012 at 4:45 pm

Neil,
ITIN is not required for driver license. She can carry her passport (id proof), house lease (address proof) and H-4 visa + I-94 (legal immigration proof).

ITIN is basically for taxes and is of no relevance to DMV.

Reply

Neil June 7, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Hi Saurabh,

Thanks for an early reply. But is it sill possible for her to apply for ITIN even before i file for my taxes?

I am asking such a questions because i read in a lot of portals that ITIN needs to be filed at the time of filing of my taxes only…!!!

Reply

Saurabh June 7, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Neil,
As per IRS site, you can apply for ITIN anytime of the year. So you can apply now or wait for the tax return season and apply for it along w/ federal tax return.

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Rohini May 29, 2012 at 6:13 pm

To add to this, I have IDL, Health insurance cards and my Indian Birth certificate..

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Rohini May 29, 2012 at 6:12 pm

Hello,

By any chance, do you know the process in Wisconsin?
Here the (not very helpful) guy at DMV gave me a list of documents of which proof of legal presence, and proof of address were not an issue, but I have no doc listed under proof of id. (I am on H4) And from my research in forums, I also came to know that they do not accept SSN denial letter here in Wisconsin (which I should verify). I really appreciate if you can share any info on this!
Thanks!

Reply

Saurabh May 30, 2012 at 12:30 am

Rohini,
Why can’t you use your foreign passport as ID proof. Although it is not mentioned in the list of documents, they should still be willing to accept that. Did you talk to them about this?

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Rohini May 31, 2012 at 5:54 pm

Saurabh,
Thanks for your immediate response. My husband went again to the DMV today and thankfully there was a different person who took time to enquire. Like you said, my passport indeed served as the proof of id. In addition to this, our auto insurance cards (which had my name) bailed me out. Now I am all set to take on the test.
Thanks again for your reply!

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Saurabh May 31, 2012 at 6:52 pm

Rohini,
Some/several DMV employees do not know what different visa categories are and what can be accepted from them in terms of id/address proof. Glad you found an employee who was better informed than the first one.

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Preeti May 7, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Hi!

I m on h4 visa and I have SSN denial letter from NJ can I still use the same letter in Texas for applying my driving licence.

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RBKK May 8, 2012 at 9:24 am

Hi Preeti,

I got my drivers license from Texas recently.. I am on H4 visa. I filled the SSN waiver form which is available in the DPS office. Apart from this I filled the Drivers license form, and show the below original documents.

My passport & I94.

That is all is required!

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Masthi September 13, 2013 at 11:43 am

I am H4. I do not have any address proof. Apt lease , utility bills etc., are on my husband’s name. Do we need an address proof?

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george April 14, 2012 at 11:15 am

hello.i am 28 years old.i am greek-american with us passport,birth certificate from new jersey and sscard.i haven’t a driver license here.i will come in nyc and gonna live in my friend’s house.how to prove my residency at dmv when i”ll apply?also i read in dmv page tha only for Enhanced Driver License have to prove it.for thr regular driver license have to prove my birth and my identity.(http://www.dmv.ny.gov/idlicense.htm).help me please.thanks

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rbkk March 23, 2012 at 11:08 am

Hi,

I m on H4 visa.. can you please let me know what are the documents that are required for getting learners license in Texas, Dallas.. It would be great if you could provide me complete details.

Regards,
R

Reply

Saurabh March 25, 2012 at 1:49 am

Rbkk,
In general one needs to show identity proof (passport) and legal proof (I-94, visa stamp and spouse’s 797 copy). You can check the DMV site of Texas for actual details.

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Suchetha February 23, 2012 at 4:40 pm

hi,

I am on H4 visa status in chicago. I had gone to the illionios secretary of state to apply for my state Id card with the foll documents:
1. Passport for verification of written signature as well as DOB
2. SSN ineligibility letter from the SSA .
3. lease agreement with in my name as a proof of residency.
Well at the office i was told that i need to have a tempory visitors driving license (TVDL) to apply for state id.
As per the http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/drivers/idcards.html site , i have provided all the documents.
So would anyone know if i need to apply for a TVDL in order to apply for a state Id? or are the above documents enough?

Thanks
Suchetha

Reply

Saurabh February 23, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Suchetha,
Probably the person didn’t know all the rules. You should be able to get the ID card w/o the TVDL. You can go there again, and probably take a print out of this site.

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Swetha February 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Hi,

I got Learners permit on valid h4 visa and is valid till 2013. Next month I did schedule a road test. But my problem is I got my H1b Visa approved on Feb 1 2012, so do i need to apply for new license and take written test or do i need to continue taking road test and then show them status change. Please advice on this.

Regards,
Swetha.

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Saurabh February 17, 2012 at 6:39 pm

Swetha,
You don’t need to take another written test and can continue w/ your road test. You can then talk to DMV if you need to submit updated H-1 documents and how you can do the same.

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Swetha February 17, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Thanks Saurabh.

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govinda raj February 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm

dear madam,
i have a only B1- B2 visa. in this visa what i want to do.
please send me the information. thanking you,

regards,
govinda raj.

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Durga December 21, 2011 at 4:53 pm

Hi, i have to ask questions regarding driving license document requirements.
i am an h4 visa holder. i got married from india and came to colorado denver 6 months before. my spouse is an h1b visa holder. i would like to write learners test for driving now. I want to know what is Individual tax identification number and is that required for h4 visa holders and how and when to apply for the same? My visa will get expired on 30 th september 2011. wheather am able to learn driving before that period? i would appreciate if i get answers to my questions.

Thanks
Durga

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DurgaDevi December 21, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Durga

there is a search engine called Google . Type your question there

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Saurabh December 21, 2011 at 9:40 pm

Individual tax identification number: On H-4, you are not eligible for SSN. In lieu you can apply for ITIN, which can be used for tax purposes. So if your husband wants to file his tax return as married and jointly, then you need to have an ITIN. It is not mandatory, but is a must when filing tax return as married and jointly.

You mentioned that your visa is expiring on 30th september 2011. Did you mean 2012? Whether you will be able to learn driving or not will depend upon how quickly you pick it up. If you have driven in India, then learning driving here is pretty easy. Most of the cars are on automatic transmission, and so you don’t need to worry about clutch and gear. Just learn the rules and follow them while giving your test. If you want, you can take 1-2 hour learning session from a driving school.

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iti October 20, 2010 at 1:46 pm

Hi
I am going to US in H1B visa and my husband is going as H4 for his study of full time MBA.
I want to know can he work after his study(Can he convert his H4 visa to H1). If yes please let me know the process and documents requirment

Reply

Kumar October 22, 2010 at 1:47 am

Yes, he can. But, he would have to go through the process of filing H1B. Read this article : Advantage and Disadvantages of Studying on H4 visa in USA

Reply

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