Passport & Driver’s License
Passport Expiration Date
Know when your passport expires! You must always have a valid passport while in the U.S. If you travel home, your passport must be good for at least 6 months when you return to the U.S.
Renewing Your Passport
- Most passports can be renewed while here in the U.S.
- Google “(the name of your home country) embassy in the U.S.” to find your home country’s embassy here in the U.S. Contact them to find out what the process is for you.
- Check with the embassy to see if they will return your old passport to you.
- If they return your old passport to you with your U.S. F-1 visa, you should carry both your old and new passports for travel.
- If they keep or destroy your old passport you will need to get a new visa when you travel
- Make sure you remove your I-94 card from your passport before you submit your passport to your embassy.
Full-time students may drive on their home country’s driver’s license while studying in the USA for six months. This does not apply to commercial vehicle drivers.
If you become gainfully employed and wish to drive in the USA, you are required to hold a Virginia driver’s license.
Getting a Virginia Driver’s License
If you are a new student, you must report to your International Student Advisor (contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call (434) 592-4118) so that your SEVIS record can be registered with the U.S. government. You must wait at least 2 days after you are registered to apply for a driver’s license, and at least 10 days after your initial entry into the United States. Bring the below documents with you to the DMV:
- I-94 (print your I-94 from the Customs and Border Protection website)
- Proof of Virginia address (eligible documents)
Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
See the DMV website for more information:
3236 Odd Fellow’s Road
Lynchburg, VA 24502
Toll-free: (866) 368-5463
License from Another State
If you already have a valid driver’s license from another state in the U.S. and are currently enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited university, you do not need to get a Virginia driver’s license unless you become gainfully employed.
Your Virginia driver’s license will expire on the end date of your I-20. You can extend your drivers license for your 60 day grace period with a letter from the Registrar proving that you have graduated.
If you remain in the U.S. on OPT you will need to take your E.A.D. card, I-20 authorizing OPT, and I-94 to DMV to extend your license.