Obtaining a Driver’s License for International Students

Many international students at The College of Saint Rose reside in off-campus housing. Sometimes finding an appropriate apartment close to school can be a challenge, especially when the international students arrive only a few days prior to the start of the new semester. Sometimes students choose apartments that are a little far from the campus and they need a vehicle to get to campus for classes or events. Public transportation is always an option since students can use their student IDs to ride all CDTA buses for free. However, some choose to have their own cars since it’s more convenient. In this blog, I want to illustrate the steps that international students should take to obtain their driver’s license in United States.
There are three major steps before each person can drive in United States:  1) getting a learner’s permit, 2) preparing for your road test and 3) scheduling & taking a road test. Before going to the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles), which is located at 224-260 S Pearl St, Albany, NY 12202, students should study the NYS Driver’s Manual guide, which is available online at the DMV website: (http://dmv.ny.gov). They should also complete an application for their learner’s permit, which is also available on the website. Students should take the permit test at the DMV. On the day of the test they should also provide the appropriate proof of identity and date of birth (passport). Also, since most international students are not eligible to have a Social Security number, they need to get a letter from the College’s Center of International Programs and take it to the US Social Security Administration office in Albany (located at 11 Clinton Ave, Albany, NY 12207). With this, they can obtain a letter from the Social Security office that they are not eligible for a Social Security number. Then they can take that letter to the DMV office.
After passing the permit test students should prepare themselves for the road test. Permit holders can drive under the supervision of a person who holds a valid driver’s license. International students can use a friend who holds a driver’s license for this purpose. Another option is that they can take driver training courses, where they learn how to drive under an instructor’s supervision. The main company in Albany that offers these courses is Right Way Driving Center (located at 181 North Allen Street and Colonie Center Mall) (www.rightwaydrivingcenter.com).
After taking the lessons and learning how to drive, students can schedule an appointment with the DMV to take the road test. Right Way Driving Center also can provide a car for students who do not have one, so students can take their road test. If they pass the road test, they will receive their driver’s license in the mail in a couple of days. I have to mention that all these steps require some fees that need to be paid with cash or a credit card. All the fees are listed in the appropriate above websites.

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