Indiana State ID & Driver's License
Having an Indiana state ID or driver’s license can be very helpful for international students. These small picture IDs can often be used as a form of identification, allowing you to leave your passport in a safe and secure place, rather than carrying it with you An Indiana driver’s license gives you permission to operate a motor vehicle throughout the entire U.S.
The information below may help you proceed with your application for an Indiana state ID or driver’s license.
In addition to reviewing the list below, please visit the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website for the most up-to-date requirements.
- Form I-20: Use only the most recent, original Form I-20.
- Form I-94: Use only the most recent, original Form I-94, which is accessible online.
- Passport: Must be unexpired.
- Visa: Use only the most recent F-1 visa that is in your passport. (An expired visa is fine, if it is the most recent)
- Social Security Number: Bring your original Social Security card or a letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration that is less than 60 days old (please speak to an International Student Adviser if you have questions).
- Proof of Address: You must provide two (2) documents that were mailed to your on-campus address from a public source (e.g., Earlham bill, bank statement, insurance company letter), not from a friend or family member. These documents cannot be more than 60 days old.
- Letter from CGCE: If you live on-campus, an International Student needs to provide you with a letter. Click HERE to request this letter. This letter cannot be more than 60 days old.
- Non-U.S. Drivers License: If you have one, you may be able to use a drivers license from home to expedite your Indiana license application; all information on the license must be in English or translated in a separate document (for drivers license applicants only).
The Richmond branch of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV) is located at 4503 National Road East (near the movie theater and the Richmond mall). It takes about 10 minutes to get there from Earlham's campus by car or taxi. The branch's hours and additional information can be found at the Richmond Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
- To get a license you may need to complete both a theoretical (written) test and a practical (driving) test.
- Before applying for a drivers license, it is important to study the Indiana Driving Manual. This instruction booklet will help you learn the traffic customs and laws in Indiana. It is available on the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles website.
- The BMV will not provide a car for the driving test; if you are doing a driving test you must provide your own car.
- There is a small fee for both state ID and drivers license applications.
- Please note that a passport must still be used for international travel and for most non-immigrant benefit applications.
- The Center for Global and Career Education is here to help if you encounter any issues!
Social Security Number
The United States Social Security program is a pension and insurance fund for individuals who work and live in the United States. A Social Security Number (SSN) is an identification card and number that is issued by the U.S. government. You are required to have an SSN in order to work in the United States. Many other institutions such as banks and cell phone companies often use the SSN as an official form of identification.
Students with F-1 or J-1 visas are only eligible to apply for a Social Security Number if you have a pending job offer. Please see the "International Student" tab on the Student Employment page for information on how to apply for a Social Security Number.