So how do you Convert a Foreign Driver’s License to the USA driver’s license?


Submitting Real ID Documents

Regarding the federal Real ID Act, anyone applying for a driver’s license must fulfill specific basic requirements.

Hence, you must submit real ID documents regardless of your foreign driver’s license.

That would be your lawful status document in the USA, such as your US passport, permanent residency card, work authorization card, etc.

Secondly, you need to provide your original social security card or other supporting documents accepted by the DMV.

Lastly, you need to provide proof of residency document to confirm your current residential address.

You may search on DMV’s official website for more details about Real ID documents. If you don’t have a valid lawful status document, you may still be able to apply for a non-compliant driver’s license in certain states, which may let you drive on US roads without any hassle.

However, something to keep in mind is non-compliant driver’s license is not federally compliant. As such, you won’t be able to use your non-compliant driving license as an ID for federal purposes, including the US airports.

Submitting the Original Foreign License

We are mainly discussing how you can get your  USA driver’s license utilizing your foreign one.

In that case, you must provide your original foreign driver’s license to the DMV as proof. A document specialist from the DMV office will check your driver’s license for its authenticity.

How DMV Verify Your Foreign License

The embassy of your country in the USA regularly provides all the necessary information on driver’s licenses issued from your country to the DMV offices. So DMV officials may use that information to verify if your driver’s license has been issued by your country’s authorized agency.

See also  MVA Practice Permit Test-4

If a document specialist is unsatisfied with your driver’s license, they may ask for additional documents from you. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the DMV has concluded that your driver’s license is not a genuine product. Rather they say the lack of security features of your driver’s license makes it unable to come to a conclusion. As a result, they cannot verify its genuine status.

If you have used your foreign license for a long time in your wallet, as many of us do, some security features may have already faded or worn out.

What if the DMV Rejects Your Foreign License

If you face this situation, we believe your embassy will be able to assist you in obtaining those additional required documents from your home country.

Do You Need an English Translation? 

The second requirement is a translation for the driver’s license if it is not issued in English. If you have a foreign driver’s license, not in English, contact a translator approved by the DMV to have its contents translated into English. 

As we mentioned earlier, having a valid driving license is not necessary when you apply for a USA driver’s license. Since you are going to fulfill the driving written test and practical driving test, the DMV only needs you to have a full driver’s license for any time in your life.

If you can collect these documents before you visit the DMV, we hope everything will go smoothly, and you’ll be directed to the online DMV written test on the same day of the visit.

If the DMV officials reject your home country’s driving license, you have two options. As we discussed earlier, you can come back with supporting documents and reapply.

See also  How to Prepare for the Driving Test

If you believe you cannot collect those documents to prove that you have a genuine foreign license, you can apply for a learner’s permit and follow the requirements stipulated for a first-time driver’s license applicant.

Once you complete your DMV written test, we hope you pass it for the first time. What are you supposed to do next?

Since the DMV has accepted you as an experienced driver, they let you schedule an appointment for the DMV driving test on the road at your earliest convenience, subject to the availability of appointments.

Can I Practice with a Foreign License

What if you think you are not very confident on the USA roads and need some more practice before you take your driving skill test?

We suggest you speak with the DMV agent and explain your situation. In certain states, the DMV issues a special learner’s permit for foreign driver’s license applicants to practice for the driving test.

If so, you can practice with someone on USA roads and improve your confidence before you come to the driving test. We believe that may greatly help you pass your driving test confidently.

Always be safe on US roads and follow the road rules.

Begin the Test Now

Maryland Permit Test

How to Pass Your Maryland Permit Test Easily

Applicants applying for a Maryland driver’s license for the first time must pass the Maryland permit test before obtaining the learner’s permit.Anyone holding a driver’s license issued out of the country, or a driver’s license issued in the USA but expired more than one year is also required to pass

Read More »
aaa international driver's license

How to Get AAA International Driver’s License in the USA

How to Get AAA International Driver’s License in the USA   Technically, there is no International Drivers’ license. It is in fact called International Drivers Permit (IDP).   An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that allows individuals to drive a vehicle in other countries that have signed the

Read More »
interpreter driving test

Pass Your DMV Driving Test With an Interpreter

Pass Your DMV Driving Test With an Interpreter Well, everyone planning to get a driver’s license in the USA is not equally competent in English. Many people from all around the world visit the USA every year. The reason may vary as employment, higher studies, business, permanent residency, asylum/refugee seekers,

Read More »
Scroll to Top
Scroll to Top