California Driver License (DL) or State Identity Card (ID)
You must have a valid California Driver's License to operate a motor vehicle in California. The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license.
If you will not drive in California, you may only need the State ID. It may look like a driver license, but is used for
identification purposes only. If you plan to use your California ID to fly within the United States, you will need to apply for a federal compliant REAL ID Driver License or State ID, beginning in May 2025.
Go to the DMV website at www.dmv.ca.gov and read the California Driver Handbook, forms, instructions on how to apply for a driver's license and a section on frequently asked questions. The "Driver Handbook" is a free publication with all of the California driving laws and "rules of the road".
Going to the DMV may be time‐consuming and take 2‐3 hours. Please allot sufficient time when visiting the DMV office. Additionally, failing to have all the required documents may either delay your application or result in denial.
- You can make an appointment to apply for license and ID. Follow instructions on the website to find local office locations and make an appointment.
- Students are encouraged to complete the application online before going to the DMV office.
- Remember there is a fee for the DL and ID. Cash, check/money order and credit cards are acceptable forms of payment.
- If you have Social Security Number, please bring your social security card with you.
The following documents must be submitted to the DMV office to apply for a Driver License/Identity Card:
- Passport and Visa
- An unexpired, foreign passport is required.
- Form I‐94
- Form I-94 can be printed at (i94.cbp.dhs.gov).
- I‐20 (For F‐1 Student)
- Your latest original I-20.
- Acceptable Documents
- Proof of Residency
- On-Campus: SHaRE Housing Contract
- Off-Campus: Lease Agreement
- Home utility bill (water, internet, cell phone)
- Insurance documents (rental, medical, dental, vision)
- Records from a Financial Institution: Bank Statement
- Proof of payment of USF
- If you do not have two of the documents listed above, submit a Letter Request via MyISSS to be issued a letter from ISSS regarding your student status and residence address
- Proof of Residency
The Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) office only has one location in San Francisco. However, you are free to go to which office is nearest to you.
1377 Fell Street San Francisco, CA 94117
1500 Sullivan Avenue Daly City, CA 94015
5300 Claremont Avenue Oakland, CA94618
Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 5:00pm
Wednesday 9:00am - 5:00pm
Saturday 8:00 am - 1:00pm