Non-US citizens holding a valid foreign driver’s license are allowed to drive in the state of Georgia for tourism or business purposes. If the foreign license is not printed in English, the driver must also have an International Driving Permit (IDP) or similar translation issued in accordance with the provision of the Convention on Road Traffic, any similar treaty, international agreement, or reciprocal agreement between the United States and a foreign nation. Non-US citizens must obtain an IDP from their home country prior to coming to the U.S.
If a non-US citizen establishes residency in Georgia, he or she must obtain a Georgia driver’s license within thirty (30) days. A non-US citizen would be considered a resident of Georgia if he or she meets any of the following criteria:
- If a person accepts employment or engages in trade in Georgia, and enrolls his or her children in private or public school within ten days after the commencement of employment; or
- If a person has been present in the state for 30 or more days.
The pre-requisites for issuance of a Georgia driver’s license include passing tests relating to vision, knowledge of our traffic laws (including road signs), and driving skills. Also, to be issued a Georgia’s driver’s license, the driver must be a United States citizen or have lawful status in the United States. Georgia law does not allow non-US citizen, non-resident drivers to operate a motor vehicle if he or she does not have a lawful status in the United States.
Previous Licenses or Instructional Permits
Non-US citizens should present their Out-of-Country/International License or Identification card to receive a Georgia license or Identification card. Most Out-of-Country licenses or Identification cards will be returned to non-US citizens. However, all customers applying for a commercial driver’s license must surrender any previously issued driver’s license, and non-citizen customers who hold driver’s licenses or identification cards issued by any other U.S. state or the District of Columbia must surrender those cards to be eligible for a driver’s license or identification card in Georgia.
Identity and Lawful Status Requirements
Non-US citizens are required to present immigration documents in person at a Customer Service Center to prove identity and lawful status in the United States. Original documentation must be submitted each time a service is requested pertaining to a driver’s license or identification card. In some cases, one immigration document is sufficient to prove lawful status. In others, additional immigration documents are required to prove lawful status.
Note: Original immigration documentation must be submitted each time service is requested pertaining to a driver license or identification card.
Social Security Number Requirements
An applicant must provide either a Social Security number or a letter of ineligibility for a Social Security number (Form SSAL 676).
Collection and verification of social security numbers are required by state and federal law prior to issuance of a driver’s license or identification card.
IF YOU ARE NOT ELIGIBLE FOR A SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER
You must obtain a letter of ineligibility, (Form SSAL676), from the Social Security Administration if the Department of Homeland Security has not given you permission to work in the United States.
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS BASED ON WORK AUTHORIZATION:
Non-citizens who have permission from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to work in the United States can apply for a Social Security number. To apply for a Social Security number or for further details on social security numbers for non-US citizens visit, www.ssa.gov.
Other Documents Required
- Documentation showing residential address, click here for more information.
Refugees only: May present Form DS-20, Refugee Address Verification Affidavit in place of standard Proof of Residency document.
- If the applicant previously was issued a driver's license/permit/ID card in another state, and that card has been lost or stolen, the applicant must provide a certified copy of his or her driving record or motor vehicle report from the state that issued the card. The MVR must be dated within the last 30 days. The DDS does not accept uncertified copies printed from websites, but a fax may be sent to the DDS directly from the other state agency.
- All documents must be in English.
See links below for additional information:
Non-Citizens Driver’s License, Permit or Identification Card One-Time Extension
The Department of Driver Services provides a one-time 120-day extension for any non-citizen who meets the following requirements:
- Must be an existing DDS customer
- The Georgia license, permit or Identification card must have expired or must be expiring within thirty (30) days
- Must provide proof of having requested an extension for time to remain lawfully within the United States by presenting an original I-797C Notice of Action.
Last Updated On: 8/9/2016