Obtaining a Connecticut Driver’s License

When Can I Apply?

You cannot apply for a Connecticut driver's license prior to the start date noted on your visa document (e.g. Form I-20 or DS 2019). You will also need to have your printed I-94 record. If you have completed your studies and are currently authorized for F-1 Optional Practical Training (OPT), or J-1 Academic Training (AT), you may only apply for a CT driver's license during the approved period of OPT or AT, not before it begins. Applicants with a status that expires in less than 12 months may have an issue applying for the license. This is at the discretion of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

Apply for a Social Security Number

A SSN is required for the CT driver's license application.  SSN application instructions can be found here. If you are not eligible for a U.S. Social Security Number (SSN) you will need to obtain a letter from the Social Security Administration stating you are not eligible to receive a SSN. No appointment is necessary.

Things to Know about Applying for a Driver's License

Citizens of Canada, Germany or France

Citizens of Canada, Germany, and France with valid driver's licenses may transfer their home country driving license to a CT license using the same procedures for an out-of-state license.

Review the CT DMV website.

The DMV website provides the most up-to-date information on what is required to apply for a driver's license (and other processes, such as car registration). You should go to the DMV well prepared, carrying all items that are listed/required. The DMV office closet to campus is in Hamden CT.

Matching Name and Date of Birth

Make sure your name and date of birth match on ALL documents.

Failure to have matching information may create a significant delay in the processing of your application.

Before the DMV will allow an international applicant to complete the application process, they are required to run a check through government databases. Government delays in entering point of entry information for international visitors can impact this process, from as quick as a few hours to as long as 30 days.


Accompanying dependents who wish to apply for a CT driver's license must comply with all of the requirements as noted on the DMV website. In addition, it is strongly recommended that the primary status holder accompany the dependent to the DMV with their own documents.

Need Additional Help?

If you run into a particular situation where you feel you have provided all requested documentation and are still not able to get a license, contact OISS.