Driving in the U.S.

Highway with signs to New Haven, hartford and providence

Get Your IDP Before You Leave Home!

Though you do not need a car in New Haven, some people may wish to drive in the U.S. If this is the case, you may want to obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) before you leave home as it may take some time to get a driver’s license in Connecticut. An IDP can also be helpful if you think you might at some time rent a car.

Connecticut permits a student or visitor to operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut for a period of up to one year with their foreign license. If the license is in a language other than English or Spanish, the license must be accompanied by an IDP (International Driver’s Permit) which serves as an English translation of the foreign license.

Important Note:
An IDP can only be obtained in the country which issued the actual license so you will want to make arrangements for the IDP before you leave your home.

An IDP is not considered a valid license and must accompany the valid foreign license. Please be aware that a foreign license may not an acceptable form of legal identification in the U.S.

Getting a Connecticut Driver's License

The Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will not accept your driver’s license application until 2 weeks after your OISS Orientation and Check-in. This allows sufficient time for the immigration system to transfer your registered visa data to the DMV system. If you are currently in the U.S. and transferring your driver’s license from another state to Connecticut, you may wish to reach out to your OISS adviser to see if there is an option that you may go to CT DMV earlier to complete the license transfer.

Read more about getting a CT driver's license.

Additional Resources