Obtain a US driving license
A driver’s license is a very important document in the United States. It is typically the same size as a credit card. A driver’s license allows you to operate a motor vehicle legally. Without a driver’s license, it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle. Driver’s licenses are issued by each state in the United States.
You must have a driver’s license to legally operate a motor vehicle in the United States. If you are new to driving, start with a learner’s permit. Take your time and practice, and schedule your appointment for your driver’s test when you’re ready. Driver’s licenses are issued by the individual states, so rules vary. You typically must pass a written, driving, and vision test before you can get your driver’s license
If you are not a US citizen, you may be eligible to obtain a DC DMV driver license if you meet the requirements for REAL ID proof of identity, social security, current DC residency, and legal presence. Your DC DMV driver license will expire at the end of your approved duration of stay.
Non-US citizens on visitor visas are not eligible to obtain driver licenses in the District of Columbia.
If you reside in the District for more than 30 days and you are NOT staying in the US on a visitor’s visa, you must get a DC DMV driver license.
Use DC DMV’s online Document Verification Guide to determine what documents you need to provide to DC DMV to obtain a driver license:
Document Verification Guide
To obtain a DC DMV REAL ID driver license as a non-US citizen, you will have to follow the process outlined in the Obtain a DC DMV REAL ID driver license page, at the link below:
Obtain a REAL ID Driver License
If you have a valid out-of-country driver license, you will still have to take and pass the DC DMV driver knowledge test before you can get a DC DMV REAL ID driver license.
You will be allowed to keep your out-of-country driver license along with your DC DMV REAL ID driver license. DC DMV does not accept international driver licenses.
If your valid, non-US driver license is not in English, you must attach an English translation from your embassy or from a translation company. The embassy translation must be on official embassy letterhead. The date of the translation must be on or after the actual date of the non-English language driver license. Translations from companies must be certified with a translation stamp, or notarized by preparing a notarized affidavit confirming the translation was prepared by a qualified translator and that it is both accurate and complete.
If you have a valid non-US driver license, you will not have to take the DC DMV road skills test, but you will have to provide proof of your ability to drive.