We recommend you bring both your driver’s license from your home country and an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you plan to drive a car while studying in the U.S.
Things to know:
You may drive in Illinois without a valid Illinois driver’s license under the following circumstances (found on Page 3 of 2016 Rules of the Road Booklet):
• If you are visiting or driving through Illinois, you must have a valid driver’s license from your home state or country.
• If you are an out-of-state student attending an Illinois college/university, you, your spouse and children may drive with a valid license from your home state or country
We recommend you keep a copy of the Rules of the Road Booklet in your car when driving in the U.S. on an IDP or home country driver’s license
To drive in the U.S., you must have a valid driver's license issued by the state in which you live. Your driver's License will be issued with validity to the end date of your program. To apply for a license:
For more information, call 618-656‑8956.
Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)– The Illinois Secretary of State’s Office will issue a TEMPORARY VISITOR DRIVER’s LICENSE for non-citizens of the United States who have been granted temporary, legal entry into the U.S. and are temporarily residing in the State of Illinois and ineligible for a Social Security number. A TVDL will be issued only authorizing operation of a personal car, motorcycle or motor-driven cycle. A TVDL is valid for three years or for the period of time the individual is authorized to stay in this country, whichever ends sooner. See instructions for applying for Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL)
Applying for an Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TVDL):
This is only for international students who cannot obtain a Social Security Card. This is a basic guide to assist through the process of applying for your Illinois Temporary Visitor Driver’s License (TDVL). If you need more detailed information please review the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website at www.cyberdriveillinois.com or the Rules of the Road booklet.
*Note the DMV is obligated to ask each applicant if they would like to register to vote. Your response must be no, as it is illegal for you to register to vote when you are not a citizen of the United States. If you say yes, it could lead to problems for future visa or Permanent Resident applications.
To be eligible for a TVDL driver’s license, a foreign national must:
A person age 18-20 who does not hold a driver’s license from their home country must present proof of successful completion of a 6-hour adult driver education and training course. This course can be completed online at http://www.advanceddrivingschool.org/
Individuals eligible for a TVDL may obtain an instruction permit allowing them to practice driving before taking their road exam if you do not have an IDP or home country driver’s license. To obtain an instruction permit, the applicant must visit one of the designated Driver Services facilities in the state of Illinois: (Bloomington, Carbondale, Champaign, Chicago North, Chicago West, Macomb, Rockford Central, Springfield (Dirksen Parkway)) and meet the requirements for obtaining a license for the first time.
Note: Springfield (about 1.5 hours by car) is the closest to Edwardsville of the above mentioned Driver Services facilities
Documents to present:
___Original I-20 showing your entry to the U.S. and current I-20 (if different from original)
___Most recent I-94 printout
___TWO items from the following list to show Proof of Address:
- Lease agreement with address listed, your name and signature of the landlord
- Utility Bill (electric, water, cell phone, etc., issued within 90 days of application)
- Tuition invoice/official mail from college or university dated within 12 months prior to application
___Car insurance policy
**NO PERSONAL MAIL ACCEPTED AS PROOF OF ADDRESS**
Springfield Dirksen Parkway Driver’s License Facility:
Contact Person: Jeff Bowker
Address: 2701 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62723
Phone: (217) 785-1440
Hours: Monday- Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm, Closed on Saturday and Sunday
If you are not planning to drive, the Secretary of State also issues the Illinois State Identity Card with your photo and information on it. You must have a Social Security Number to obtain an Illinois state ID. This is an easily recognizable form of identification used for cashing checks, proving your age, etc. Plan on making an appointment before going to the Secretary of State. To do so, visit the Illinois Secretary of State Driver License Facility at 1502 Troy Rd #A, Edwardsville, IL 62025.