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Alabama, National, or International Driver's License?


In the state of Alabama, you are allowed to drive using a valid national or international license for up to one year, as long as the license is written in English. If you license is not written in English, the IOS can assist you in obtaining a translation. Your license must remain valid through your departure from the U.S. as national licenses often cannot be renewed from overseas locations.

If you will be in the U.S. for longer than one year, you are required to obtain an Alabama state driver's license. Many students choose to obtain a state driver's license prior to one year so that they have another form of identification available in English while they are in the country. This is often helpful because it serves as a major form of documentation when applying for something like a cell phone or credit card.

If you plan to travel outside of the state of Alabama, it may be beneficial to obtain an Alabama driver's license. U.S. licenses are valid in any state, whereas your national license may not be. In addition, it may assist in obtaining auto insurance or other services requiring a U.S. issues form of identification. To be eligible for an Alabama license, you must be at least 16 years of age and:

    • Provide your ITO to prove that you will be in the U.S. for at least 160 days from the time of application.

    • Depending on your home country, you must pass a vision exam, a written exam ($5 fee), and take a road exam.

    • You may schedule the road test phone or online. A study guide to prepare for the written and road exams is available at: http://dps.alabama.gov/Documents/Manuals/DriverLicenseManual.pdf
    • Pay a license issue fee of $36.25

    • Provide a valid passport and visa with entry stamp

    • Provide a print out of your I-94 if you entered the U.S. via air, showing when you lawfully entered the U.S. This can be printed at: https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html
    • For IMS: Provide your U.S. Social Security Number (SSN)

    • For family members: Provide Letter of SSN Non-Eligibility

    International Officer School Patch
    120 S. Mitchell Street
    Maxwell AFB, AL  36112