Skip to main content
Tulane Home Tulane Home

Louisiana Driver's License or State ID for Internationals

Student getting her student id

The regulations in this guide are taken from Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) materials, and they may change at any time. For official state regulations, please consult http://omv.dps.state.la.us.

Am I eligible to get a driver's license?

You must have at least 30 days left on your immigration document. You must also have one of the following:

  • Certificate of completion of an approved driver's education course, unless you have...
  • A driver's license from another US state or territory, or a German or Swiss driver's license (the OMV has reciprocal agreements with these countries only). If you have any of these, you may go directly to the OMV and apply for a Louisiana driver's license. If not, you must take a driver's education course.

Where can I take a driver's education course?

You will need to attend a driving school and take a 14-hour pre-licensing course. The course is 6 hours of class time and 8 hours of driving time, and the driving time is usually broken up into four 2-hour sessions. The school will provide the vehicle for the driving time, and some schools will pick you up at home. The average price for the course is about $400, and many schools can also provide the driving skills test for an additional $40.

A few driving schools are listed below, but you may find others online. OISS does not endorse any driving school, so make sure you ask questions before paying any fees. For example, ask if they are familiar with license requirements for internationals, and ask how long it will take to complete the entire course. Some schools will provide the 6 hours of class time but make you wait to take the driving time, and you want to avoid this.

Drive Dat Academy
6701 Airline Hwy, Metairie, LA 70002
(504) 533-9495
www.drivedatacademy.com
drivedatacademy@gmail.com

New Orleans Safe Driving School
2518 Tulane Ave, New Orleans, LA 70119
(504) 821-5334
www.neworleanssafedrivingschool.net
nosds@yahoo.com

Victor Manning Driving School
4539 North I-10, #202, Metairie, LA 70006
(504) 455-2103
www.victormanningdrivingschool.com
info@victormanningdrivingschool.com

What do I take to the OMV?

Gather all the items below before you visit the OMV:

  • Passport
  • I-94 (Print from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/)
  • Immigration documents: I-20, DS-2019, or I-797. F-1 students on OPT must present a valid EAD card. Dependents must present their own immigration documents and their primary visa holder's documents.
  • Social Security Number: If you do not have an SSN, get an ineligibility letter from the Social Security Administration at 400 Poydras Avenue, 5th Floor. Bring your passport and immigration documents.
  • Splash Card or other photo ID
  • Local utility bill in your name or your school feel bill (Print from https://gibson.tulane.edu > Billing > View Online Account > eStatements)
  • Certificate of complete of an approved driver's education course OR a valid license from another US state or Germany or Switzerland
  • Proof of car insurance, if you are taking the driving test at the OMV with your own vehicle
  • The standard license fee is $42.75, but additional fees may apply.

What is the process at the OMV?

When you visit the OMV you will take a number and wait for service. Wait times can take many hours, so be patient and bring books or something to occupy your time while you wait.

First-time applicants must successfully pass the driver's license examination consisting of the vision test, general knowledge test, and the road skills test. The applicant may have an interpreter to translate for him/her during the examination process. You may take the general knowledge test and the road skills test through a driving schools and present proof of completion to the OMV, then you will only need to pass the vision test. If you have a license from another US state, or Germany or Switzerland, you will only need to pass the vision test.

If you are taking the driving skills test at the OMV you will need to provide a vehicle. The vehicle may be yours or a friend's, but it must have a current safety inspection sticker (brake tag), current license plate validation sticker, a current certificate of registration, and proof of liability insurance for the vehicle.

What proof of insurance do I need?

The following documents can be submitted as proof of insurance: A copy of the insurance policy or binder, a copy of the I.D. card issued by the insurance company, a copy of the declaration page, or a written statement from the insurance company or agent. The written statement must be on letterhead stationery, signed by a representative of the company and must include a full description of the vehicle and vehicle identification number.

Penalties for driving without insurance in Louisiana are very strict. You could face fines or even jail time. Do not take the risk of driving without being properly insured.

How can I get a Louisiana state ID?

If you are not planning to drive, a state identification card is a useful form of ID. We recommend that you do not carry your passport with you, and a state ID is a safe alternative.

  • To get a state ID, you must have at least 180 days left on your immigration document. Bring the following to the OMV:
  • Passport
  • I-94 (Print from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/)
  • Immigration documents: I-20, DS-2019, or I-797. F-1 students on OPT must present a valid EAD card. Dependents must present their own immigration documents and their primary visa holder's documents.
  • Splash Card or other photo ID
  • Local utility bill in your name or your school feel bill (Print from https://gibson.tulane.edu > Billing > View Online Account > eStatements)

Where is the OMV?

The following offices are open Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm. They do not provide driving tests between 11am-1pm.

Algiers: 2001 Behrman Ave, New Orleans, LA 70114
Harvey: 2150 Westbank Expwy, Harvey, LA 70058
Kenner: 3501 Chateau Blvd, Kenner, LA 70065
New Orleans: 100 Veterans Blvd., New Orleans, LA 70124

For more information about obtaining a driver's license, check out Tulane University's driver's license guide.

Download the Information in PDF Form