Florida Driver's License Guide for International Students and Scholars (F-1 and J-1)

International Students and Scholars must have either a Valid (not expired) Drivers License from their country or a valid Florida Drivers License to drive in Florida.

Here is a step-by-step guide for to get a Florida Drivers License or State ID card for International Students and Scholars attending Universities in Florida.


International Students and Scholars with an Expired or with No Foreign Drivers License

If you do not have a driver’s license from your country or it has expired you must obtain a Florida drivers license to legally drive in the United States. You will be required to complete the same steps that all new drivers applying for a Florida Drivers must complete including:

  • DATA course - teaches the effects of drugs and alcohol and your ability to drive. Can be done all online
  • DMV Test - written test on rules, regulations, and road signs of Florida. Must be done at a DMV office if you are 18 or older.
  • Road Test - driving test with a DMV examiner. Done at a DMV office
  • Vision Test

Florida DMV Required Course Information

Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness (DATA Course)

This is a 4-hour online course that covers topics on how drugs and alcohol affect your driving, and laws and responsibilities as a driver. The Online Course can be completed in as many sessions as you like - just login and logout.

DMV Test

The DMV test (written knowledge exam) covers traffic laws and road signs. It is a 50-question test and you must get 40 correct to pass.

Road Test

Drive with a Florida DMV Examiner and demonstrate you understand Florida driving rules

Step by Step

Step 1: Complete the 4 hour DATA Course (Drug Alcohol Traffic Awareness.) When you complete the course online your information will automatically be Transmitted to the Florida DMV.

Step 2: Study the Florida Drivers Handbook on traffic laws and roads sign. If you are age 18 or older you will need to go to a DMV office to pass the Permit Exam with a score of 80% or better. This exam is only available at DMV offices once you are age 18 or older. If you are age 15, 16, or 17 you can take the Permit Exam online.

Step 3: Pass the DMV Test (AKA Permit Test)

Once you complete both the 4 hour DATA Course and pass the Permit Exam you can receive a Learners Permit that allows you to practice driving. You must have someone age 21 or older in the passenger seat next to you with a valid driver license at all times with a Learners Permit.

Learners Permit or Class E Drivers License If you are age 18 or older you can get your Florida driver license immediately or as soon as you are comfortable driving. If you are age 15 to 17 you must get a learners permit and have it for 12 months before taking the road or as soon as you turn age 18 you can get a drivers license.

Step 4: Once you are comfortable driving make an appointment to take the Driving Road Test at a DMV office. Once you pass the Road Test then you can receive a Florida drivers license.

International Students and Scholars with a valid Foreign Drivers License

Foreign Students with a valid drivers license from their country of origin are NOT required to take the DATA course to get their Florida Drivers License. You must do the following:

  • Pass the DMV Test - written test on rules, regulations, and road signs of Florida. Must be done at a DMV office if you are 18 or older.
  • Pass the Road Test - driving test with a DMV examiner. Done at a DMV office

Exceptions: Florida waves the requirement for both the DMV test (written test) and Road Test if you have a valid drivers license from: US Military, US Territories, Canada, France, Germany, Taiwan, South Korea.

Step by Step

Step 1: Study the Florida Drivers Handbook on traffic laws and roads sign. If you are age 18 or older you will need to go to a DMV office to pass the Permit Exam with a score of 80% or better. This exam is only available at DMV offices once you are age 18 or older. If you are age 15, 16, or 17 you can take the Permit Exam online.

Step 2: Pass the DMV Test (AKA Permit Test)

Once you complete both the 4 hour DATA Course and pass the Permit Exam you can receive a Learners Permit that allows you to practice driving. You must have someone age 21 or older in the passenger seat next to you with a valid driver license at all times with a Learners Permit.


How to Apply for a Florida Identification Card

If you do not want a drivers license and only want to obtain a Florida identification card then it is much easier since you do not have to complete a driving course or pass tests. You are not allowed to drive with Florida ID card.


Documents to Bring to DMV

To obtain a Florida drivers license or Identification Card (ID card) with F-1 (student visa) or J-1 (non-immigrant visa issued to research scholars, professors, and exchange visitors) status you must go to a DMV office with the following five (5) types of documents:


DMV Offices and Appointments

With Colleges and Universities all over the state of Florida you will want to go to the DMV office closest to your School. Below are the DMV offices closest to almost every university in Florida that offers the services International Students will need to get their Florida Drivers License or ID Card.

Florida has over 30,000 International Students in colleges and universities from FSU in Tallahassee and UF in Gainesville to Broward College in Pembroke Pines and UCF in Orlando.

Florida Universities

Alachua County DMV Offices and Appointments

UF - University of Florida:

Alachua County DMV office close to UF, 5801 NW 34th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32653.
Phone: 352-374-5236. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm. All driver license services at this location. Road driving test by appointment only.

SF - Santa Fe College:

Alachua County DMV office close to Santa Fe College, 5801 NW 34th Blvd., Gainesville, FL 32653.
Phone: 352-374-5236. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm. All driver license services at this location. Road driving test by appointment only.


Brevard County DMV Offices and Appointments

FIT – Florida Institute of Technology:

Brevard County DMV Office close to FIT, 1515 Sarno Road, Melbourne, FL 32935.
Phone 321-264-6935 or 321-633-2199. Hours: Mon,Tue,Thurs, Fri 8:30am-4:00pm (Wednesday open at 9:00 am.) Driving tests given by appointment only.

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Broward County DMV Offices and Appointments

Broward College:

Broward County DMV office close to main campus for Broward College, 8001 Pembroke Road, Pembroke Pines, FL 33025. Phone: 954-497-1570. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm (Wednesday open at 8:30 am.) Make appointments online.

Nova - Nova Southeastern University:

Broward County DMV office close to Nova Southeastern University is in Lauderdale Lakes, 3718 W. Oakland Park Blvd., # 3, Lauderdale Lakes, FL 33311.
Phone: 954-497-1570. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an online appointment.

Keiser University:

Broward County DMV office close to Keiser, Lauderhill Oakbrook, 7217 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Lauderhill, FL 33313.
Phone: 954-497-1570. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm.


Duval County DMV Offices and Appointments

UNF - University of North Florida:

Duval County DMV office close to UNF, 12220 Atlantic Blvd., Suite 102, Jacksonville, FL 32225.
Phone: 904-630-1916. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm.

FSJC - Florida State College at Jacksonville:

Duval County DMV office close to FSJC, 231 E. Forsyth Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202.
Phone: 904-630-1916. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm.

JU - Jacksonville University:

Duval County DMV office close to JU, 7120-15 Hogan Road, Jacksonville, FL 32216.
Phone: 904-630-1916. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:30pm.

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Escambia County DMV Offices and Appointments

UWF – University of West Florida:

Escambia County DMV office close to UWF, 6451 North W. Street, Pensacola, FL 32505.
Phone: 850-438-6500, ext. 3252. Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm. Walk-ins accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. but lines may close early if at capacity.

PSC – Pensacola State College:

Escambia County DMV office close to Pensacola State College, 6451 North W. Street, Pensacola, FL 32505.
Phone: 850-438-6500, ext. 3252. Hours: Mon–Fri 8:30am – 4:30pm. Walk-ins accepted from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. but lines may close early if at capacity.


Hillsborough County DMV Office and Appointments

USF - University of South Florida:

Hillsborough County DMV office close to USF, 2814 E. Hillsborough Ave., Suite #2, Tampa, FL 33610.
Phone: 813-635-5200. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:15pm (open at 9 am on Wednesdays.) Driving road tests appointments suggested.

UT – University of Tampa:

Hillsborough County DMV office close to UT with Road Tests, 2814 E. Hillsborough Ave., Suite #2, Tampa, FL 33610.
Phone: 813-635-5200. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-4:15pm (open at 9 am on Wednesdays.) Driving road tests appointments suggested.

HCC - Hillsborough Community College:

Hillsborough County DMV office close to HCC Main Campus, 1834 James L. Redman Parkway, Plant City, FL 33563.
Phone: 813-635-5200. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-3:30pm (Wednesday open at 9:00 am.) Road tests, appointments suggested.


Lee County DMV Offices and Appointments

FGCU – Florida Gulf Coast University:

Lee County DMV office in South Fort Myers, 15680 Pine Ridge Road, Fort Myers, FL 33908.
Phone: 239-533-6000. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. Driving tests available by appointment only.

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Leon County DMV Offices and Appointments

FSU - Florida State University:

Leon County DMV office close to FSU with driving test, 3477 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
Phone: 850-606-4700. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. Road driving tests are only available at this location.

FAMU - Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University:

Leon County DMV office close to FAMU with driving test, 3477 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
Phone: 850-606-4700. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. Road driving tests are only available at this location.

TCC - Tallahassee Community College:

Leon County DMV office close to TCC with driving test, 3477 S. Monroe Street, Tallahassee, FL 32301.
Phone: 850-606-4700. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-5:00pm. Road driving tests are only available at this location.


Miami Dade County DMV Offices and Appointments

UM – University of Miami:

Miami Dade County DMV office close to UM (Kendall), 11735 SW 147th Ave., Suite #23, Miami, FL 33196.
Phone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm (Wednesday open at 8:30 am.) Make an appointment online for the driving road test.

FIU – Florida International University:

Miami Dade County DMV office close to FIU is located at the Mall of Americas (next to Marshalls), 7795 W. Flagler Street, Suite #82C, Miami, FL 33126.
Phone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online.

MDC – Miami Dade College:

Miami Dade County DMV office Mall of Americas (next to Marshalls), 7795 W. Flagler Street, Suite #82C, Miami, FL 33126.
Phone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online.

Barry College:

Miami Dade County DMV office close to Barry College, DMV Miami (Northside), 7900 NW 27 Ave., Suite #E14, Miami, FL 33147.
Phone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online.

JWU - Johnson and Wales University North Miami:

Miami Dade County DMV office close to Johnson and Wales, DMV Miami (Northside), 7900 NW 27 Ave., Suite #E14, Miami, FL 33147.
Phone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online.

St. Thomas University:

Miami Dade County DMV office close to St Thomas University, 11093 NW 138th Street, Suites #1-9, Hialeah, FL 33018.
hone: 305-229-6333. Hours: Mon-Fri8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online.

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Orange County DMV Offices and Appointments

UCF – University of Central Florida:

Orange County DMV office close to UCF, 10051 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817.
Phone: 407-845-6200. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs , Fri: 8:30am-4:00pm (Wednesday opens at 9:00 am.) Driving tests by appointment only.

VC – Valencia College:

Orange County DMV office close to VC main campus with road tests, 14035 W. Colonial Drive, Winter Garden, FL 34787.
Phone: 407-845-6200. Hours: Mon,Tues,Thurs,Fri: 8:30am-4:00pm (Wednesday's open at 9:00 am.) Driving tests by appointment only.

Rollins College:

Orange County DMV office close to Rollins, 10051 University Blvd., Orlando, FL 32817.
Phone: 407-845-6200. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs , Fri: 8:30am-4:00pm (Wednesday opens at 9:00 am.) Driving tests by appointment only.


Pasco County DMV Offices and Appointments

Saint Leo University:



Pasco County DMV office close to St Leo, East Pasco Government Center, 14236 Sixth Street, Room #100, Dade City, FL 33523.
Phone: 352-521-4360. Hours: Mon ,Wed, Fri 8:30am-5:00pm and Tues and Thurs 7:30am-6:00pm.


Palm Beach County DMV Offices and Appointments

FAU – Florida Atlantic University:

Palm Beach County DMV office close to FAU, 501 S. Congress Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33445.
Phone: 561-355-2264. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15am-3:30pm.

Palm Beach State College:

Palm Beach County DMV office close to PB State College is located at the Palm Beach Gardens/Courthouse, 3188 PGA Blvd, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410.
Phone: 561-355-2264. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15am-5:00pm.

Lynn University:

Palm Beach County DMV office close to Lynn University, 501 S. Congress Avenue, Delray Beach, FL 33445.
Phone: 561-355-2264. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15am-3:30pm.

PBA - Palm Beach Atlantic University:

Palm Beach County DMV office close to PBA is the West Palm Beach, 301 N. Olive Avenue, 1st Floor, West Palm Beach, FL 33401.
Phone: 561-355-2264. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:15am-4:30pm.

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St Johns County DMV Offices and Appointments

Flagler College:

St Johns County DMV office close to Flagler College, 4030 Lewis Speedway, St. Augustine, FL 32084.
Phone: 904-209-2250. Hours: Mon-Thur 8:30am-5:00pm (Friday 8:30am-6pm.)
The last Saturday each month driver road tests are available by appointment between 8:30 am and 12 noon.


Volusia County DMV Offices and Appointments

Stetson University:

Volusia County DMV office close to Stetson, 2575 S. Volusia Ave., Suite #200, Orange City, FL 32763.
Phone: 386-238-3140. Hours: Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri: 8:00am-5:00pm (Wednesday opens at 8:30 am.) Make an appointment online.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University:

Volusia County DMV office close to Embry Riddle is located at South Daytona (Sunshine Park Mall), 2400 S Ridgewood Ave.,Suite 2,South Daytona, FL 32119.
Phone: 386-238-3140. Hours: Mon-Fri 8:00am-5:00pm. Make an appointment online for a driving road test.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Forms and Visas

Do I need a Social Security Number?

If you plan to work in the United States then you will need a Social Security Number. Social security numbers can also be used as a source of identification especially if you plan to apply for a Florida drivers license. To apply for a Social Security Number click here for details on what documents are required.

Do I need an International Driving Permit?

No, in Florida you are not required to have an International Driving Permit if you have a valid drivers license in your name from another country.

What is a Form I-20?

The I-20 Form is issued by a college, university or vocational school that is an approved Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP.) The Form I-20 is a Department of Homeland Security document also known as “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status.”

Once a student is accepted into an education program the Form I-20 is issued by the school’s Designated School Official (DSO.) The prospective student uses this form to apply for a F visa or M visa at the United States consulate office in the student’s country. When a student enters the United States, they must have a valid passport, valid F or M student visa, and a signed I-20 Form.

What is a F-1 Visa?

The F-1 is a student visa that allows non-immigrant international students to attend full-time academic programs at schools, colleges and universities in the United States. You can apply for a F-1 Student Visa at a US Consulate in your country.

What is a M-1 Visa?

The M-1 is a student visa issued to non-immigrant international students that allows them to attend non-academic vocational type programs in the United States such as language programs, flight school, cosmetology programs, technical studies and other vocational programs.

The M1 status is valid for one (1) year but students can apply for extensions not to exceed three (3) years. You can apply for a M-1 Student Visa at a US Consulate in your country.

What is Form DS-2019?

The DS-2019 Form also known as “Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor” is a Department of Homeland Security document that is required during the application process for a J-1 visa.

A designated sponsor must issue this form to a prospective exchange visitor who has been screened and accepted to participate in their exchange visitor program. The prospective student then uses the Form DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 visa at the US Consulate office in their country.

What is a J-1 Visa?

The J-1 is a non-immigrant visa issued to research scholars, professors, and exchange visitors participating in programs to promote cultural exchange typically for medical or business training. Applicants must be sponsored by a university, government program or private sector and meet eligibility criteria.

The J-1 visa expires when the program ends and the J-1 visitor is allowed to stay an additional 30 days before returning to their country.

What is Form I-94?

The I-94 Form is the Arrival-Departure Record that keeps track of when a non-US citizen or lawful permanent resident are entering and departing the United States by land, sea or air.

When you arrive to a port of entry the US immigration officer will determine whether to allow you to enter the United States after reviewing all your documents. If the officer approves your entry then they will either record a date on the Form I-94 that is your last day for staying in the United States or they will enter a D/S (duration of status) which allows you stay in the US legally as long as you continue your educational courses, are active in an exchange program, or a qualified employment.

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