Driver's License

Kentucky Driver License or state I.D for non U.S citizens

All non U.S. citizens may drive in the U.S. on their valid foreign license and International Permit for up to one year from the date of admission into the U.S. if their home country is part of the Geneva Compact. If your license is not in English, please have it translated and notarized (the ISSS office offers notarization services for students). Keep these documents with you at all times while you drive. It is a Kentucky law that all drivers must purchase car insurance (for car insurance information see the back of this page). After this period of time you need to apply for the Kentucky Drivers License. Drivers from non Geneva Compact countries must obtain a Kentucky license within 30 days of establishing residency in Kentucky. If you do not drive and just need the state I.D., follow the same procedure below.

You must follow the next steps in order to get either the Kentucky Driver License or the state I.D:

1. Obtain the required documents: A non U.S. citizen must present all of his/her immigration documents as well as other supporting documents to Driver Licensing personnel. These documents are:

  • Passport
  • I-94
  • DS-2019 or I-20
  • Social security card, tax ID number or ineligibility letter from the Social Security Administration office. This office is located in the Gene Snyder Courthouse Building at the corner of 6th & Broadway in downtown Louisville.
  • Proof of address: most recent LG&E, AT&T or any other bill that shows your current address.
  • DL Application (Note: F2/J2 dependents must submit the DL application, which will be filled out using the J1/F1 information immigration information) ($30 application fee)
  • If you live in one of the University dormitories and receive your mail at the post office on campus, please come to the International Center to receive instructions on how to show a proof of address.
  • OPT Students: To renew or obtain your Kentucky driver license you will need a new I-20 from our office with approved OPT status on page 2. You will also need the EAD (Employment Authorization Card) and Social Security Card.

** Please note that dependents (F2 and J2status), must show the documents mentioned above as well as the documents of their primary (F1 and J1status).

2. Obtain the “Blue Letter”: Go to the following address with all the above mentioned documents:

Ph: 502.493.1477 - 502.493.0831 - 502.493.0406 
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.


3. Apply for your license or your state I.D:  Please follow the next steps :

Go to Bowman Field Drivers License Branch located at  3501 Roger Schupp Street, Louisville, KY 40205.

Ph : (502) 595-4405. The office hours are Mon: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m ;   Tues - Fri: 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m; Saturday: 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m (RENEWALS & DUPLICATES ONLY).

If this is your first time applying for a drivers license within the U.S, you need to take a written test. For test hours, visit To study for the test download the manual Driver Manual.pdf . When you pass the written test, you will be granted a temporary license that allows you to practice with a current drivers license holder.

When you are ready to drive yourself, get an appointment to take the practice test. You can call (502) 454-3327 to get your appointment. After you pass these two tests, you will be granted your permanent drivers license.               

***If you are getting only the state I.D., you may apply for it at your closest location (including Bowman Field). You can find all the locations at :

4. Get car insurance: If you are driving with a valid foreign license or International Permit, you can contact the following insurance agencies to get car insurance. When you get the Kentucky license, you may choose from any other insurance agency.

    • Accepted Insurance Center.  964-6383
    • A Central Insurance Agency Inc. 966-8188 & 969-2454
    • Jerry Kays Insurance Agency.   459-0833
    • Shelby Insurance Agency Inc.   245-8346
    • Kentucky Farm Bureau. 459-4507 or check to find your closest location.

      5. Renewals

      You can renew your driver license 6 months in advance before it expires. You will need to follow the process mentioned above.

      6. Change of address

      Anytime you change your address you must get a duplicate license at your Circuit Court Clerk's office within 10 days. The cost of a duplicate is $20. For more information, visit

      7. Buying a car in Kentucky

      To be able to buy a car you need to have a valid drivers license with your picture on it and  proof of Kentucky auto insurance.

      8. A car registered in another state

      If your car was licensed in another state and you need Kentucky plates, visit Jefferson County Clerk's website and follow the instructions. Call 502-574 5700 if you have questions.

      9. Important websites :

      Kentucky Transportation Department