Driver's License

Kentucky Driver License or State Identification (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. After this period of time, you need to apply for the Kentucky Driver’s 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:


I-94 Information                                                                     

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 or mail that shows your current address with your name as the recipient and has been processed through the U.S. Postal Service.

If you live in one of the University dormitories and receive your mail at the post office on campus, please contact Housing Office at (502) 852-6636 or oncampus@louisville.eduto receive instructions on how to show a proof of address.

Driver Licensing Non-U.S. Citizen Driver Licensing & Personal Identification Application Form. This form can be obtained from the ISSS Office and must be signed by an international advisor.

OPT Students: To renew or obtain your Kentucky driver's license you will need the following documents: a) Driver’s License Application; b) a new I-20 from our office with approved OPT status on page 3. Take these documents along with your EAD (Employment Authorization Card) and Social Security Card.

  • Please note that dependents (F2 or J2status), must show the documents mentioned above as well as the documents of their primary (F1 or J1status). A dependent also needs to obtain the Driver Licensing Non-U.S. Citizen Driver Licensing & Personal Identification Application Form from the ISSS Office.


2. Obtain the “Blue Letter”: Obtain an appointment.

Once you obtain an appointment, go to the following address with all the above-mentioned documents:

9112 Leesgate Rd, Louisville, KY 40222
Phone: 502.564.1257 
Monday - Friday 8:00 am - 3:00 pm.

There is a $30 charge to obtain the “Blue Letter”. 

Payment may be made by debit card, credit card, or money order.  Cash is not accepted.

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

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

Phone: (502) 595-4405. Office hours areMon: 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 driver’s license within the U.S, you need to take a written test. For test hours, visit  To study for the test download the manual at  When you pass the written test, you will be granted a temporary license that allows you to practice with a current driver’s 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 driver’s license. See page one for additional information.   

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's 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 driver's 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