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 a 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 (for more information, visit: 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. After this period has ended, you need to apply for a Kentucky driver license. Drivers from a country not identified by the Geneva Compact must obtain a Kentucky license within 30 days of establishing residency in Kentucky.

To apply for a driver’s license or a State Identification, please follow the following steps:

1. Obtain the required documents: A non-U.S. citizen must present all immigration documents as well as other supporting documents to the Driver Licensing personnel. The required documents are:

      • Passport
      • Form I-94                                                                    
      • Form I-20/DS-2019
      • 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 Kentucky residency: i.e., utility bill (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 to receive instructions on how to show a proof of address.
      • Non-U.S. Citizen Driver Licensing & Personal Identification Application Form. This form can also be obtained from the ISSS Office and must be signed by an international advisor.
*OPT Students: To renew or obtain your Kentucky driver 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” Appointments can be made at:

You can go to one of the four regional ID centers below with all the above-mentioned documents:

Hurstbourne Office
9112 Leesgate Rd, Louisville, KY 40222
Bowman Field Office
3501 Roger E Schupp St, Louisville, KY 40205
Dixie Highway Office
4919 Dixie Hwy Suite A, Louisville, KY 40216
Downtown Nia Center Office
2900 W Broadway, Louisville, KY 40202
*Note : Business hours are Mon – Fri : 9am – 4pm (Nia Center closes at 3pm)
There is a $30 charge to obtain the “Blue Letter.” Cash or Credit accepted.

 3. Apply for your license or your state I.D
      • State ID can be obtained right after you received Blue Letter from the regional ID office. Four-year state IDs cost $11.50
      • Driver's License: Make an appointment with the KY State Police office at Bowman Field. (Note: no walks-in accepted)
*If this is your first time applying for a driver’s license within the U.S, you need to take a written test. To make appointment To study for the test download the manual at the same website in the middle of the page. 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 (same link above).  After you pass these two tests, you will be granted your permanent driver’s license. See page one for additional information.   

4. Car Insurance
All owners of motor vehicles are required to carry minimum liability coverage. Suggested insurance agencies are below:
    • A Central Insurance Agency Inc.- (502) 966-8188 or (502) 969-2454
    • Jerry Kays Insurance Agency- (502) 459-0833
    • Shelby Insurance Agency Inc.- (502) 245-8346
    • Kentucky Farm Bureau- (502) 459-4507 or visit 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 on previous page.
6. Change of address
Anytime you change your address, you must obtain a duplicate license at your Circuit Court Clerk's office within 10 days. For more information, visit:
7. Buying a car in Kentucky
In order to buy a car, you need to have a valid driver license 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 and follow the instructions.
Call 502-574-5700 if you have questions.
9. Important websites:
Kentucky Transportation Department’s website: