To qualify for either a Maine driver’s license or ID card:

  • Your SEVIS record must be in active status. (If you have questions about this please ask the International Programs office to confirm your record is active)
  • We recommend you wait at least 10 days after your arrival before applying. The 10-day wait allows time for all the government databases to update with your arrival information.
  • The Program End Date on your I-20 or DS-2019 must show that you are eligible to remain in the US for at least 120 days beyond the day that you plan to get your license or ID card

Canadian Students

The rules are a little different for Canadian students. If you have a valid Canadian driver’s license you should convert it to a Maine driver’s license during your first semester. If you do not do this in the first semester then your request may be denied.

International (non-Canadian) Students:

If you have a valid driver’s license from your home country you may use it to drive in the United States for up to one (1) year from your date of entry. The driver’s license must be translated to English on the license itself (you cannot have a certified translation as a separate document). If the English translation is not printed on your driver’s license from your home country you must obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) in your home country. The IDP must be in accordance with the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic of 24 April 1926, the Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968 or the Convention on Road Traffic of 1949. Unfortunately, there is no organization which maintains a list of how to obtain an IDP in each country. We recommend that you contact your local licensing authority for more information. Keep in mind that you must get the IDP in your home country. You cannot apply for one in the US.

Paperwork Needed:

If you are applying for a Maine State ID Card or Driver’s License you will need to bring the following items to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. Please note that if applying for a Driver’s License you may also need to take a written and/or driving test.

  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Form I-94: Arrival/Departure Record available at
  • Passport (with visa, if applicable)
  • Copy of Social Security card
    • If you do not have a social security card the OIP will issue you a letter explaining why you do not have one. Please contact Kaoru or Kimberly if you need a BMV letter.

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