river’s License Obtaining an Alabama D

Obtaining an Alabama Driver’s License
(Information prepared by the International Student Advisor at Birmingham-Southern College)
Who is eligible to apply for an Alabama driver’s license?
Anyone in a valid nonimmigrant status (F, J, H, TN, and their dependents), a U.S. citizen, or a
permanent resident can apply for an Alabama driver’s license. Alabama law requires that the
applicant must have a U.S. social security number or proof from Social Security that they are
not eligible for a social security number (denial letter).
Do you need a social security number (SSN) to obtain an Alabama driver’s license?
Yes. BUT, for those individuals who do not have, or are not eligible to obtain, an SSN, you must
request proof of denial of the SSN from the Social Security Administration (located at 1200 Rev
Abraham Woods Jr Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35285). You will receive a letter that states that you
are not eligible for an SSN. This letter should be presented along with your immigration
documents to the Alabama Department of Public Safety. F-1 and J-1 students without a job will
have to get a Social Security denial letter in order to get a driver’s license or State ID.
Who is not eligible to apply for an Alabama driver’s license?
Anyone visiting the U.S. with a B-1/WB or B-2/WT visa is not eligible to apply for an Alabama
driver’s license. Also, those coming for less than 160 calendar days, or who have less than 160
days of authorized stay in the U.S., are ineligible to apply for a driver’s license. If these
individuals have a need to drive while in the U.S., they should obtain an International Driver’s
License in their home country. An International Driver’s License is usually valid for a short
period of time (i.e., 30-60 days).
What is an Alabama identification card?
This document is used solely for identification. This card is not valid for driving purposes. The
cost of this document is $23.50 (payable in cash or with a check for an Alabama bank account).
The Alabama identification card is issued at the same location as the driver’s license.
Where do you go to apply for an Alabama driver’s license?
Foreign nationals must apply at the following address:
908 Bankhead Highway
Birmingham, AL 35204
Phone: 205-252-7445
What are the hours of business for the driver’s license office?
The office is open 7AM-5PM, Mon-Fri. Testing times vary so please call the office to verify the
exact times tests will be given.
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What should you bring when applying for the Alabama driver’s license?
 Valid Foreign Passport
 Electronic printout of I-94 Admission Record
 I-20 or DS-2019
 Birth certificate (not required but helpful if you have it with you)
 Social Security Number card or denial letter from the Social Security office to prove you
are not eligible for a number.
 Letter of Good Standing from the International Student Advisor
IMPORTANT NOTICE: In order to apply for a license or renew a license, you must have at least
160 days left in your immigration status (as shown by the program or status end date on your I20 or DS-2019). This does not include any grace periods. Also, licenses cannot be renewed
until you are within 30 days of the expiration date on your driver’s license.
What is required to obtain an Alabama driver’s license?
You will be required to take a written (computer-based) test and a road test.
Should you study for the written test?
Yes. Driver’s license manuals are available on the Alabama Department of Public Safety
website. Manuals can be read online or printed out at
What is the cost for an Alabama driver’s license and the test?
The total fee is $28.50 payable by cash or debit/credit card. The fee for the Alabama driver’s
license is $23.50. The fee for the test is $5.00.
Getting to the driver’s license office
If you do not have an International Driver’s License, you must have a licensed driver take you to
the driver’s license office. This licensed driver must be willing to let you use his or her car for the
road test. Proof of car insurance for the vehicle is required. The officer will inspect the car. The
car must be fully functional (i.e., working turn signals, horn, etc.) before the officer will let you
take the road test. It is advisable to practice driving this vehicle in a deserted parking lot prior to
taking the road test so that you are comfortable driving it.
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