Getting a New Jersey Driver's License

NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Student & Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has issued guidance permitting schools to issue electronic I-20s that you can print and use for travel. However, the MVCs local to Princeton have been requesting original I-20s for the driver’s license application. If you are outside of the Princeton area we recommend confirming with your local MVC/DMV as to whether the original I-20 is required. If you require the original form I-20, please request it by emailing us at puvisa@princeton.edu.

If you choose to operate a motor vehicle while living in the state of New Jersey, state law requires that you obtain a valid New Jersey driver's license within 60 days of residing in the state. International students, scholars, and their families in New Jersey may apply for a New Jersey driver's license at any Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) office

NOTE: Due to COVID-19, the Motor Vehicle Commission is operating in a limited capacity and may require an appointment. Please see https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/locations/liccenters.htm for the latest information on closures, capacity limits, and if an appointment is needed.

The MVC office closest to Princeton is Bakers Basin (#13 on the map) and is located at:

Motor Vehicle Commission
Bakers Basin

3200 Brunswick Pike
Route 1 North
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Additional, up to date information can be found here: https://www.state.nj.us/mvc/pdf/about/AGENCIES_FAQ.pdf  Please note that everyone who enters an MVC facility will be required to wear a face covering. If a customer cannot wear a face covering, MVC will make other arrangements for their transaction.

 

Identification Required

The New Jersey MVC uses an identification verification process called the 6 point ID verification system which requires that all applicants applying for or renewing a New Jersey driver's license or non-driver identification card prove their identity through a required combination of documents. Each type of document is assigned a point value, and the total point value of all documents presented must be at least six (6) points.

For detailed information or to view the 6 Point ID document requirements or to download a 6-point brochure visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission website.

For international students and scholars the identification documents required will include:

  • Valid passport
  • Most recent I-94 arrival document electronic printout that you may retrieve from www.cbp.gov/I94
  • Original I-20 (F-1/F-2) or DS-2019 (J-1/J-2) Form
  • A Social Security Card is also required unless you are not eligible to obtain one. For driver’s license application purposes, J-2 (without Employment Authorization Document - EAD), F-2 and H-4 holders should request a letter from the Social Security Administration (SSA) indicating they are not eligible for a social security number.The nearest SSA office is located at 635 S. Clinton Avenue, 2nd Floor; Trenton, NJ 08611. For directions, please view our section on obtaining Social Security Numbers.

Please check the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission's website to make sure you have all required items with you when applying for a license or to download the Driving in New Jersey Manual.

Information about Driving with an International Driving Permit (IDP)