A Vermont driver's license can be helpful for F-1 and J-1 visitors to have if they wish to drive in the US. There are several steps to the process which are outlined below.
Do I need a Vermont driver's license?
Can I drive with a driver's license from my home country?
Students and scholars with a driver's license from a country on this list may use their driver's license in Vermont for up to one year if they also have an International Driving Permit (IDP). However, many students find it more convenient to have a Vermont license instead of a foreign license.
I just want a Vermont ID card. Do I need to get a driver's license?
Driver's licenses are a common form of ID in the US. However, students can also get a non-driver ID. A non-driver ID is a great alternative to carrying your passport around. You will need to schedule an in-person appointment with the DMV to apply for your non-driver ID, but you will not need to take the written or driving test. You will need to bring multiple documents with you when you go in for your appointment. See "The Road Test" section below for details on required documents and what to do if you do not have an SSN.
Step 1: The Written Test and Getting a Learner's Permit
The first step in getting a Vermont driver's license is to get a learner's permit. A learner's permit allows you to practice driving in the Vermont and become familiar with Vermont's rules of the road.
How do I study for the learner's permit test?
The learner's permit test is completed online. The Vermont State Driver’s Manual contains all of the information you will need to know for the test.
Do I need an appointment to take the learner's permit test?
No. Learner's permit tests are now completed online and can be taken at any time.
Does it cost money to apply for a learner's permit?
Yes, it costs $32 to apply for your learner's permit. Once you pass the online test, you will pay an additional $20 to receive the permit card in the mail. All payments are made online.
Step 2: Practicing Driving in Vermont
After you have a learner's permit, the next step is to practice driving.
Are there driving schools in Vermont?
Yes, there are driving schools that can teach you to drive. The DMV has a list of driving schools in Vermont.
Can I practice with a friend?
Once you have obtained your Vermont learner's permit, you may drive with someone who is either a parent/guardian, a licensed driver education instructor, OR is at least twenty-five years old. The person must have a Vermont driver’s license already.
You must practice driving if you have not driven before. If you do not have a friend with a Vermont driver’s license who is 25 or older, you can pay for driving lessons. See above for a list of driving schools in Vermont
How much do I have to practice?
The DMV recommends that all learners have a minimum of 40 hours of supervised practice driving before they take their road test, with at least 10 hours of nighttime driving (after sunset).
Step 3: The Practical Test and Getting your License
The last step in getting your driver's license is go to the DMV to pass a practical test of your driving abilities, called a road test. You will need to bring multiple documents with you when you go for your appointment.
How can I prepare for the road test?
To prepare for the road test, you should practice driving with someone who already has a Vermont driver's license. You can also complete the DMV Interactive Tutorial to help prepare for your road test.
Do I need an appointment to take the road test?
Yes. You must schedule your road test in advance.
What do I need to bring with me to the DMV?
- Two pieces of mail that show your name and address (to prove you live in Vermont)
- F or J Visa (not required for Canadian or Bermudian students)
- Form I-20 or Form DS-2019
- Form I-94
- CatCard (if available)
- Foreign driver’s license (if you have one)
- Social Security Card
What if I don't have a Social Security Number (SSN)?
If you don't have an SSN, you will need to visit the Burlington Social Security Administration (SSA) office to request a SSN non-eligibility letter. Schedule an appointment with the OIE first - we will give you a letter explaining that you are an international student at UVM who is not employed and therefore not eligible for a SSN. The SSA will look at our letter and give you their own official letter stating that you are not eligible. You will then take this non-elgibility letter from the SSA to the DMV in place of an SSN card, along with the other documents listed above.
Do I need to bring a car for the road test?
When you go to the DMV to take your road test, you must bring a vehicle. The DMV does not provide vehicles for the road test. The vehicle that you bring must be registered, insured, and have passed inspection in the state of Vermont. The owner of that vehicle must accompany you to the road test. You cannot drive alone to the road test – you do not have a license yet.
What happens after I pass the road test?
Once you have taken and passed your road test, the DMV will issue you a paper copy of your driver's license; your driver's license card should come to you by mail within about two weeks of passing the road test.