Most Immigrants to the US are often in a big hurry to apply for a driver’s license or Social Security number. They thin k that this will give their immigrant status a kind of legalization. But more often, if this is done in a huge hurry, there might be repercussions to the act and instead of holding good; it might only land you in trouble. It is of course very important that you know the proper time when you can apply for either a driving license or a Social Security Number.

We at Shah Peerally Law group would like to inform all such students and other applying for driving license and social security numbers about how to go about it. Before you apply for anything, make sure that you have all your papers in the correct order. You should check all your forms to make sure your information is correct. Data integrity is very important and being your first authorization in the country it would hold much significance. Make sure that all your forms have the same information in it because different information in different places might spell trouble for you. Before you go to meet the officials in the Government offices make sure that you are carrying along all your paperwork.

Some things to remember for applying for your Driver’s license and Social Security Number-

Do not try to hurry up things; you should wait for at least ten days before you get cracking. This time is required for your Government database to be updated with your arrival information also.

  • In many a case, the immigrant does not know if they are eligible for a driving license or a Social security Number. Make sure you read up the eligibility forms before you even apply.
  • Make sure that before you apply for your Driver’s license and Social Security Number you have talked with your DSO or RO/ARO in order to make sure that your record with SEVIS is active. If your record is not active your application stands a chance of being rejected.
  • You should use the time for waiting to upgrade yourself about whatever information is available on how to secure the Driver’s license and Social Security Number and also confirm if you are eligible for receiving the same.

If you are from a student exchange program, make sure your record in the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is up-to-date.

  • The DSO (A DSO manages an F or M nonimmigrant’s SEVIS record ) or An RO/ARO (manages an exchange visitor’s SEVIS) whichever is applicable to you  should have placed your record in an active status when you report to the school or program you are attending.


For a Driver’s license you need the following documents


Immigration Lawyers

–          Form I-94, “Arrival/Departure Record”

–          Form I-20, “Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant Student Status” or DS-2019, “Certificate of

–          Passport (with visa if applicable)

–          Eligibility for Exchange Visitor (J-1) Status”

–          Proof of legal presence or residence

If you are applying for a Social Security Number, you must bring along a letter of employment and an endorsed Form I-20 (for F students).



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Shah Peerally is an attorney licensed in California practicing immigration law and debt settlement. He has featured as an expert legal analyst for many TV networks such as NDTV, Times Now and Sitarree TV. Articles about Shah Peerally and his work have appeared on newspapers such as San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Tribune, US Fiji Times, Mauritius Le Quotidien, Movers & Shakers and other prominent international newspapers. His work has been commended by Congress women Nancy Pelosi and Barbara Lee. He has a weekly radio show on KLOK 1170AM and frequently participates in legal clinics in churches, temples and mosques. His law group, Shah Peerally Law Group, has represented clients all over the United States constantly dealing with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Custom Enforcement(ICE) and CBP (Customs Border Patrol (CBP) under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This department was formerly known as the Immigration and Nationality Services (INS).