University Housing at Illinois University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Temporary Visitor Driver's License

To be eligible for a Temporary Visitor Driver's License, a foreign national must:

  • Be a non-citizen of the United States residing in the State of Illinois;
  • Be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to be present in this country, and provide documentation verifying such authorization;
  • Not be required to obtain a driver's license issued by the U. S. Department of State, Office of Foreign Missions;
  • Be ineligible for a Social Security number, and present documentation, dated within 30 days of the date the individual is applying for a TVDL, issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA) verifying such ineligibility;
  • Be authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay;
  • Provide acceptable documentation that proves name, date of birth, Illinois residency and verification of written signature;
  • Pay the appropriate fee, and successfully complete a vision screening, and the appropriate written and road tests.

A TVDL is valid for three years, or for the period of time the individual is authorized to stay in this country, whichever ends sooner. Applicants will be required to provide acceptable documentation that proves name, date of birth, Illinois residency and verification of written signature as well as documentation from the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services authorizing the applicant’s legal presence in this country, and Social Security number.

The first-time TVDL applicant will take the same vision, written/oral and road tests as other Illinois applicants. Individuals eligible for a Temporary Visitor Driver's License may obtain an instruction permit allowing them to practice driving before taking their road test. To obtain an instruction permit, the applicant must visit one of the designated Secretary of State Driver Services facilities and meet the requirements to obtain a license for the first time.

There is no known legitimate "international driver's license." This is often confused with an international driver's permit. There are international driver's permits. An international driver's permit does not give a person the right to drive, but provides a translation of the valid home country driver's license. One cannot get an international driving permit unless the home country driver's license is valid.

International driving permits are obtained in the driver's home country. When leaving the home country, a person should obtain a translation of the home country driver's license in the spoken language of the country to be visited. While lack of a translation does not invalidate a home country license, having one makes it easier for law enforcement to assess the home country driver's license validity. For more information, visit the state of Illinois website regarding driver's licenses.

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