I will be studying in the US as an international student soon, and I don't have any proper training to be able to drive a vehicle.

I know that the drivers license does comes in handy a lot in the US as an identification document/card so my question is: Can I get a drivers license just to use it as an identification card instead of carrying my passport everywhere with me?

Or maybe a special version of the drivers license, one that says that I can't or not allowed to drive?

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    Many states call this a "non-driver ID" – ff524 Jul 11 '14 at 11:04
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    I'm looking at "Driver License" and an "Identification Card" from the same state. The license has a few extra lines with the class and restrictions and more detail on these on the back. On a quick glance you could mistake the two. – Loren Pechtel Jul 12 '14 at 18:13

I did an exchange year in Oklahoma (I am British) and was able to get a state ID without having any utility bills. I can't remember exactly what identification I did have to take (possibly a letter from the university with my Oklahoma address on it). I imagine it varies from state to state, so I would ask the university. They should know :)

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    what do you mean by an OK address? – user9619 Jul 11 '14 at 12:22
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    @user9619 OK is the two-letter abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma. OK? – Spehro Pefhany Jul 11 '14 at 12:23
  • Apologies for the confusion - it has been edited now. – emmalgale Jul 11 '14 at 13:36
  • Something else to add - I think I was required to get a state ID as I was living there for a certain length of time. I really can't remember exactly as it was 5 years ago now, but I do remember the whole group of us getting them (9 of us went together). I also did a lot of driving while I was there, and was able to do this just using my British driving license. – emmalgale Jul 11 '14 at 13:45
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    FWIW, in every state I am aware of, the Department/Registry/whatever of Motor Vehicles is also the place to get a non-driver ID, since they have the infrastructure in place anyway. – Casey Jul 11 '14 at 14:17

You can only get a state ID. They will not give you a drivers license if you cant drive or haven''t taken their driving exam. A state ID can be given to anyone who lives in the state and have bills under their name.


Nope... I am not sure if there is any 'simple version' of a driver's license. Never heard of it. I dont think there is anything like it.

probably you are referring to a state ID. Once you go to US, get electricity, gas connections on your name. You can use this to get a state ID. I guess in some states, you can also get one based on your student ID.


In New York there is a card called an "Identification Card." These cards are for people who don't have a license, and for people who didn't even take the permit test. I had a friend in college who had one of these things to get into bars.

Link for more information: ID Cards in NY

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