There is a very informative memo that may be of some interest to foreign/exchange students here on F, M, or J visas. The memo can be found at www.ice.gov/doclib/sevis/pdf/bm1112-05-dmv-timing.pdf. The purpose of the letter is to provide guidance to non-immigrants with the aforementioned visas in connection with applying for driver licenses and social security numbers. In brief, the memo advises students to wait at least 10 days after arriving in the US before applying for a driver license or social security number. This gives ample time for the government databases to be updated with each student’s information. Secondly, students need to consult with their DSO or RO/ARO advisors to confirm that their status is “Active” before making a trip to the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Social Security Administration. If the student’s status has just been activated, it is prudent to wait at least two days so that the databases can be updated. Although these best practices may seem common-sense, they are nevertheless worth repeating, as students may sometimes forget them in the midst of getting settled here in the US.
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