Drivers From Other Nations
O.C.G.A. § 40-5-21 exempts nonresidents from Georgia laws that require driver’s licenses if he or she “has in his or her immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to him or her in his or her home state or country; provided, however, that such person would otherwise satisfy all requirements to receive a Georgia driver's license; and provided, further, that in the case of a driver's license issued by the driver's licensing authority of a foreign country, a law enforcement officer may consult such person's passport or visa to verify the validity of such license, if available…”
You do not need to apply for a Georgia license unless you become a resident of Georgia. If you become a resident, you must meet the following requirements for Identity, Citizenship, and Residency:
All documents must be in English.
- Georgia recognizes driver's licenses equivalent to a Class C Standard Driver issued by countries that have a reciprocal agreement with the Georgia Department of Driver Services. Driver’s licenses issued by the Republic of South Korea and accompanied by a License Certification Letter from the South Korean Consulate is exempt from taking the Georgia Knowledge (written) and road tests. Successful completion of the vision test is required.
- Drivers from nations not having a reciprocal agreement with the Department of Driver Services, including Canada and US Territories, must pass Georgia's written, road and vision tests to be issued a Georgia driver's license. Knowledge (written) tests must begin at least 30 minutes before center closing time.
- You should present your Foreign/International License or Identification Card along with a letter from the South Korean Consulate to receive a Georgia driver’s license or identification card. Foreign licenses/permits/ID cards are returned to non-US citizens with the following exceptions: Commercial licenses and permits. US Citizens who hold a license/permit/ID card issued by any foreign jurisdiction or US territory must surrender the license/permit/ID card. Customers with dual U.S. and foreign citizenship may choose whether or not they wish to retain a foreign driver’s license unless they are applying for a commercial driver’s license in the State of Georgia.
- For those drivers who are non-citizens and who are not authorized to work in the United States under their current immigration status, will need to obtain a Form SSA-L676 'SSN CARD DENIAL NOTICE' from a local SSA office before visiting a DDS Customer Service Center to apply for a driver's license.
- You may contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or visit their website at https://www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/ and select 'field office locator' to find the SSA office nearest you.
- Form SSA-L676 is not available from the web site. After obtaining the form from SSA, present it to the Customer Service Center when you apply for your driver's license or identification card.
- In addition to the SSA Denial form, please remember to bring your valid passport and valid I-94 card (or valid I-94 stamp in passport), any other original immigration documents in your possession, and proof of Georgia residency.
(This is in accordance with the mandate contained in 42 U.S.C. Section 666(a)(13)(A) and notwithstanding any provision of Title 40.)
Every applicant for an initial driver's license must provide acceptable proof of identification. Board Rule 375-3-1-.02, specifies one of the following items are acceptable but must be Original or a Certified Copy:
- Original state-issued birth certificate (Hospital birth certificates are not acceptable)
- Certified copy of your birth certificate (Issued by a State Vital Statistics Department with an affixed seal)
- Certificate of birth registration or amended birth certificate
- Certified copy of court records (adoption, name changes, or sex changes.)
- Certified naturalization records
- Immigration I.D. card
- Valid Passport
- If your name has changed from your original birth record or passport, you must present the complete trail of certified documents supporting all name changes. (Marriage license, certificate, adoption or naturalization orders, or court-ordered name change. Please note: On June 26, 2015, the United States Supreme Court ruled that all states recognize same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is recognized in the State of Georgia.)
U.S Citizenship/Lawful Status Requirements
Every applicant for an initial license must prove either he/she is a U.S. citizen or legally authorized by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be present in the U.S. If the identification document presented indicates that the individual is a U.S. Citizen (by birth or naturalization) then the citizenship requirement has been satisfied.
Applicants with a birth certificate issued by a US Territory are considered US citizens.
If the identification document presented indicates that the individual is a Non-U.S. citizen then a valid document from USCIS must be presented. Click on the non-citizen link at the top of this page to see the list of acceptable USCIS documents.
After meeting Identity and Citizenship requirements the individual must present proof of a valid Georgia residence address. Board Rule 375-3-1-.02 specifies one of the following must be presented as proof of residence address:
- A bank statement dated within the past six (6) months.
- A utility bill dated within the past six (6) months.
- Current valid rental contracts and/or receipts for payments dated within the past six (6) months for rent payments with valid Georgia residence address.
- Employer verification (letter from employer on company letterhead stating applicant's full name and home address) or check stub that states name and address.
- Unexpired or expiring Georgia license/ID card issued to the cardholder and reflecting their current residence address.
- Georgia license issued to parent, child, guardian, or spouse; the GA license/ID card holder must also be present for identification.
Non-Citizens Driver’s License, Permit or Identification Card One-Time Extension
The Department of Driver Services provides a one-time 120-day extension for any non-citizen who meets the following requirements:
- Must be an existing DDS customer
- The Georgia license, permit or identification card must have expired or must be expiring within thirty (30) days
- Must provide proof of having requested an extension for time to remain lawfully within the United States by presenting an original I-797C Notice of Action.