Getting a License to Drive Online As a Foreigner
Gaining driving privileges as a foreigner can be challenging. Some states, like Tennessee, require proof of your immigration status before issuing you with a license; other states such as New York require you to possess an out-of-state license that can later be exchanged for one issued as resident once passing written and road tests have been passed successfully.
Your travel documents could include two ID proofs with your name and date of birth listed, proof of residency (such as pay stub or utility bill), your driver’s license from home country and passport; further documentation may also be necessary depending on local laws and regulations.
Why is this process difficult? States’ policies vary significantly on this matter and some have even tightened. Driving can provide illegal immigrants a pathway into the workforce and their local communities – having a driver’s license gives them the feeling that they belong in mainstream society rather than hidden menial jobs and makeshift areas they reside in.
North Carolina and Tennessee often boast motor vehicle offices populated with Spanish speakers, while in places such as South Carolina they remain virtually vacant.
Reasons for these discrepancies lie within state regulations: some allow short-term visitors with foreign drivers’ licenses to drive, while other allow only residents who obtain an International Driving Permit from a US-approved organization such as the American Automobile Association – an expensive process which takes months for some individuals while some scammers charge excessive fees or make false claims.