Driving In Connecticut
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Getting a Connecticut Driver's License
Here are some considerations when deciding whether or
not to get the CT state driver’s license:
- Serves as official identification for many other
purposes besides driving, such as check cashing,
domestic air travel and proof of age for purchasing
alcohol or tobacco products, or entering bars. If you
don’t plan to drive at all you could get an official
non-driver’s ID from the DMV.
- Plan ahead. It can take weeks or even months to
get an appointment during busy times, and appointment
dates are not transferable. Try different
DMV locations to see which branch has the earliest
- May entitle you to reduced rates on your car
insurance. (Although it will still be expensive!)
- Driving regulations are particular to each U.S.
state. Not every state will recognize your home
country driver’s license, but it will recognize a license
from any other U.S. state.
- A valid driver’s license from your home country
when carried with an International Driver’s
Permit, will allow you to legally drive in the
state for the duration of a valid student visa or,
without student status, for up to one year from the
date of entry. Keep in mind that one is not considered
valid without the other, and the International
Driver’s Permit is only obtainable from your home
country prior to departure. If you forget to obtain
this permit in your home country, you are not allowed
to drive in the U.S. on your home country’s
- A valid license from Canada, Germany or
France is treated the same as an out-of-state
license. Once you have established residency in
Connecticut, you have 30 days to transfer your out-of-state license to a Connecticut license.
What You Need to Obtain the License
This information applies to first-time applicants as well
as those who are transferring their out-of-state license.
It is important to remember to check the DMV
Web site for an up-to-date list of what to bring with
you to your appointment. State regulations can (and
often do) change at any time. Here is some important
information you will want to know beforehand:
- Passing a knowldege test and a road test are necessary
to get the license for most applicants. Everyone
needs to take an eye test.
- Knowledge tests are can be given in the following
languages: Bosnian, Chinese, English, French, German,
Greek, Italian, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese,
Russian, Spanish, or Vietnamese.
- U.S. Social Security Card. If you are eligible to receive
an SSN, then you will need to have it for your DMV application.
If you are not eligible for an SSN, as in the
example of an F-2 or H-4 visa holder, then you will need
to obtain a form from the DMV, which you will take to the
Social Security Office, who then will issue you a letter
confirming your ineligibility.
- Valid Visa Documents. You must have some time remaining
on your stay in the U.S. as noted by the end date
on your visa document such as the I-20 or the DS-2019.
At the time of this writing, the amount of time required
was being negotiated within the DMV, so you may wish to
inquire there if you have any questions.
- Letter from the OISS. Visit the OISS to obtain a DMV
letter verifying your status at Yale. You may request this
letter at the OISS reception desk, and normally it will be
done while you wait.
- Bring a recent photo with you when you go to your
first DMV appointment. It can be any photo as long
as it is clear. It will not be returned, but will be kept with
your file for identification purposes.
- A properly registered and insured vehicle appropriate
for the type of test you are taking is necessary. Daily
rentals are not allowed on road tests.
- Acceptable forms of payment are: cash, money orders,
personal checks and bank checks. No credit or debit
cards accepted at the DMV.
- The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can be
reached by car or take the M3 bus to Hamden from Elm
Non-Driver Photo Identification Card
This card, also available from the DMV, serves as an official identification card for CT residents who will not
be seeking a CT state driver’s license, and who do not
hold a driver’s license from any other U.S. state. There
is an application fee of $15, payable in cash only. The
same as with a driver’s license application, remember
to bring a letter from the OISS verifying your status
at Yale, and check the DMV Web site for a current list of
the other required documents you will need to have.
1985 State St, Hamden
Closed on Sunday, Monday and federal
[map this address]
If you experience difficulties at the DMV, it is best to be polite and then visit the OISS to speak with an adviser, who will try to assist you.
If it snows on your driving test day
Call the DMV (1-800-842-8222) to confirm
that they will be open.
Your written test is likely
to be held as scheduled
in light snow and you
should make every effort
to keep your appointment.
The DMV may
suggest rescheduling the
driving portion of your
test depending on current
Need practice driving
on U.S. roads before you
take the driving test?
There are several local
Driving Schools which
can help you prepare.
Research which of these
might be best for you:
AAA Auto Club
“triple A”) is a national
club that provides excellent
services for car
owners including 24 hour
towing, free maps, discounted
rates for travel
and car-related services,
repair referrals, car
safety check clinics and
more. Members can also
movie tickets for local
AAA Connecticut Motor Club
2276 Whitney Ave,