Driver's License and State ID Information

The Center for International Education strongly recommends that students carry some form of picture identification with them at all times. While the Loyola University student ID will often be sufficient for on-campus activities, a U.S. government-issued identification card can be a more practical option than carrying your original passport away from campus.

FAQ About Louisiana Driver's Licenses

My passport has my picture in it. Can I use that as identification around town?
You can use your passport, but it is risky to carry this with you around New Orleans. It is recommended that you keep your original passport and other immigration documents in a secure place and only carry copies with you when you are in the New Orleans area. A lost or stolen passport will be much more difficult to replace than a lost or stolen Louisiana ID card or driver’s license.

Is it necessary to get either a driver’s license or state ID card?
While it is not necessary to do so, a picture ID is often required to enter local bars and clubs. The staff may be reluctant or refuse to accept your passport or other picture ID because they are trained to identify “fake” Louisiana IDs and may not be able to recognize the authenticity of your passport or other picture ID.

Do I really need to get a driver’s license?
If you plan to drive a car or purchase one while you are here at Loyola, you should apply for a LA driver’s license. If you do not plan to drive in the U.S., getting a LA state ID would be a better option for you. For more information on getting a state ID click on the tab at the top of the page.

I have an International Driver’s license. Do I still need to get a Louisiana driver’s license?
Yes, if you plan to own a car or if you will be in New Orleans for more than a year (your international driver’s license is only valid for one year after your arrival). You will also be required to take a 6 hour pre-licensing course. International driver’s licenses are not acceptable to waive the driver's education course requirement or as a form of identification. You will have to submit a certificate of completion of a driver’s education course before you will be allowed to take the vision, road and written tests.

I have a driver’s license from my home country. Do I still need to get a Louisiana driver’s license?
Full time students living in Louisiana but maintaining out-of-country permanent residency do not have to obtain a Louisiana license as long as full-time student status is in effect and your driver's license is valid. To prove this, you need to carry copies of your passport, I-20 and I-94 as well as your Loyola student ID with you. If you want to get a LA driver’s license, out-of-country drivers are exempt from the pre-licensing training requirement, but they are not exempt from the visual/medical requirements or from the written and driving portion of the examination.

Do I need a Social Security Number (SSN) to get a driver’s license?

No. The Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles requires that all applicants submit either a social security number or an official letter from the Social Security Administration specifying that no number has been assigned OR the applicant is not eligible for issuance of a Social Security Number. Failure to provide the above-stated proof will result in a denial of issuance of a driver’s license.

How can I apply for a Social Security Number?
In order to apply for a SSN you must show proof of employment or an explicit job offer in addition to your original immigration documents and a letter from CIE. For more information, please refer to the Social Security Number section of the CIE website.

Where can I get a driver’s license?
The Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) locations and hours of operation (in Orleans Parish) are as follows:

Algiers
2001 Behrman Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70114
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Harvey
2150 Westbank Expwy.
Harvey, LA 70058
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Kenner
3501 Chateau Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Metairie
6701 Airline Hwy
Metairie, LA 70003
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

For information about other locations, visit http://omv.dps.state.la.us/

How much does it cost?
Driver’s licenses currently cost $39.50 (cash only) and are valid for 4 years.

How do I apply for a driver's license?

You must submit originals of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 exchange visitors)
  • I-94 (Non-immigrants must show upon application for a Louisiana license or identification card that there are AT LEAST 180 DAYS left on their I-94 or Employment Authorization Document. Applicants with less than 180 days remaining shall be denied a Louisiana license or identification card.)
  • Social Security Number (or an official letter from the Social Security Administration specifying that no number has been assigned OR the applicant is not eligible for issuance of a Social Security Number)
  • Loyola ID
  • Receipt from Loyola for the current semester that shows you have a ZERO BALANCE. (You will need to get this from the Student Finance office located in Marquette Hall, Room 112; 865-3337.)
  • Out-of-country driver’s license (if you have one)
  • Letter from CIE

Do I have to take a test to get a driver’s license?

You must successfully complete the Road Signs Test, Road Rules Test and driving test. You must score a minimum of 80% on each test to pass.

How can I study for the driving test?
There is a guide online at: http://www.dps.state.la.us/omv/driversguide.html. Select "Class D and E Drivers Guide." There is no practice test available.

I don’t have a driver’s license. Do I have to take a driver’s education class?
Yes, unless an out-of-country or out-of-state driver's license is presented, all first time applicants must present a certificate of completion of a (6) hour pre-licensing course from an approved driving school. For more information on licensed schools contact the Louisiana OMV at 1-877-DMV-LINE or (504) 485-2302. You will also have to pass the written, vision and driving skills test.

Will the OMV give me a car so I can take my driving test?
No. You must provide your own vehicle (or that of a friend) for your driving test. You must provide proof that the vehicle is insured and the vehicle must have a current safety inspection sticker, current license plate validation sticker and current certification of registration.

All information is subject to change. For complete information please go the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website at: http://omv.dps.state.la.us/ or call 1-877-DMV-LINE.

FAQ About Louisiana State Identification Cards

The Center for International Education strongly recommends that students carry some form of picture identification with them at all times. While the Loyola University student ID will often be sufficient for on-campus activities, a U.S. government-issued identification card can be a more practical option than carrying your original passport away from campus.

My passport has my picture in it. Can I use that as identification around town?
You can use your passport, but it is risky to carry this with you around New Orleans. It is recommended that you keep your original passport and other immigration documents in a secure place and only carry copies with you when you are in the New Orleans area. A lost or stolen passport will be much more difficult to replace than a lost or stolen Louisiana ID card.

Is it necessary to get either a driver’s license or state ID card?
While it is not necessary to do so, a picture ID is often required to enter local bars and clubs. The staff may be reluctant or refuse to accept your passport or other picture ID because they are trained to identify “fake” Louisiana IDs and may not be able to recognize the authenticity of your passport or other picture ID.

What’s the difference between a Driver’s license and a state ID?
They look the same, but if you do not plan to drive car in the U.S., you do not need a LA drivers’ license. Getting a LA state ID would be a better option for you.

Do I need a Social Security number to get a state ID?
No.

Where can I get a state ID?
The Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) locations and hours of operation (in Orleans Parish) are as follows:

Algiers
2001 Behrman Ave.
New Orleans, LA 70114
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Harvey
2150 Westbank Expwy.
Harvey, LA 70058
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Kenner
3501 Chateau Blvd.
Kenner, LA 70065
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Metairie
6701 Airline Hwy
Metairie, LA 70003
Monday thru Friday
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
No Outside Driving Tests from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

For information about other locations, visit http://omv.dps.state.la.us/ 

How much does it cost?
State IDs currently cost $21.00 (cash only) and are valid for 4 years.

How do I apply for a state ID?

You must submit originals of the following documents:

  • Passport
  • I-20 (for F-1 students) or DS-2019 (J-1 exchange visitors)
  • I-94 (Non-immigrants must show upon application for a Louisiana license or identification card that there are AT LEAST 180 DAYS left on their I-94 or Employment Authorization Document. Applicants with less than 180 days remaining shall be denied a Louisiana license or identification card.)
  • Letter from CIE
  • Loyola ID

All information is subject to change. For complete information please go the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles website at: http://omv.dps.state.la.us/ or call 1-877-DMV-LINE.