If you have a driver's license from your home country or an international driver's license, an out-of-country driver's license cannot be used for identification purposes. You do not have to surrender an out-of-country license if you are issued an Indiana driver's license, permit or identification card. If you have an out-of-country driver's license, you must pass the vision screening test, written knowledge test and driving skills test to obtain an Indiana driver's license.
You must arrive at least 15 minutes before your scheduled appointment time to take a driving skills test.
Learn more about the driving skills test or schedule a test.
You do not need to schedule an appointment for a written examination unless you need to have the test read to you. You must arrive at least one hour before a branch closes to take a written examination.
Learn more about the written driving examination.
The vision screening test measures your visual ability. If your visual ability does not meet state standards you will be referred to an eye doctor for an eye examination.
Learn more about the vision screening test.
- Your passport with a valid visa and I-94
- A Social Security card (if you have one) or a letter from the Social Security Administration proving that you are not eligible for a Social Security Number (Form L-676). The letter should not be older than 60 days.
- Two documents which prove your local address:
- Before you go to the BMV to apply for your driver's license or permit, please stop by the International Programs Office to request a letter verifying your local address. We will send this letter to you through the mail, and you can use the letter, along with the envelope addressed to you, as one of the documents you need verifying your local address.
- The second document can be a bill you received at your local address (for example, from Insight or Vectren), a bank statement or receipt from your local bank, etc.
All documents proving your identity, Social Security number, lawful status and Indiana residency will be verified through a central verification process. The Bureau of Motor Vehicles will issue an interim license, valid for 30 days, authorizing you to drive pending authentication of documents submitted to BMV. See the BMV website for more information on the required documents.
When your documents are verified, the BMV will mail the license, permit or identification card to you. If the documents cannot be verified, you will receive a letter explaining the determination. Please contact Heidi or Nicole in the Center for International Programs if you would like assistance in following up with the BMV.
If you have never obtained a driver's license before, you must first apply for a learner's permit. Learner's permits allow Indiana residents to practice driving before obtaining a driver's license.
To obtain a learner's permit, if you are 16 years of age or older, you must present documents of identification at a license branch and pass a written examination and a vision screening test.
If you have a learner's permit and you are enrolled in an approved driver education program, you may practice driving only after you begin the program. You may drive only when you are accompanied by a certified driving instructor in the front seat of a vehicle equipped with dual brake controls, or when a parent, step-parent or guardian who is at least 21 years of age and has their valid driver's license with them is seated in your vehicle's passenger seat.
If you are between the ages of 16 and 18 and you are not enrolled in a driver education program, you may practice driving with a learner's permit only when a parent, guardian, step-parent or other relative who is 21 years of age or older and who has their valid driver's license with them is seated in your vehicle's front passenger seat.
If you are 18 years of age or older, you may practice driving with a learner's permit only when an individual with their valid driver's license in their possession is seated in your vehicle's front passenger seat.
If you need a car for a few days or weeks, you need to call a car rental company. You will need to prove that you are full-time student, at least 25 years old, and have a U.S. or international driver's license with a photo. It is important to buy vehicle insurance from the car rental company. There are several rental companies in Evansville, many of which will bring the car to your home. While you're driving the car, you will have to pay for the gas.
You can buy a new or used car from dealers or private individuals. If you buy a used car, make sure you have the car checked by a person you trust (a person knowledgeable about cars) because there are people who will try to sell you a car that may be damaged in some way. New cars often cost a lot of money. If you have the money, you should be prepared to negotiate. In the United States, it is customary to negotiate the price of the car.
When you buy your car, you will need to get license plates. If you buy a car from a car dealership, they will give you temporary plates. You will then have to go to the BMV to buy a permanent license plate; be sure to include this cost in your budget.
You will also need car insurance. It is against the law to drive a car without having insurance. There are many companies that provide insurance.
When you have done all of the above, go to the BMV. Be sure to bring:
- Bill of Sale (receipt for your car)
- Title and Registration Card (The official paper that says you are the owner. Every car is registered with the government.)
- Proof of Auto Insurance (your insurance card or letter saying you have insurance)
- Social Security Card (If you do not have a social security card, take all your immigration documents including your passport and I-94.)
The BMV will verify your information, and you will have to pay a fee. The fee could be up to $1,000 dollars.
- Decide how much money you can spend, and stay within that amount.
- Do not let dealers and salespeople pressure you to buy a car.
- Always drive the car before buying. Check for oil leaks, chassis damage, brake wear, transmission problems, window damage, door problems, exhaust deterioration, etc.
- It would be a good idea to have a mechanic do a diagnostic check. This will cost money but is often worth the price.
Students living in campus housing must display a USI parking decal on the window of their car and are only allowed to park in the area where they live. Commuters can park in USI designated lots, but must fill out the Vehicle Registration Form and return it to the USI Parking Department.
USI's Zimride community is a simple way to find friends and colleagues who are going the same way you are. Zimride is a private community that makes it easy to share the seats in your car or catch a ride. More information on Zimride is available on the USI Parking website.