Social Security Number and Driver’s License Information

Social Security

As an international student, you are only eligible for a social security number if you have a job. However, you can obtain a social security ineligibility letter without a job. This may be needed if you are trying to rent an apartment or get a Michigan driver’s license. A social security ineligibility letter shows that you are not eligible for a social security number because you do not have a job and your current visa restrictions do not allow you to obtain a social security number. Please note that a social security number is not required to open a bank account.

If You Have a Job Offer

Fill out and submit a Letter Request Form to an international advisor in person or email

If You Need a Social Security Ineligibility Letter

The process to get a social security ineligibility letter is fairly simple. You must take the required documents listed below to a Social Security Office.

  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • Valid Passport (including visa)
  • I-94
  • Schoolcraft Student ID
  • One document with proof of your current address (Utility bill, bank statement, credit card statement etc.) Some documents must be dated within the last 90 days to be accepted.

Letters are usually issued the same day or may be sent via postal mail to the applicant’s address.

Driver’s License

A Michigan Driver’s License allows you to operate a vehicle legally in the USA. The way in which you obtain a Michigan Driver’s License depends on various individual circumstances. Please use this as a guide to determine what steps you need to take in order to get a valid Driver’s License.

Canadians With  A Valid, Unexpired Provincial Driver’s License

If you have a valid and unexpired driver’s license from your province you are eligible for a Michigan Driver’s License. You are not required to retake any driving skills test. Instead you will visit a Secretary of State Office and present valid documentation. To find out what documentation is required please review the attached Secretary Of State document. Once you arrive at the Secretary of State office and show the required documents you will:

  • Take a vision test and physical standard assessment
  • Have your photo taken
  • Pay the $25 fee and be issued a temporary license
    (your actual picture license will arrive in the mail later)

Have An Accepted Valid Foreign Driver’s License

If you have a valid and accepted foreign driver’s license you will follow the same process as those with no license listed below. However, you will be able to accelerate the process by 30 days. This means you will be eligible to take the driver’s skill test immediately after passing the written test instead of having to wait 30 days. You must have an international driver’s permit issued in English or your foreign driver’s license must be translated into English.

No Valid and Accepted Foreign Driver’s License or Have Never Had A Driver’s License

  1. Obtain a Social Security Number or Social Security Ineligibility Letter. You are only eligible for a social security number if you have a job offer.  However, for the social security ineligibility letter you do not need to have a job offer. Requirements for a social security ineligibility letter are listed under the Social Security section of this webpage.
  2. Gather all the requirement documents. To find out what documentation is required please review the Secretary of State website.
  3. Study for the written knowledge and road signs test. There is a study guide called “What Every Driver Must Know” available on the state of Michigan’s website.
  4. Go to a Secretary of State Office and present the required documents. Here, you will take the vision test and the written knowledge/road signs test. If you pass the written test you will pay $25 and receive a Temporary Instruction Permit (TIP permit). You will use your TIP to practice driving with restrictions that the Secretary of State will notify you of.  You must wait 30 days before attempting the driving skills test unless you already have a valid foreign license. Here are some guidelines of what driving skills are expected of you: Driving Skills Test Study Guide
  5. Complete a driver’s skills test. This test is not issued by the Secretary of State. Instead you must contact a certified company or agent to proctor the test.
  6. Return to the Secretary of State office. Present the required documents again, your TIP permit and your driving skills certificate. They will take your photo and a temporary license will be issued until the photo ID arrives in the mail.