Getting a license on an H4 visa


New Member

I live in Va, I have tried everything to get a license for my wife who is on an H4 Visa. The DMV requires another form of I.D. they dont need SSN and dont accept any docs from another country. So technically its IMPOSSIBLE!!

How can I get the license>>>

Please advice.


New Member
H4 Drivers License

I had the same problem,
there are 2 solutions.
1) Enroll your spose in some school and have the ID from school as the second ID.

2) Apply for I-797 for your spouse, as ususally the spouse visa is stampped using your I-797. I-797 on spouce name is a valid document as per DMV.


Registered Users (C)
Re: Credit Card as ID

Virginia won't accept credit cards as IDs. It's very hard for a non-immigrant to provide two forms of acceptable ID, unless they belong to a class like F-1 students who automatically have a form I-20 issued by the USCIS (i.e. they have two valid immigration documents to prove their status). You might apply for a marriage license, but that would be kinda odd since you're already married. Not sure how that would work. Other than that, enrolling in a school and getting certified copies of the school records is probably your best bet.

Duniaku said:
Ever thought about using your credit card as a form of id?


Registered Users (C)
STATE ID ( apply if not available ) + PASSPORT ?
In PASSPORT itself, Photo on Visa stamp can be 2nd ID.
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New Member
H 4 to student visa

Can my wife who is on H 4 get student visa by enrolling in any short term course. What are the requirements for this? If she cannot , which type of courses can she opt for and can she work after getting her student visa? Appreciate your help.


Registered Users (C)
To qualify for an F-1 student visa, she'd have to be a full-time student. The criteria for being considered full-time are 12 units per quarter or semester. Some schools will allow you to have less units for short-term sessions, like 4 units for a 6-week summer program or something along those lines.

For the first full year as an F-1 student, she would only be allowed to work on-campus and would not be issued a SS# until she has found a job. After 1 year, she could qualify to work off-campus either due to unforeseen economic hardship, curricular practical training or as part of an internship related to her studies.

If she enrolls in a vocational training program she might qualify for an M-1 visa, but M-1s have no work privileges.

Hope this helps.

paul_kallol said:
Can my wife who is on H 4 get student visa by enrolling in any short term course. What are the requirements for this? If she cannot , which type of courses can she opt for and can she work after getting her student visa? Appreciate your help.


New Member
ITIN is also OK

Hi, I stay in Denver,CO and I am on H4. I went today to DMV here and they said that I have to have either SSN or ITIN and if I donot have any of it, I need to get a letter from SSN stating that I cannot get SSN. Ofcourse they asked for my Passport & I-94.

Apart from that, they also asked me proof of my wife's employment in US with her Petition and deputation letter stating her address in US.


New Member
obtaining non driver lic/state id on h4.....i faced the similar problem...the DMV people were not accepting any foreign i furnished them with my passport and our car insurance papers as i and my husband both have our names on insurance papers.....they sent me my id after few days! :)


Registered Users (C)
Did any one succeed in getting the ID in VA?


If any one succeeded in getting the Photo ID or DL for H4 visa in VA, please let us know how to obtain and the required documents list.

Thank you,


Registered Users (C)
here is my wife's case ,

she had a valid unexpired Arkansas driver license and when we moved to Virginia, she furnished DMV with her passport, AR driver license, original expired H4 visa and original expired I-94, and all original H4 extensions with new I-94s attached, apartmernt lease in both our names, and another piece of mail showing the physical address .

She got driver license with no problems, although the lates H4 approval is valid till march 2006, she got VA driver license in dec 2003 valid till may 2008 and even was re-issued a new license in dec 2004 with a new address.
hope this helps


New Member
I had faced similar problems in VA. My wife who is on H4 visa, finally got a drivers license in VA.
We contacted the DMV by email giving them details that my wife was legal in United States and what forms of ID's she had. After exchanging a couple of emails, they informed me that if my wife can provide any one of the following, they would accept it as a form of Secondary ID document.
1. Driver License from India ( I am not sure whether International License would work.)
2. Original Birth Certificate authenticated by Embassy (Embassy charges $20 or something and gives it in one day)

Finally, I emailed them scanned copies of Passport's first page, visa page, Birth Certificate authenticated by Embassy, bank statement with my wife's name and address on it (for address proof). After that they sent her a letter saying that she can go to a particular DMV branch with that letter and apply for a license.

The whole process took less than a month. The DMV people were really helpfull and replies were fast.

I hope this helps you.
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Registered Users (C)
Leon - Can you pl Give E-mail of DMV?

Leon if you can give the e-mail id of DMV so that we can contact them.


Registered Users (C)

Today my wife who is on H4 visa got her Photo ID from the DMV which is at Sterling VA. She just took my 797 and our Rental Agreement which has her name included and she got it without any questions being asked.

Try out at Sterling rather than the one which is at Chantilly at VA.


great guru

Volunteer Moderator
venu_dvmr said:

Today my wife who is on H4 visa got her Photo ID from the DMV which is at Sterling VA. She just took my 797 and our Rental Agreement which has her name included and she got it without any questions being asked.

Try out at Sterling rather than the one which is at Chantilly at VA.

Just Photo ID not Driving license, is it correct?



Registered Users (C)
Yes just photo ID, but I assume that once you have photo ID then you donot need additional documents to write the DL exam (Passport + Sate ID) two photo identifications. I am not sure may be i am wrong.



New Member
hi i am also on h4 visa..can someone tell me what the procedure is in Arkansas to get a driver's license??
Has anyone in Arkansas recently got a license on H4?
I passed the written test and got the learner's license but the DMV told me that only if i have SSN i will be able to get my permanent driver's license.
I have ITIN (Tax identification number),My Indian Driver's license,Passport, visa and I 94 and a letter from the Social security office stating that I am not eligible for a SSN..Is this enough or should I take any other documents?


New Member
Your prayers answered.

Hi all unlicenced H4 visa holders,
Rejoice. I was succesful in getting a Drivers Licence for my wife. Here is the link to the website I created after all the frustration I faced :)

Just incase the link doesn't work here is the text.

Thats all the info you need folks.
- Vishnu

Obtaining Drivers’ License / Learner’s Permit for H4 Dependent Visa holders.

It is possible to obtain a driver’s license / learner’s permit from the DMVs across t he country. The information below is specific to the Commonwealth of Virginia; however similar procedures are available for other states too.

You need.

· Birth Certificate with Full Name and date of birth – ORIGINAL

· Passport – ORIGINAL

· Visa showing the H1 of spouse

· Passport of spouse

· Visa of spouse (H1)

· I-797 of spouse

· Driver’s license of spouse

· Letter to DMV (Richmond VA office) requesting ELEVATED REVIEW PROCESS for the H4 holder

· Proof of residence (Lease agreement, phone, electricity, water bill in the H4 holders name)

Request an “Elevated Review Process"

If you are presenting a foreign birth certificate or other document as your documentation. People MUST obtain a translation from their embassy or consulate in the U.S. (so DMV can verify the translation). With this translation (and the original), you must go to DMV and ask to speak with a Manager or Assistant Manager, and say you are there to go through the "elevated review process" (formerly called "exception process"). The Manager will not be able to process the documents themselves, but the Manager should send a fax to Sharon Brown at 804-367-0374 (fax) who will have the documents reviewed. Have your student take this name and fax number with them to DMV. This process will continue in the new year for foreign documents with translations. [Note: These foreign documents will NOT appear on the list of acceptable documents because it's a different kind of review process.

It is important to keep in mind that some of phone numbers are out of date, but the process is essentially the same. Make sure you talk directly to the Manager, DMV clerks are often unaware of this process

The last known valid information for contact is:

Mr. Fernando

DMV Virginia,

Richmond VA

Fax: (804) 367 0374

Elevated Review Process Steps

· Send the copies of the entire above document to Richmond office for Elevated Review Process.

· After reviewing your documents they will send you a letter to submit to your local DMV, you have to present the letter to your DMV within 30 days.

· Take the test and PASS within the 30 days, some DMV clerks can give you the run-around regarding validity dates on the document. So it helps if you pass the written test before the date on the letter expires.

· Its important to keep in mind that the DMV clerks are often not informed about the Elevated Review Process and may question the authenticity of the letter from their own HQ in Richmond. Please have the phone number and extension of the reviewer in Richmond ready, otherwise it might mean one more trip to the DMV.

· My own experience in trying to get a learner’s permit for my wife on H4 was full of obstacles. Uncooperative, under informed clerks do not make it any easier. Good Luck.


· For specific questions, contact Maxine Carter, the specialist for outreach at DMV in Richmond at

· Mr. Fernando, DMV Virgina. Richmond VA, Fax: (804) 367 0374


New Member
Hi I m on H4 visa and I dont have supporting documents for identification for DMV..can anyone help in this regard