Louisiana Driver's Licenses for Foreign Nationals

Apr 29, 2015

Categories Louisiana Issues

For a foreign national, getting a driver's license can seem as complicated as the immigration process. In Louisiana, it is getting more difficult. Eligibility for a Louisiana driver’s license is based on an individual’s status with DHS and length of stay in the United States. According to Louisiana OMV policy, applicants have to have at least 180 days left in status or the applicant is not eligible for a Louisiana license. There is an exception for individuals in H-2A status (agricultural workers). This causes complications for many individuals who are lawfully in the United States. For example, an individual who is in valid H-1B status and has an extension of that status pending, may not be able to renew or extend a driver’s license until the extension of status is approved – even if DHS considers the individual to be in status and authorized to work.

Also, all first time applicants presenting a foreign driver's license from a country that does not have a reciprocal agreement with the Louisiana OMV are required to furnish proof of driver education training. That means a certificate of completion of a six (6) hour pre-licensing training course and eight (8) hours of behind-the-wheel instruction which has been approved by the Department of Public Safety & Corrections or another of the listed exceptions.

Determining if your country has a reciprocal agreement with Louisiana is difficult. US territories are considered reciprocal and exempt from the Driver’s Education requirements: Guam, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Marshall Islands, Palau, Micronesia, and the Mariana Islands. There are only two countries with whom Louisiana has reciprocity and they are Germany and Switzerland.

Below are links for policy on issuance and identification requirements specifically for immigrant and non-immigrant aliens. More information can also be found on expresslane.org and in section one of the OMV policies.

http://dpsweb.dps.louisiana.gov/omv1.nsf/58c968bd569b099986256cdc000806eb/b5f27a9c7f2a864186256b6f004a2e8f?OpenDocument

6.00 Identification Requirements http://dpsweb.dps.louisiana.gov/omv1.nsf/58c968bd5...

6.01 Driver's Education Requirements http://dpsweb.dps.louisiana.gov/omv1.nsf/58c968bd5...

6.02 For aliens temporarily residing in Louisiana http://dpsweb.dps.louisiana.gov/omv1.nsf/58c968bd5...



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