Driving in NH

Public transportation is limited in the Plymouth, New Hampshire area and many students make the decision to drive while they attend school here.  Driving is a privilege, not a right, when in the United States.  There are specific laws and regulations pertaining to driving in NH and it is vital that all drivers know and understand their responsibilities.  Although simply having a driver’s license from home and an international driving permit is acceptable for a brief amount of driving while in NH, New Hampshire state law requires that any person residing in NH for 6 months or more who intends to drive must have a NH driver’s license.  This is the law for any driver in New Hampshire, not only foreign citizens.  Driving laws and regulations vary by state in the United States.

If you have a driver’s license from your home country, you will simply need to apply for a NH license.  You will take a written exam as well as a road driving test, and you also must pass a basic vision (eye) test.  If you do not have a driver’s license from your home country, you are required to enroll and pass a driver’s education course in NH.  There are several courses to choose from in the local area.  International citizens may only apply for licenses at the Concord, NH Dept. of Motor Vehicles office.  In order to apply for a driver’s license, you will need the following:

– your passport

– Form DS 2019 or DS I-20

– a letter of enrollment from your school

– either a Social Security card or evidence that you are not eligible for a Social Security number through a letter of waiver from the SSA Dept. in Concord

– a driver’s license from your home country OR proof of completion of a driver’s education course in NH

– funds for the fee (in 2014 the fee is $50)

Important information can be found on the following websites:

Driving in the US — A general guide from the US Dept of State and Homeland Security

NH Dept of Motor Vehicles — Specific information for non-US citizens residing in the State of New Hampshire

Driving Schools in NH — A comprehensive list of all driver’s education programs in the state

Other information related to driving in NH and the US may be found on the Resources for Students page