Drive Only License in Connecticut
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Per Connecticut House Bill 6495, the CT Department of Motor Vehicles can issue a “Drive Only" driver's license to residents who cannot prove their legal status in the United States. These licenses are for driving purposes only—they cannot be used for identification purposes. To apply, you will need to submit specific proof of identity and residency, as well as pass a knowledge test to earn a practice permit.
What Is the CT "Drive Only" License?
As of January 2015, the Connecticut Legislature enacted a bill (HB 6495) that allows residents who cannot prove their legal status (also referred to as “undocumented residents") in the United States to still apply for a CT driver's license.
Typically, an applicant needs to prove their citizenship or legal presence by providing a Social Security number. The Drive Only license, however, waives this requirement in exchange for presentation of specific proof of identity and residency within the state.
This license is specifically intended for undocumented residents to be able to drive within Connecticut—it CANNOT be used for federal identification purposes, such as:
- Banking purposes.
No one can discriminate against a holder of a Drive Only CT driver's license, nor can it be used against you in any way to prove your immigration status. You are afforded all of the privileges that any other driver in the state is given, and are also held to the same requirements and standards, such as those for vehicle registration and car insurance.
Visit the DMV's Drive Only License FAQ page for common questions and answers about this license.
NOTE: If you are 16 to 17 years old, you will need to have completed Connecticut's graduated driver licensing program before applying; this includes completing Driver's Education and behind-the-wheel driver training.
Drive Only License Eligibility Requirements
In order to apply for a Connecticut driver's license as an undocumented resident without a Social Security number, you'll need to be able to present proof of identity and residency.
All documents MUST be translated into English by a Connecticut DMV-approved translator. You can access a list of approved translators to help you.
You'll need to provide:
- 2 documents to prove your identity.
- At least 1 document MUST be off the Primary documents list; see below for Primary and Secondary documents.
- Foreign birth certificates are NOT ACCEPTABLE.
- 2 documents of mail to prove your Connecticut residency:
- Must be from 2 sources that are separate and different from one another.
- Must include your name, address, and be dated properly according to the rules for List A and List B; please see “Proof of Residency" below for each list.
- Documents proving your name change, if applicable.
Primary Proof of Identification
- Unexpired foreign passport, OR a passport expired for 3 years or less.
- Unexpired consular identification card from your home country.
- Non-U.S. consular report of birth in a foreign country.
NOTE: A foreign birth certificate is NOT ACCEPTED.
Secondary Proof of Identification
- Unexpired foreign driver's license (must include security features).
- Valid foreign voter registration document.
- Foreign marriage certificate.
- A certified school transcript.
- Baptismal certificate.
Proof of Residency
Documents from List A must be dated between 90 days and 2 years ago.
- Mortgage or rental bill.
- Bank statement or transaction with the appropriate date (see above).
- Appropriately postmarked mail.
- Official school enrollment records.
- Change of address confirmation that includes your current AND former addresses.
- Pre-printed pay stub.
- Medicaid or Medicare documents.
Documents from List B must be dated between 12 months and 2 years ago.
- Homeowner's insurance or rental insurance policy.
- Car insurance policy.
- Rental contract or mortgage (including your signature).
- Excise or property tax bill.
Applying for a Drive Only License
The CT DMV highly recommends you study the driver's manual before making an appointment for your driver's license. You can access both versions here:
There are two parts to receiving your Drive Only CT driver's license:
- Learner's permit plus the Safe Driving Practices Course.
- Full driver's license.
Pre-Licensing Learner's Permit
When you're ready to apply, make an appointment with your local Department of Motor Vehicles office. They WILL NOT accept walk-ins for Drive Only licenses.
At this time, you will be required to sign an affidavit stating that you've applied or will soon apply for legalization of your immigrant status. You'll also pay the $19 learner's permit fee.
Once at your appointment, you'll need to:
- Provide your proofs of identity and residency (see Eligibility Requirements above).
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Pass the vision test.
- Pass the written knowledge exam.
- Pay the $40 testing fee.
Once you've passed your tests, you'll receive a CT learner's permit by mail within 30 days that you can use to practice driving before scheduling your in-car road exam.
You must hold this permit for a minimum of 90 days before you can call the DMV for your road test appointment.
Safe Driving Practices Course
As part of your permit requirements, you need to take a mandatory Safe Driving Practices Course, which lasts 8 hours.
The DMV provides a list of approved providers:
You'll receive a proof of completion certificate that you need to present when you take your road test and apply for your Drive Only license.
Full Driver's License
Once you've held your learner's permit for 90 days and completed your Safe Driving Practices Course, make an appointment for your road test by calling the Department of Motor Vehicles at:
- (860) 263-5700—within Hartford or outside of Connecticut.
- (800) 842-8222—all other areas within Connecticut.
- Call Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The DMV does NOT ALLOW INTERPRETERS to accompany anyone taking a road test.
At your road test, you'll need to:
- Provide your Safe Driving Practices Course certificate of completion (Form CS-1).
- Pass your in-car exam.
- Pay the $72 licensing fee.
Once you've passed your exam, you will receive your Drive Only license.
License Uses & Restrictions
Your Drive Only driver's license will be valid from anywhere between 3 1/2 and 5 years, depending on a computer-generated system that randomly allocates validity terms.
With this license, you have all the same driving privileges of other state residents. This license can't be used by anyone to attempt to determine your citizenship status—you should drive freely throughout the state. Keep in mind that you must also carry current registration and car insurance for whatever vehicle you operate.
However, this license is exactly as its name implies—it is a license for driving purposes only. It cannot be used for activities of any kind that require federal identification, such as voting, boarding an airplane, or other similar uses.
Renewing a Drive Only CT License
As mentioned above, your initial license will be valid for a length of time spanning 3 1/2 and 5 years, based on a computer-generated system. When you renew your license, it will then be valid for 3 years consistently for each renewal.
To renew your driver's license: