Identification Cards

This section includes information about the different type of identification cards listed below. All students must be in the U.S. to apply for these Identification cards.

How to Get a MIT Student ID

Once you have arrived at MIT, check-in with the ISO. (If you need our address, go to our Contact Us page.) All students must attend an immigration session in order to apply for the MIT ID.

Undergraduate students will be automatically enrolled in a session during their Mandatory International Orientation period. All other students must sign up for an immigration session. One day after your immigration session, the hold on your student ID will be released by the ISO. At this point, you should go to the MIT Card Office, located at E17-106 (Atlas Center). Tell the staff that you are applying for your MIT Student ID. They will take your picture and produce your card at the office.

How to Get a Massachusetts Driver’s License

To be eligible for a Massachusetts Driver’s License, international students must show that their visa status for their program of study, as written on their Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, is at least one year (365 days) in duration. Student’s whose program of study are less than 365 days are not eligible for a Massachusetts Driver’s License. 

For information on eligibility to drive in Massachusetts using a driver’s license issued from your home country, please see the information on the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles website, here.

If students meet eligibility requirements to apply for a Massachusetts Driver’s license, international students must apply in person to the Registry Of Motor Vehicles (RMV)

The closest office to MIT is:

Boston RMV
136 Blackstone Street
Boston, MA
(857) 368-8000
Hours: Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
except Thursday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Other locations and more information, including current wait times, can be found on the RMV website.

A listing of required documentation is available on the RMV website, which includes the following items plus additional documentation: 

  • Social Security Number (or official denial notice) from the Social Security Office
  • passport
  • I-20 form or DS-2019 form
  • white I-94 arrival/departure card
  • evidence of current address in Boston (e.g. lease or rent agreement, utilities bill, or mail received with address)
  • current driver’s license from your home country or international driver’s license
  • method of payment

A checklist of Acceptable Identification Documents is available here.

Driving on a Foreign Driver’s License

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has updated its guidance on ability for foreign nationals to drive in Massachusetts on a driver’s license issued from their home countries/country of residence. The RMV allows individuals to drive the same type of vehicle as provided by the driver’s license issued by the country of residence. Individuals must also have a full translation into English of the foreign driver’s license. When driving, students must also carry their passport, Form I-20 or Form DS-2019, and copy of Form I-94 arrival record to document their student status. Details on the requirements for driving on a foreign driver’s license are available on the MA RMV website.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The guidance by the MA RMV only applies to driving in Massachusetts. If you are planning to drive in another U.S. State, please consult the Registry/Department of Motor Vehicles in that State to confirm their regulations. 

How to Get a Liquor ID Card

A Liquor ID Card may also be obtained at the REGISTRY OF MOTOR VEHICLES. (Please note that you must be age 21 or older in order to obtain a liquor ID Card.)

Requirements for Liquor ID Card are also available on the RMV website, which includes the following:

  • passport
  • birth certificate
  • home country license or home country ID (both must contain the person’s signature)
  • a bill or letter received with your current Boston address

A checklist of Acceptable Identification Documents is available here.

Requesting SSN Denial Letter for Driver’s License Applications

For those students and dependents not eligible for a U.S. Social Security Number, but wish to apply for a Massachusetts Driver’s License, will be required to obtain an SSN “Denial Letter” from the Social Security Administration Office to include in the driver’s license application.

To request an SSN “Denial Letter”, the following documentation is required:

  • Completed SS5 application form for a Social Security Number with a note indicating “Request of Denial Letter” or a Completed SS5 application form with a cover letter noting the request for a Denial Letter.
  • Copy of passport identity pages (including name, photo, date of birth, passport number, passport issue and expiration date)
  • Copy of Entry Visa (issued by U.S. Embassy/Consulate) in the passport along with a copy of the most recent admission stamp from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) at time of entry
  • Copy of Form I-94 Arrival record (from
  • Copy of Form I-20 or Form DS-2019 certificate of eligibility for student status

The request for the SSN “Denial Letter”, with all documentation above, can be faxed to the Social Security Administration – Cambridge Office to 1-833-515-0461. The request could also be sent by express mail to the SSA-Cambridge Office.