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Social Security Number & Drivers License

What is Social Security?

In order to accept any form of employment either on or off campus, it is necessary to have a Social Security number. To obtain a Social Security number, you must visit a Social Security office and complete an application. It will take approximately two weeks to receive your card in the mail. When you apply, you will receive a receipt from the Social Security office. You should retain this receipt; in the event that you begin working before receiving your Social Security card, you must present the receipt to your employer. You should be aware that a Social Security number does NOT authorize you to accept employment off‐campus. Accepting unauthorized off‐campus employment is a violation of your F‐1 status.

How do I apply for a Social Security card?

To apply for a Social Security card, you must be hired to work on campus and present the following at the SS office:

  • A completed Social Security application form. (You will receive this form from the receptionist at the Social Security office. Social Security application forms are also available online.)
  • Your passport (Your passport must have an issue date earlier than one year from the date you applied for your social security card. If not, you will need to bring picture ID of some sort with a date in the same effect. A picture ID in a language other than English is permitted. The Social Security Administration will translate your ID, but expect processing delays.)
  • Your original I‐20 and all subsequent I‐20s issued to you
  • Your I-94 Admission information, which you can find forms here. If you entered the USA prior to May 2013 and have not departed the USA since then, you must bring your I‐94 card (Generally stapled inside your passport)
  • Your visa (Located inside your passport and issued not less than 30 days before the date you go to the SS office)
  • A letter of employment from the department on campus that hired you (The letter of employment must be written on company letterhead and state your position, hours, start date, and end date.)
  • A letter from your DSO (Office of International Programs) stating that you are a true F1 student.  Please bring in the letter of employment from the department that hired you so we can take the information from that letter.

All documents must be originals; the Social Security office cannot accept photocopies or notarized copies of documents.

Local Social Security Offices

Clifton Social Security Office
935 All Wood Road Clifton, NJ 07012

Hackensack Social Security Office
Continental Plaza, 401 Hackensack Avenue 2nd Floor, Hackensack, NJ 07601

Hoboken Social Security Office
6th Floor 79 Hudson Street, Hoboken, NJ 07030 - The office is located on Hudson Street and Hudson Place.  One block west of NJ Transit Train Station, Path Station and bus terminal.  There is metered street parking and parking garages within walking distance of the building.

All Office Hours

9:00am - 3:00pm
9:00am - 3:00pm
9:00am - 12:00pm
9:00am - 3:00pm
9:00am - 3:00pm


Driver’s License

A valid driver's license is required to drive a car anywhere in the U.S. New York State honors all valid foreign licenses. If living in New Jersey, an individual is advised to carry an International Driving Permit along with the valid foreign driver license. International students and their families may apply for a New Jersey driver's license. To learn more about applying for a New York drivers license visit the New York Department of Motor Vehicles. To learn more about applying for a New Jersey drivers license visit the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) can issue non-driver photo identification cards. Many students find this is a convenient form of ID. Consult the motor vehicles website in your state of residence for the list of acceptable documents.

How to Obtain Your Basic New Jersey Driver License

You must also provide proof by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, authorizing your presence in the country. In order to the obtain the permit, you will need to bring your foreign license and present the documents required to pass the 6 Point ID requirements.

You must also provide proof by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, authorizing your presence in the country and confirming validity of your foreign license. If you cannot show proof of driving experience you will be subject to the GDL Program requirements

After you get the permit, visit any Driver Testing Center to take a vision testknowledge test and possibly a road test if required. 

You are not required to surrender your foreign license when MVC issues your New Jersey driver license.