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How To Get A Social Security Number and Driver’s License

 The social security number and driver’s license are critical documents that will make other aspects of your life easier, such as opening a bank account, applying for a residential lease, etc. However, you must have certain documents to obtain these. The information below is relevant for foreign nationals who are applying for permanent residence by filing the adjustment of status application (I-485) in the US. If you have a nonimmigrant visa status, the attorney who assisted with your case will be able to advise on what documents you will need to obtain the social security number and driver’s license.

Social Security Number

Once you have received the employment authorization document (frequently referred to as the work permit or EAD), you can apply for a social security number. Adjustment of status applicants usually receive the EAD within 90 -120 days of filing the I-485 application. For more information on how to obtain the social security number, please visit this page.

If you do not yet have the EAD but still need to file taxes and therefore need a social security number, you may be able to receive an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) instead. ITINs are issued by the IRS. A CPA (accountant) should be able to assist with this process.

Driver’s License

The requirements for obtaining a U.S. driver’s license are different in each state. In Virginia, you can apply for the Virginia driver’s license once you have the I-485 receipt notice. For more information, see this page. The applicant usually receives the I-485 receipt notice within a few weeks of filing the I-485 application package.


Do you need assistance with a family-based or employment-based immigration matter? Contact our office at 804-396-3412 or at today to learn how we can help!