Getting a Georgia Driver's License
You must have a driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle in the United States. Your international driver’s license authorizes you to drive in the US, but local laws and driving procedures may be very different from those in your home country. You may wish to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.
A driver’s license can be obtained from the Georgia Department of Driver Services
Fees and Proof of Identification
To apply for a driver’s license there is a small fee (about $20). You must also show the following as proof of identification:
- Two documents showing your Proof of Residence (utility bill, bank statement, rental/leasing contract, etc.)
- Passport and I-20 form or DS-2019 form
- I-94 form
- Social Security Number.
- If you do not have a social security number, you will have to obtain a Form SSA-L676 'SSN CARD DENIAL NOTICE' from a local SSA office before visiting a DDS Customer Service Center to apply for a driver's license.
- You may contact the SSA at (800) 772-1213 or http://www.ssa.gov to find the SSA office nearest you. After obtaining the form, bring it to the Customer Service Center when you apply for your driver's license or identification card.
- Immigration Status Verification
The Department of Drivers Services (DDS) is required by US federal law to check the validity of your immigration status in a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) verification system known as SAVE. If you are new to the US, you should wait 10 days after entering the US and be sure your SEVIS record has been activated before applying for the license to ensure your information has been uploaded to the SAVE system. If your information matches up successfully in the SAVE database, DDS staff can proceed with your application.
Sometimes there are problems with the verification process in SAVE. If SAVE does not verify your identity on the first check, you will be asked to leave and return in 5 days. DDS should provide you with a case number, and you can phone a DHS help line: 1-888-464-4218. You will need your case number and immigration documents on hand when you call.
Validity Period of License
The expiration date of your new license will match the end date of your I-20 or DS-2019 form (not to exceed a validity period of 3 years). If you are currently pursuing post-completion Optional Practical Training, the expiration date will match the end date of your OPT as listed on your EAD card.
Banking in the USA
Functions of a Bank
- Making transactions easier both domestic and internationally
- They provide a return (pay interest) on our saving
- Safety of principal and interest
- Convenience of being able to write checks and use debit cards
- How and where to open a bank account?
- There are several banks to choose from in Carrollton. Each bank offers different services, so it is important that you compare these services.
- Two pieces of identification (UWG University ID/Georgia State driver's license/passport).
- Students do not need a Social Security number to open a bank account.
- Students need only to provide proof that they are accepted as students of UWG.
- Deposit $25.00 in a savings account in order to qualify for checking and other services.
- A savings account enables students to save money and accumulate interest on their savings. Interest is paid either monthly or quarterly.
- Although students can withdraw money from their savings account, this service limits, the number of monthly withdrawals permitted without penalty.
- Banks offer different types of checking accounts designed to fit individual needs. The cost of having a checking account varies from bank to bank. Some banks charge per transaction, some have a basic monthly fee, and others offer free services for those who maintain a certain minimum balance in their account at all times. A list of all the account activity will be sent in a monthly statement. Students should carefully record every check they write, every withdrawal and deposit, and any transaction fees in order to avoid having checks returned and incurring additional charges. "Bouncing" a check (writing a check for more money than is actually in the account) can cause a major expense and a great deal of trouble. Some banks provide overdraft protection.
Interest Bearing Checking Account
- Regular checking accounts do not earn interest. However, an interest bearing checking account combines the features of both a checking account and a savings account. This means that students may write checks and also collect interest on the money in their account. This type of account usually requires a high minimum balance at all times.
How To Cash Checks
- To cash a check two pieces of identification are needed. The primary piece of ID must be a driver's license or a State of Georgia ID card. The second piece of ID is usually a major credit card.
- Some stores will cash a check for students who shop there regularly and have a proper ID. Some stores may not accept the temporary checks that most banks issue to new account holders. In fact, most stores require that checks have name and addresses professionally printed on them.
State of Georgia ID Card
- Non-drivers can be issued a State of Georgia picture ID card at the Georgia Department of Transportation, This ID is available to individuals who do not have a driver's license. A valid passport is required for verification of person and date of birth. The State of Georgia ID card is an accepted form of identification throughout Georgia and is valid for four years. It can be used for identification when cashing a check or when opening a bank account.
Function of A Bank Card
- Many banks issue cards that make deposit and withdrawal services available 24 hours a day by use of an automatic teller machine (ATM). These machines, frequently located outside the bank, are very convenient and allow access to cash after the bank closes or in an emergency. However, there is often a service charge of approximately $1-$2 for using ATM's from another bank.
- A note of caution: To prevent assault, users of ATM's should be cautions when withdrawing funds after dark.
- Credit cards are convenient, especially to cover unexpected major expenses. Medical fees, airplane tickets, and car repairs can be paid for by with any major credit card. But credit cards are seductive. It is very easy to get deeply into debt. Be sure to understand all of the terms of a credit card before signing anything. Most credit companies charge an annual fee of $20 to $40. Some waive this fee while others do so with a minimum number of annual transactions. The company will send a monthly statement. By paying the full balance before the statement date, additional finance charges (usually 25 - 18%) may be avoided. The credit card company will then assess a finance charge on unpaid balances. That charge will appear on the next month's statement.
- A note of caution: The issuing company should be notified about lost credit card A new card with a new account number will be sent. Also call the police department so that it may have the information needed in case of any illegal activity any old account.
International Student Tax Information
In most cases, international students will have to file tax forms for their stay in the United States, even if they were not employed. ISAP provides support with special software called Sprintax as well as personal guidance. Details are at the link below. .
Out of State Tutition Waiver
International Students at UWG may be eligible for an out of state tuition waiver which helps allows international students to pay in-state tuition. See the requirements and different levels of the waiver by clicking the button below.
International Student Scholarships
We encourage all of our students to submit a General Scholarship Application on our financial aid website. This applies you to all of the scholarships UWG has to offer.
International students can also apply for private scholarships.
International students who are experiencing an emergency (such as a death in the family or medical illness) can also apply for the Carrollton Civic Women's Club Emergency Fund.
Carrollton Civic Woman's International Student Emergency Fund
The Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club International Student Emergency Fund was set up in support of CCWC’s passion to help international students. Their model is “Planting the Seeds of Service in our Community”. Funds from the Carrollton Civic Woman’s Club International Student Emergency may be used for the following purposes:
- Emergency funding for international students experiencing a critical situation.
- Sudden health emergency
- Death in the family, or other family emergency
- Theft, personal items destroyed by fire, medical expenses not covered by insurance.
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
- Emergency funds are up to $400.00 unless unusual documented circumstances exist.
- Students may receive only one Emergency Fund disbursement within an academic year.
- Emergency Funds are not intended for tuition and fees or standard living expenses.
- Emergency Fund disbursements are not made when school is not in session.
- Each Emergency Fund application will be considered on its own merits.
- Supporting documentation showing need may be required.
- Students must be registered full time unless a reduced course load has been approved through ISAP.
II. PROCESSING AND DISBURSEMENT
- Applications received will be reviewed immediately or in no more than 48 hours.
- Once approved, emergency items, will be purchased by the Office of International Student Admissions & Programs staff with a debit card issued expressly for this purpose. Itemized receipts will be retained to document expenses. There will be no cash disbursements.
Health Insurance for International Students
All international students are required to have health insurance coverage while in the USA. Click the button below to learn more about your options.
Getting Involved at UWG
ISAP encourages all students to become well-rounded! This requires not only steady academic progress towards your degree, but also involvement and leadership activities to enhance your resume and experience. There are over 100+ clubs and activities at UWG.
International Flag Loan Program
Purpose & Description: To support the entire UWG community in celebrating and highlighting the diverse, global dimensions of UWG.
ISAP has acquired a full set of 193 international country flags recognized by the United Nations. They are 5 x 7 polyester flags with 2 metal grommets. Flags may be checked-out by UWG clubs, organizations, academic and administrative offices for UWG sponsored programs and events. Note: poles and rope are not provided.
The UWG shopper shuttle departs Fridays at 1pm in front of Row Hall and returns at 4pm. The shuttle is free with current UWG ID. It goes to / from the main shopping area near Target / Walmart as well as Publix and Kroger supermarkets and other shops.
Originally, the idea of the shopper shuttle came from a group of international students in 2014 who saw a need for all UWG students without personal vehicles.
Walkable Alternatives for the Basics:
- CVS Pharmacy & Personal Items: 2125 Maple St, 15 min. walk / .8 mile / 1.2km
- Food Depot Supermarket: 180 Maple Crossing, 20 min. walk / 1.2 miles / 1.9km
- Family Dollar (disount, mini-variety store): 2290 Maple St. / 1.3 miles / 2.1km
Break Stay Request
It may be possible to stay on campus after residence halls close during the folllowing breaks:
- Spring Break
- Summer Break
- Fall Break (Thanksgiving)
- Winter Break (Holidays)
Normally, there is a $26 / night charge. Follow this process in order for the charge to be considered for a waiver by Housing & Residence Life. *there is no guarantee of a waiver.
- Complete a Break Stay Request which can be found at the following webpage Housing & Residence Life Residence Hall Closing Information
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org at least two weeks before your the start of the break. Include:
- Full Name
- UWG Email
- Residence Hall Name & Room #
- Start and End Dates of your break stay request
- Reason for break stay request
Failure to include all this information could delay the process of your request! Processing time takes up to 3 business days as we coodinate with UWG Housing & Residence Life.
- Final Semester
- 2-3 Months
- If friends and family are visiting the US to attend your graduation ceremony, they will need to apply for a B2 Visitor from the US Embassy or Consulate closest to them. If needed, request an visa support letter. See below.
- Apply for Optional Practical Training (OPT), if you are planning to work in the US after graduation.
- 1 month
- If you will be moving, notify your landlor or housing office that you will be vacating the apartment. Most leases required 30-days written notice. Check your lease for details.
- Pay any fines you may have and return all loaned or rented books.
- Contact your health insurance, car insurance, and life insurance companies to discuss coverage options and whether you need to close the account
International Visitor Visa Support Letter
To support the B1 Visitor Visa application of family, relatives or friends who may want to travel to the U.S. to see you graduate, UWG's Registrar offers pre-graduation confirmation letters, free of charge.
- Email: email@example.com
- Include your full name and 917 number.
- You can also request the letter in person at the Registrar's office.
What Does The Letter Say?
It will state your name, confirm that you are a candidate for graduation, and provide the term and date for the ceremony. It will be signed by a staff member in the UWG Registrar's Office.
What Should Your Visitors Prepare?
It will be very important for your visitors to demonstrate permanent strong ties to their home country for visa approval. They should be prepared to document the following if asked at the time of the applciation:
- property ownership (home or business)
- bank loans in the home country
- utility bills (power, water, phone, internet)
- ownership of a personal vehicle (registration, insurance etc.. reflecting the home country address)
- bank statements
Grace Period After Program Completion
All F1 and J1 students who are in active status are automatically granted a certain number of days (Grace Periods) after the completion of their academic programs during which they can remain in the U.S without further action. Note that completion of program is not the same as graduation day. Refer to the date on your form I-20 or DS-2019.
- F1 Students: 60 days after completion of program
- J1 Students: 30 days after completion of program
- Transfer to a new school or program
- Begin a new program of study at the same or different school, or at a higher degree level
- Change of Status ex: F1 > PR; F1 > H1-B
- Apply for OPT
- Depart the U.S.
International Travel During Grace Period
You are advised that departure from the US during a grace period without prior action to maintain status may constitute abadonment of status. You cannot re-enter the US in that case. Contact ISAP about your travel plans before making them, if your grace period is an issue.
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