While you’re over here, a valid Australian driver’s license will work for most purposes of identification.
Proof of age card (New York State ID)
If you now live in the United States, have an address, and have a social security number it is of great benefit to go get yourself a state ID. This is a proof of age card and means you can leave all of your Australian ID safe and hidden at home.
It’s a relative simple process (if the DMV’s website works) but will probably take a few hours out of your day.
Here’s everything you need to know:
- Go to https://dmv.ny.gov/id-card/bget-non-driver-id-card-ndid on the NY DMV site as this contains a comprehensive up-to-date list of everything you need to do;
- Download the MV44 Form and fill it in carefully;
- Head to the DMV Online Reservation page and select:
- Make a reservation;
- Midtown Manhattan (or another closer one);
- License or ID;
- First Time NY Identification Card;
- Select a time (sometimes this page takes a LONG time to load, you may need to try a different browser a few times);
- On the day of your appoint, you need your:
- Print out (or phone version) of your appointment time reservation;
- MV44 document;
- Social security card;
- Proof of identity and date of birth;
- Approximately $15;
I would recommend arriving slightly early so that you can check-in and start waiting. You will go to one window for ID check and photo, then sit back down and be called again to pay.
You may have seen this card around the place, advertised in subways and at bus stops. This is, in effect, just a deals card for people who live in New York City. It can not get you into bars and is not a proof of age card. Don’t make the same mistake many have made.
It’s free to get after you have your social security card and is totally worth it for cheap movie tickets, free ferries, free museum access and more.
Turns out, getting a driver’s license in New York is actually a little difficult and is a bit of a process.
That being said, yes, you must do it if you want to drive in the state, despite what you’ve read.