International applicants for a Texas driver’s license or Social Security Number (SSN) must be processed through the government’s SAVE database at the Department of Public Safety (DPS) or Social Security Administration (SSA) before receiving the benefit they are applying for. The SAVE database confirms F-1 and J-1 visitors’ valid status and benefits eligibility with the SEVIS database before granting driver’s licenses or SSNs.
Students or scholars who need to renew their driver’s license must have an active SEVIS record in order to receive these benefits.
Continuing or Graduating Students
If you have a transfer-pending I-20 from UT Austin, a change of level I-20 for a future semester, or a pending OPT application, you will not be able to renew your driver’s license until you have registered for classes for the next semester at UT or your application to USCIS has been approved. Please consider this information when setting transfer dates or requesting changes to your I-20.
New Students and Scholars
Students and scholars new to the United States will need to wait at least 10 days from entering the country and two days after registering for classes or being validated in SEVIS before their record will appear active in the SAVE system.
Problems with SAVE
Sometimes international applicants may experience issues with the SAVE system because of inconsistencies in data between government agency databases. If you apply for a driver’s license of SSN and are told that your status cannot be verified, you will most likely have to wait a few weeks until your status is confirmed in SAVE before receiving the benefit you are seeking. Please keep records of any case number that you may be given and listen closely to the instructions from the agency officer about how to proceed with your application. You should receive a letter in the mail a few weeks after your visit to the DPS or SSA that explains the reason you were turned away and states when you are eligible to reapply for the benefit.