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International Students

Transportation Information for International Students
Transportation Information for International Students
The transportation system in the United States is quite different from that in most countries.

The transportation system in the United States is quite different from that in most countries.  Most Americans own cars, which are the most common form of transport.  In South Carolina, the public rail and bus system is not extensive.  Because FMU is a rural campus not served by public transportation, the International Student Affairs Office provides an occasional shuttle service to various locations in town, including banks, shopping centers, and other needed services.  Additionally, the ISA Office sponsors periodic trips to locations of interest and entertainment in the area (examples include Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA, two historic U.S. cities within 2-3 hour drive). 

A valid driver’s license is needed to drive a car.  Each state in the United States issues its own driver’s license.  To obtain a driver’s license in South Carolina, international students are required to demonstrate knowledge of the state traffic laws, pass an eye exam, and pass a driving test.  Additionally, drivers must maintain appropriate insurance coverage on their vehicles which can be quite expensive. 

To apply for or renew a driver's license, or to change the local address listed on a current South Carolina Driver’s License, the following documents are needed: 

• Passport with I-94 card and visa
• I-20 form
• Certificate of enrollment at FMU which lists the student's current, local address.  (Certificates of enrollment are available at the FMU Registrar's Office.)
• Social security card
• Certification of residence (such as a copy of a utility bill or a housing assignment card from the University). 
• Current driver’s license from home country.

Some countries and territories have reciprocity, an agreement, with South Carolina. This reciprocity means that these countries have driver licensing standards equal to or greater than South Carolina. If you are a citizen of one of these countries, you do not have to take the knowledge or skills tests to exchange your license for a South Carolina license unless your license has expired.  These countries currently include Canada, France, Germany, Guam, and Puerto Rico.

More information about South Carolina motor vehicle regulations can be found at www.scdmvonline.com.


Last Published: September 17, 2008 10:53 AM
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