Students can commute to campus by driving, carpooling, taking the bus, riding a bike, and walking.
If you plan to drive a car while in the U.S., you must have a driver’s license. California law states that if you are visiting and have a valid driver’s license from your home country, you may drive in our state as long as your license remains valid. However, it is recommended that you apply for a CA driver’s license as soon as possible if you plan to drive in CA as a student.
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is the agency that registers all vehicles in California and issues driving licenses. Visit the DMV website to view the California Driver Handbook, forms, and instructions on how to apply for a California driver’s license. An appointment is required.
Wait at least 10 days after you enter the United States to apply for the license. The 10 day wait allows time for all the government databases to update with your arrival information. If you apply too early, your application will be delayed or denied. If you are a continuing student, please remember to wait 10 days from your most recent entry to the U.S.
Check all of your immigration documents to make sure your information is correct. Data integrity is very important because if you have different information on different forms, it will cause delays. You will need to bring your Passport, SEVIS I-20 form, I-94 form, and proof of residency to your appointment. Learn more about the residency requirements on the DMV website.
Exception to the SSN requirement. Usually individuals applying for a CA driver’s license are required to have a social security number (SSN). However, the Social Security Administration only issues SSN numbers to F-1 visa holders who have been authorized to work. If you have not been authorized to work, you are exempt from the SSN requirement.
CA Driver’s License Checklist
- Schedule an appointment to the written test
- Bring all the documents you need to take the written test
- Pass the written test and receive your driver’s permit
- Schedule an appointment to take the driving test
- Take the driving test
- Pass the driving test and receive your temporary license
- Wait for your official license to arrive in the mail
The cost of a semester-length parking permit is $60.00 ($30.00 during summer semester).
Daily parking permits are $4.00, payable at the kiosks located in the student parking lots.
The California State Identity Card
If you are not planning to drive, the DMV also issues the California Identity Card with your photo and date of birth information on it. This is an easily recognizable form of identification used for cashing checks, proving your age, etc. Plan on making an appointment before going to the DMV. To do so, visit the DMV website.
If you live close to campus, consider walking. It is good for the environment and your health.
Bicycle racks are installed at many convenient locations on the Santa Rosa and Petaluma campuses. Be sure to buy a good quality bike lock and always lock your bike before you leave it. BikeLink lockers are also available for secure bicycle parking for a fee at various locations on the Santa Rosa Campus.
Taking public transportation is a great option to save money and reduce your impact on the
environment. Access route maps and schedules online:
- Sonoma County Transit Routes
- City of Santa Rosa Bus Routes
- Petaluma Transit Routes
- SMART Train Schedule
College students ride free on Sonoma County Transit in 2019! The Subsidized Fare Program for college students requires that they have a college-issued identification card indicating they are currently enrolled as a student in a Sonoma County college. This includes Santa Rosa Junior College (all campuses) Sonoma State University, University of San Francisco (Santa Rosa campus) Empire College, Bauman College, and other institutions in which a campus is located in Sonoma county.
Save money and park in reserved parking by carpooling. Preregister your carpool with District
Police. For more information, access the District Police General Information website.