Obtaining a California Driver’s License or Identification Card — new DMV requirements

Effective July 1, 2016 the California​ Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) has made a change to their​ requirements for all-first time California driver’s license applicants. They are now asking au pairs to provide TWO proofs of residency instead of one.

The local DMV employee as well as his supervisor confirmed that, unfortunately, they are NOT accepting the participation letter from Cultural Care as the au pair’s proof of residency. They do, however, accept an original letter sent by the Social Security Office TOGETHER WITH the envelope the au pair got her social security card in (showing au pair’s name at host family’s address). Further more they want to see a second proof of residency and accept a bank statement with the au pair’s name/address or a cell phone contract/bill showing that the au pair was added to the host family’s phone plan.

What does this mean for our host families?

Please note that due to the changed DMV requirements, it might take additional time for an au pair to get a California Driver’s License. From what we know, most insurance companies will not insure your au pair without a state driver’s license. Please check with your own insurance carriers for accuracy or other options. Most of our au pairs arrive in the States bringing their International Driver License. However, according to our local police department, their international driver license is not valid in California. It can be used to explain their foreign drivers license (as a translation) but by itself it is not worth anything.

What does this mean for our au pairs?

If the host family requires the au pair to drive within the first days of arrival to their home, it is very important that the au pair’s foreign driver license is NOT expired. If the home license is not valid anymore (or if it will expire soon after the arrival in the States) the au pair won’t be able to legally drive in the States and would have to wait until after he/she passed the California driver license — which can take a few weeks (and now even longer).

What can be done as a best practice?

Host families, if you need your (new) au pair to drive as part of her duty, please assist her/him in applying for a social security card within the first few days of arrival (keep the letter AND envelope in which the SS card is sent to your address). Also encourage your au pair to open a bank account and wait for an official document to sent to her/him. Not only will this be of value in obtaining a driver’s license or State I.D., these are also our usual tips for setting up an au pair for success as a local.

What if the au pair doesn’t have access to a car during her/his stay with the host family and if he/she doesn’t need to drive as part of work?

While an au pair doesn’t necessarily need a State driver license, we still encourage them to get a State Identification Card (ID). DMV issues ID cards to persons of any age. The ID card looks like a driver license, but is used for identification purposes only. The State ID will come in handy when registering for classes at a local college or accredited institution in order to complete your educational requirement. By providing the school with this form of identification an au pair will be deemed as a local resident and would not be considered an out-of-state or international student, thus, being eligible for much better tuition rates. Additionally, it’s much better for au pairs to carry around this form of ID as opposed to their foreign passports and risk losing them.

The list below provides the documents acceptable as proof of California residency.  Two (2) acceptable documents are required. All residency documents must list the applicant’s first and last name, and the California residence address must match the residence address listed on the driver license application.

  • Bring a Social Security​ card – if you have the original envelope in which it came the better as this would prove you received mail from a government agency to this address
  • School documents including any document issued by a public or private primary, or secondary, or post-secondary institution, college, or university that either includes the applicant’s date of birth, or if a foreign school document, is sealed by the school and includes a photograph of the applicant at the age the record was issued.
  • Faith based documents that include the name and address of the issuing organization.
  • Documents issued by a U.S. government agency.
  • Records from a financial institution.
  • Proof of payment of resident tuition at a public institution of higher education located in California.

Saturday, 16 July 2016 6:34 PM


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