The State of Iowa Department of Transportation issues driver licenses and identification cards for people residing in Iowa. A driver license provides permission to drive in Iowa and serves as official identification. The ID card does not authorize driving, but serves as official identification. It can be useful to have legal identification from Iowa for activities such as banking, domestic travel, proving your age (such as at 21-and-over venues), etc.
In order to get a driver license, you need a passport, I-20, and Social Security Card. To prove your Iowa residence, you will need two pieces of mail to verify your mailing address - a bank statement, housing letter, etc. To see a complete list, you can check out the Iowa Department of Transportation website.
You apply for a driver license at the Bremer County Courthouse
. If you have never driven before, you should apply for a driver permit. You take a written test and get a permit that allows you to practice driving a car. Ask the clerk for details on how a driver permit works. Once you are prepared to take the driving test, you need to make an appointment at the Bremer County Courthouse. You can use the UHaul car
for this purpose, just be sure to not be late to your appointment. You will need to bring your passport, I-20, and Social Security Card with you to each visit during the process.
The Iowa Department of Transportation website
has the driving manual, practice tests, and more to help you through this process. A permit costs $6, and a license is generally $8. Your license will be issued for a maximum of two years, or sixty days after your program end date, whichever is earlier.
It is highly recommended that you get a State ID card. You apply for a State ID at the Bremer County Courthouse. In order to apply, you need a passport, I-20, and Social Security Card. It costs $8. It will be issued for two years, or 60 days after your program end date, whichever is earlier. To prove your Iowa residence, you will need two pieces of mail to verify your mailing address - a bank statement, housing letter, etc. To see a complete list, you can check out the Iowa Department of Transportation website.
Social Security Card
As an F-1 Student, you are eligible for a Social Security Card only if you also have employment. It is highly recommended that you get a Social Security Card. To apply, you need your passport with visa, I-94 printout,
I-20, Social Security Application,
and Employment Verification letter. If you are a student employee at Wartburg College, the International Student Services Office will supply your Employment Verification letter. If you work off campus, you will need to work with the International Student Services to get additional documentation.
It is free to apply for a Social Security Card. The International Student Services Office will provide support for this application process, and you should speak with the Director if you have any questions.
Federal Tax Filings
Every F-1 Student must file documents annually with the U.S. government. If you earn any income while you are here as a student, you will need to file income tax returns with the U.S. government and may need to with the State of Iowa
. Filing an income tax return can be confusing and difficult, but you do not need to do this by yourself. The International Student Services Office partners with Glacier Tax Prep to help you complete your 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ and Form 8843. If you do not work or do not receive a scholarship that qualifies as income under federal law, then you may only need to file a Form 8843.
You can use Glacier Tax Prep to help you complete the form, or you can do so on your own. You should keep photocopies of any document you send to a government entity.
If an international student has been awarded a scholarship from sources in the U.S. where the total of scholarship exceeds tuition and required fees and books, then that scholarship is taxable. This will be reported annually to the student by a 1042-S.
Taxes need to be filed in the winter term each year, and you will receive many emails to remind you of this process. Once you have filed your tax returns, you can check the status of your expected refunds on the websites for the Internal Revenue Service
and the Iowa Department of Revenue