Additional Information


Students with F-1 or J-1 student visa status must obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) for employment (including on campus employment). In order to issue a Social Security number, the Social Security Administration (SSA) requires evidence that you have received a formal offer of on-campus employment, or have been authorized for off-campus employment through Curricular Practical Training (CPT), Optional Practical Training (OPT), Academic Training, or Economic Hardship. A SSN is not required to register for classes, opening a bank account, obtain a driver’s license, cell phone, credit card, insurance, or other “non-work” reasons. SSA verifies your immigration documents and status with Immigration before issuing the SSN. Students who do not plan to work while studying are not eligible to receive an SSN.

Note for new students: SSA recommends that new students apply for SSN after they have been in the U.S. for 10 days and no earlier than 3 days after SEVIS record has been activated by the Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS).


  • Valid passport with F-1/J-1 visa

  • Original I-20 or DS-2019

  • Original I-94 card or a printout of I-94 Arrival/Departure record from

  • Proof of employment eligibility:

  • F-1 on-campus employment: On-Campus Employer Verification Letter from Human Resources

  • F-1 off-campus employment:

  • CPT (internship/coop): Form I-20 page 3, signed work authorization

  • OPT: Employment Authorization Card (EAD card)

  • Economic Hardship: Employment Authorization Card (EAD card)

  • J-1 on-campus employment: On-Campus Employer Verification Letter from Human Resources

  • J-1 off-campus employment (Academic Training): work authorization issued by ISS office


300 Ala Moana Blvd

Honolulu, HI  96850


Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am - 2:30 pm

Friday: 8:30 am - 11:30 am



Bus instruction to SSA Office from downtown:

  • Board the #1 or #2 bus at Hotel & Bishop Streets (in front of Longs/Ross’s).

  • Get off the bus at the corner of Punchbowl and King Streets.

  • Walk on Punchbowl Street towards the ocean until you reach the Prince Kuhio Federal Building (right side of the street).

Application for a Social Security Card, Form SS-5 (available at a SSA office or online at

Note: Apply no earlier than 30 days before your scheduled employment start date.

Social Security Administration will mail your Social Security number and card to you in approximately 2-3 weeks.

The Social Security card is noted “Not Valid for Employment” or “Valid for Work Only with DHS Authorization.”   It means that on its own (without other documents verifying employment eligibility), you do not have authorization to work and an employer should not hire you.


All international students on F-1 or J-1 visas who were present in the US during the previous calendar year are required to complete and submit tax forms. This is required by the U.S. law. Failure to submit the necessary federal tax forms may cause difficulties when you return to your home country and renew your visa to return to the U.S. In addition, you may be asked to produce copies of tax forms if you apply to change your visa status (e.g., H-1B visa) in the future. And finally, you may be eligible for a refund if you received US-source income.

OISS offers Tax Workshop during January or February every year. Please attend workshop for further details.

International students in valid F-1 and J-1 status may apply for a driver’s license or Hawaii identification (ID) card at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). F-1 and J-1 students must present required supporting documents to verify legal status in the U.S. and fees apply. Both driver’s license and Hawaii State ID serves as official identification and may be used when traveling domestic, proving your age (such as 21-and-over venues), etc. SEVIS record must be activated by International Student Services (ISS). New students should apply for driver’s license or Hawaii State ID after they have been in the U.S. for 10 days and no earlier than 3 days after SEVIS record has been activated by ISS.

  • Obtain a Social Security number (SSN). If NOT eligible for a SSN, go to the Social Security Administration (SSA) office and request that a “not-eligible verification letter” be faxed to the DMV office.
  • Valid passport with F-1/J-1 visa
  • Original I-20 (for F-1 visa holders) or DS-2019 (for J-1 visa holders)
  • Original I-94 card or a printout of I-94 Arrival/Departure record from
  • Employment Authorization (EAD) card if you are on Optional Practical Training (OPT)
  • Two documents showing proof of Hawaii residence address (rental agreement for 6 months or more, bank statement no more than two months old, utility bills, etc.). The documents need to have your name and Hawaii address on it. For a complete list of acceptable documents, see



925 Dillingham Blvd.Honolulu, HI  96817

Monday to Friday: 8:00 am - 4:00 pm


Bus instruction to DMV Office from downtown:

  • Board the #9 at Hotel & Bishop St  (in front of Longs/Ross’s) or #40, #42, #43, #52, #62, or the C bus at South Beretania Street + Pali Hwy + Bishop St (in front of Honda).
  • Get off the bus at Dillingham Blvd and Alakawa St (Honolulu Community College/across from Costco parking).
  • Walk to Honolulu DMV office across the street and to the right about 100 ft on Dillingham (about 3 minutes).

Driver’s License Testing:
Written and road testing is required for a first time Hawaii license.

General information: (808) 532-7730

Road Test information: (808) 832-4117

For more information regarding driver’s license and state ID, please visit the official website of the City and County of Honolulu at

Note: If you have a valid foreign license and valid International Driving Permit, you may drive in Hawaii for up to one year from the date of your arrival in the U.S. The country must be listed a result of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (Geneva, 1949), and the Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American States.  For complete listing of the recognized countries, please call AAA at 808-593-2221 or visit the AAA website: