Getting an Official ID
Social Security Number (SSN) or ITIN number for your spouse
Social Security numbers are not required for spouses living in the US unless they are given work permission (available for J-2s only).
SSN's can only be issued to non-immigrants (those who are not citizens or permanent residents of the US) who have an official “need” for such numbers.
Spouses on J-2 visas can only prove the need for a SSN if they have received work authorization from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
Since F-2 spouses are never permitted to work, they cannot receive a Social Security Number. See the Social Security Worksheet for more information.
A Driver's License or New Mexico State ID
***A new law passed in January 2016 that will come into effect in November 2016. We do not yet know how this will affect international students.***
To apply for a driver’s license, a spouse must take his/her I-94 card/form, passport, I-20 or DS-2019 copy and Social Security Card (if available) to the Motor Vehicle’s Division (MVD) office.
In addition, take two documents as proof of residence in New Mexico. You should also take a translated and notarized version of your home country driver’s license if you have one (when applying for a NM license, not the ID).
He/she will need to study the New Mexico Driver’s Manual, pass the written or computerized portion of the driver’s exam, take a vision screening test, and pass a road test.
Once the individual has successfully completed all these steps, he/she will be granted the driver’s license. Note that MVD personnel are not well informed about requirements for non-immigrants who want to obtain their license.
GEO has a handout that lists the requirements and other details. It may help you to bring that handout with you and to ask for a supervisor if you have difficulty with the MVD staff person.