Frequently Asked Questions for International Students

Social Security Number

International students can apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) after they have been hired to work; applications are available at the OIP front desk.  When students apply for a bank account or a cell phone, they are often asked to provide their SSN.  If you do not have one, you  should simply tell the bank/company that they do not qualify for an SSN. The bank or cell phone company should work with the student to provide requested services. Many international students in the U.S. do not have an SSN and have purchased cell phones and opened bank accounts.

1098 – T Tax Form

This is a tax form which UMaine issues for all students enrolled at UMaine. International students may be asked to include their Social Security Number (SSN) or  International Tax Identification Number (ITIN) in MaineStreet so their 1098-T form can be generated by the university. However, most international students do not benefit from this tax form as this form can only be used by students who can claim tax residency in the U.S.

Canadian Visa

The OIP cannot offer advice on visiting Canada because we specialize in US immigration and we are not familiar with the immigration policies of other countries. If you are interested in traveling to Canada please visit the Canadian government’s website linked below to see what is required.

Public Transportation

The Black Bear Orono Express is a free shuttle service that provides much-needed transportation for our students, staff and visitors within  the University and the Town of Orono communities.

The Bangor Area Transportation (BAT) bus is a free bus that connects the UMaine campus to Bangor. Anytime you see the BAT Bus go by, you’re welcome to flag it down, even if you’re not at an official stop

Ideas for fun cultural activities

Leonard’s Mill Historic Settlement gives you a glimpse of what Maine looked like in 1790’s.

Treworgy Orchards in Bangor offers the quintessential Maine experiences – apple, pumpkin and berry picking and a giant corn maze.

Maine Driver’s License or ID Cards

To qualify for either a Maine driver’s license or ID card the Program End Date on your I-20 or DS-2019 must show that you are eligible to remain in the US for at least 120 days beyond the day that you plan to get your license or ID card. Your SEVIS record must also be in active status. If you have recently arrived at UMaine and you have not yet started attending classes, please send an email to to confirm the status of your SEVIS record.

CANADIANS- The rules are a little different for Canadian students. If you have a valid Canadian driver’s license you should convert it to a Maine driver’s license during your first semester. If you do not do this in the first semester then your request may be denied.

International (non-Canadian)– If you have a valid driver’s license from your home country you may use it to drive in the United States for up to one (1) year from your date of entry. The driver’s license must be translated to English on the license itself (you cannot have a certified translation as a separate document). If the English translation is not printed on your driver’s license from your home country you must obtain an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) in your home country. The IDP must be in accordance with the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic of 24 April 1926, the Convention on Road Traffic of 8 November 1968 or the Convention on Road Traffic of 1949. Unfortunately, there is no organization which maintains a list of how to obtain an IDP in each country. We recommend that you contact your local licensing authority for more information. Keep in mind that you must get the IDP in your home country. You cannot apply for one in the US.

Paperwork needed:

  • Form I-20 or DS-2019
  • Form I-94: Arrival/Departure Record available at
  • Passport (with visa, if applicable)
  • Copy of Social Security card
    • If you do not have a social security card the OIP will issue you a letter explaining why you do not have one. Click here for instructions.

More information can be found at the Maine Bureau of Motor Vehicles web page at the following BMV links:

BMV Homepage

Getting a Driver’s License or Identification Card


Study Guides

List of Driver Education Programs (UMaine is located in Penobscot County)