Why Does FAFSA Ask for a Driver's License?

by Darlene Peer
If providing your driver's license number makes you feel uncomfortable, you can leave it off of the FAFSA.

Even with so many blanks staring you in the eyes, the question about a driver's license stands out. Does it mean that FAFSA checks your driving record? Or that the school does? Relax, all your speeding tickets are still your secret. Filling out your driver's license information is optional on the FAFSA, as is providing your state ID number. Both provide the people reviewing FAFSA another way to verify your home state and address.

It Won't Take My License Number

If you've selected "yes" to the question about entering in your driver's license number, you'll need to have it handy before starting the application. The computer application field will only accept characters that include numbers, letters, dashes, asterisks or blank spaces. The field won't accept an asterisk as the first character, nor will it accept all asterisks, so if you can't find your license, either choose not to enter the number or save your application and continue later.


Always reread the number for your driver's license multiple times. In fact, it's better to pull someone else in as well and have that person proofread your Social Security number and driver's license number to ensure that they're both correct. You will also need to select the state that issued your driver's license. If it's from out of the United States, select "foreign country." Mistakes can delay your application or cause you to lose a chance at additional aid.

Other Optional Questions

Along with your driver's license number, it is also optional to include your state ID number, although applicants are encouraged to provide either one or the other. If you're uncertain as to whether you want to participate in the work-study program, you can select "don't know." This is a way to leave that door open, just in case you don't qualify for enough financial aid in other areas. Since you have the option to decline any form of federal aid, you can always say no later.

Uh-Oh, I Don't Drive

Not to worry, this field is optional on the FAFSA. That means that even people who have licenses may choose not to include the number. If you're filling out your application online, don't leave the driver's license field blank. Instead, enter "not applicable" if you don't have one or don't want to provide the information. Leaving too many blank lines on the application can cause a miscalculation that can result in your application being rejected by mistake.

About the Author

Darlene Peer has been writing, editing and proofreading for more than 10 years. Peer has written for magazines and contributed to a number of books. She has worked in various fields, from marketing to business analysis. Peer received her Bachelor of Arts in English from York University.

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