Cal Poly

Transportation

What transportation options are there?

  • By Bus: It is easy to get around town by bus. Your PolyCard allows you to use the SLO Transit bus system for free. The RTA bus system can take you to other cities within the San Luis Obispo County. Buses do not run after 9:00 PM.
  • By Bicycle: SLO is also a great place to ride a bicycle. Joel Westwood runs a no-cost bicycle lending service for international students. He can also help you find a good quality used bicycle on CraigsList.
  • By Car: You do not need to buy a car to live in SLO. Parking fees on campus are very expensive and it is hard to find a good used car for under $2,000. You can usually find a ride to go explore California on weekends with other students. The Cal Poly International Club is a good resource for this. Most students find it helpful to have American roommates with cars to help them with shopping and errands.
  • ZipCar: Cal Poly has some ZipCars available for student use. It is best to create an account while still in your home country so you can access your record of driving history. Go to the Cal Poly ZipCar page to find out more and to sign up.
  • SLO Safe Ride: SLO Safe Ride provides rides for special events or to get home from downtown. Schedule online or call 805-620-SAFE (7233).

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How do I get a California Driver License or California ID Card?

After 30 days in California, residents must have a California driver license in order to drive a car or motorcycle in the state. Information on applying for a California Driver License or ID card and appointment scheduling are on the DMV website. The DMV office in San Luis Obispo is at 3190 South Higuera Street. For a list of hours see the DMV San Luis Obispo page. A California ID card is a valid form of photo ID accepted by most restaurants, pubs, and grocery stores as proof of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. It does not allow you to drive in California.

Check in at the Cal Poly International Center office. Wait ten days after arriving in the United States to apply for a driver's license so that your Form I-94, "Arrival/Departure Record," information can update in all the government systems.

Take your Social Security Card or letter of denial from Social Security, your passport, visa, I-94, and I-20 or DS-2019 with you when you go to the DMV office. A California ID card is a valid form of photo ID accepted by most restaurants, pubs, and grocery stores as proof of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages and cigarettes.

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Auto Insurance

In order to own a car in California, you must register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles and purchase auto liability insurance.

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© 2015 California Polytechnic State University Cal Poly International Center
Building 52, Room E32
San Luis Obispo, CA 93407
Phone: (805) 756-1477
Fax: (805) 756-5484
international@calpoly.edu