International Student and Scholar Services

Transportation

 

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The transportation system in the United States is quite different from that in most other countries. Most Americans own cars, which are the most common form of transportation. Our rail and bus systems are not as extensive as those of many other countries. St. Louis has a relatively good bus system and the MetroLink light-rail line. With your student ID, you can use any of the public transportation options free of charge.

For many students-especially those who live on or near campus-the most common means of transportation is the bicycle. You may want to purchase a used bike and a good lock to secure it from theft.

Owning and Operating an Automobile
You must have a valid driver's license to drive a car. Each state in the United States issues its own driver's license. Not every state will recognize your country's driver's license or the international driver's license. Driver's licenses are processed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). To obtain a Missouri driver's license, you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of the traffic laws in Missouri by taking both a written test and a driving test. You should study for the written test as the questions and correct answers are not always intuitive. You can find a Missouri Driver Guide with the information on which you will be tested at http://www.dor.state.mo.us/mvdl/drivers/. Never drive a vehicle unless you understand all of the applicable road rules, recognize all of the road signs, and possess a valid license to drive.

The closest Driver's License Examination post is 5494 Brown Road, telephone 731-4418. It is open Monday through Friday 7:00 am to 6:00 pm.

The state of Missouri requires car owners to purchase and maintain automobile insurance. In case of an accident, automobile insurance protects you against most of the cost of injuries and repairs. The cost of repairs can be very high. In some states, you may be required to pay for the cost of repairing the other vehicle if you caused the accident. Insurance agents can be found in the Yellow Pages of the phone book under "Insurance."

Helpful guides to purchasing cars can be found in local bookstores, and perhaps even in your campus bookstore. The newspaper in your community, your campus newspaper, campus bulletin boards, and electronic bulletin boards are good sources of information on used automobiles. Be very careful when purchasing a car, especially a used one. Before you buy, have a reliable mechanic inspect the vehicle for defects. Be sure to obtain the "title" to the car you buy.
The title is an official document issued by the state that signifies ownership of the vehicle. Additional documents may be required to complete the transfer of a car from the previous owner to you.