Upon Arrival Washington DC

Inter-American Defense College

The Inter-American Defense College (IADC), located on Fort Lesley J. McNair, was formally opened on 9 October 1962 when the Honorable Dean Rusk, then Secretary of State of the United States, presented the building and furnishings donated by the United States Government.

Identification Card (ID)


Documents needed to get an ID:

• Birth Certificate

• Passport

• Visa

• Marriage Certificate

• Letter, Decree or Resolution of Appointment to the College

NOTE: The Personnel Office will process the documents to allow you to obtain a military identification card for you and your family.


Enrolling Children in the School System


Public schools in the local area are mostly considered excellent and are free. There are also a number of private schools in the area, although these tend to be very expensive.


Documents Required to Enroll School-Age Children


Prior to your child’s acceptance in a school, you are required to go with your child to the County School Board Offices of the area where you will be living and submit the following documents:


1. Birth Certificate.

2. Immunization or Vaccination Certificate.

3. English Proficiency Results.

4. Math Test Results: English and Math tests are taken by children on the day of enrollment in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C.

5. Proof of Residence: Property title, lease contract, gas, electricity or telephone bills are examples of this.

6. School Transcripts from the Country of Origin: Most schools require the transcripts to be translated into English; the translation does not need to be official. Get them in advance at your child’s current school.


Once this process is completed, you will know which school to enroll your children in and whom to contact in the school´s administration staff to establish an entry date.


Information on School Districts in the Surrounding Area


We advise that you look at possible places of residence and the corresponding district schools for your children on the Internet. Your predecessors can help you make a decision based on their experience.

If you have any questions about a school’s admissions requirements, contact the offices which appear below. They are in the areas where Advisors and Students usually live.


Local County School Board Offices:


• Virginia Fairfax County Public Schools


8115 gate House Road

Falls Church, VA 22042-1203

Telephone: (571) 423-1050.


• Arlington County Public Schools


1426 N Quincy Street, Arlington, VA 22207

Telephone: (703) 228-7663.


• Prince William County Public Schools


14800 Joplin Rd, Manassas, VA 20112-3909

Telephone: (703) 791-7200.


• Alexandria City Public Schools


2000 N Beauregard St., Alexandria, VA 22311

Telephone: (703) 824-6600.


• Falls Church City Public Schools


803 W Broad St. Ste. 300, Falls Church, VA 22046

Telephone: (703) 248-5603.


• Maryland Montgomery County Public Schools


Rocking Horse Road Center

4910 Macon Road, Rockville, MD 20852

Telephone: (301) 230-0686.


• Prince George County Public Schools


14201 School Ln, Upper Malboro, MD 20772

Telephone: (301) 445-8460


• Washington, District of Columbia Public Schools


1200 First St, NE, Washington, DC 20002

Telephone: (202) 442-5885


Medical Check-Up for School-Age Dependents


To enroll in their new school, children will need to get a medical check-up in the United States. If your country has a reciprocal health care agreement with the government of the United States, the physical exam can be taken at Bethesda Navy Hospital or other U.S. military medical facility after getting a military ID card and providing your medical records. Check-ups can also be done by a private doctor, in which case it is advisable to obtain copies of all the appropriate forms in English. These forms can be found at the local county school board or online. Not all schools require medical check-ups.


The vaccination card or certificate from your country is considered valid and your children will not be asked to get the prescribed vaccines again, although this depends on their age. It is important for them to have started the vaccination process and for the certificates to be valid. The following vaccinations are required:


• Diphtheria/Tetanus

• Oral Polio

• Measles

• Smallpox

• Mumps

• German Measles

• Yellow Fever

• TB skin tests will be given here in the United States.


Medical and Dental Care


Both medical and dental services are very expensive in the United States, especially hospitalization, surgery and maternity care fees. For this reason it is essential that the organization and/or department responsible for your appointment provide you with medical insurance before you leave your country or with alternative ways of financing your medical and/or dental care.


Depending on reciprocal agreements between the Ministry of Defense in your country and the Department of Defense in the United States, you and your dependents may be eligible to receive partial or full medical attention at military facilities in the Washington, D.C. area. Be sure to verify the type of services that you have access to and whether there is an agreement with the U.S. Government before you leave your country.


Driving a Car


In the Washington, D.C. area, having a car is essential to cover the long distances involved in traveling to and from most residential areas to shopping centers, primary schools and secondary schools.


Foreign military and civilian personnel will need to obtain their driver’s license by meeting the requirements established by the DMV in their place of residence. Not all states have the same requirements; some may be more demanding than others, depending on the legislation of the state where you will live. See each state’s website for specific details or requirements.


1. Maryland DMV: http://www.mva.maryland.gov/index.html

2. Virginia DMV: http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/

3. Washington D.C. DMV: http://dmv.dc.gov/


Driver’s License, License Plates and Car Registration


The use of a foreign/international driver’s license is authorized for temporary use and is regulated by the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office; most establish a 60-day period to obtain the local license. A driver’s license is considered to be an essential legal document in the United States and can also be used as a form of identification for different transactions.


1. Maryland: If you are a new resident of Maryland and you hold a noncommercial driver's license from your country, you have 60 days to obtain a Maryland Driver's License. (http://www.mva.maryland.gov/drivers/apply/new-to-maryland.htm)


2. Virginia: Visitors or military personnel holding an international license issued by a foreign country may operate a vehicle in this country, but only if the international license is accompanied by a valid driver's license issued by the person's home country. However, within 60 days of moving to Virginia, you must obtain a Virginia driver's license. (http://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/#eligibility.html)


3. Washington, D.C.: A licensed driver who moves to D.C. from another country is required to obtain a D.C. driver license, if residing in D.C. for more than 30 days and is not in the United States on a visitor visa. If you possess a valid out-of-country driver license, you will be required to take and pass the driver knowledge test prior to obtaining a D.C. driver’s license. An official certified translation of current driver’s license is required by a D.C. authorized translator (see web site for details). (http://dmv.dc.gov/page/obtain-real-id-driver-license-out-country-driver-license)


In accordance with DMV requirements, people who are interested in applying for a driver’s license must have and do the following:


• Provide 2 valid Identification Documents. (The ID and passport are valid)

• A document to prove your place of residence. (A utility bill)

• Evidence of legal resident status in the U.S. (document provided by the IADC).

• Do a three-hour drugs and alcohol course.

• Your license from your country, translated to English. (If you do not have an international license, which you are advised to get before you leave your country)

• Take an eye exam at the DMV.

• Pass a written exam.

• Pass a practical driving exam.


NOTE: You will need to purchase car insurance if you wish to drive a car in the United States.


Established in 1962

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Inter-American Defense College

210 B Street Suite 1

Fort McNair Washington, DC 20319-5008


The Inter-American Defense College is licensed under the Degree Granting Institution Regulations of the District of Columbia.

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