Ride the Wake
Wake Forest offers free weekday shuttle service to and from campus for students who live in nearby apartment complexes, including Crowne Polo, Crowne Park, Corners at Crystal Lake, Alaris Village, Deacon Ridge, and Crowne Oaks. The WFU Shuttle system also offers free service to downtown Winston-Salem and the local mall:
- Downtown Shuttle Service: The downtown shuttle provides evening service beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday during academic sessions.
- Hanes Mall, Fresh Market, and River Birch Shuttle Service: The shuttle provides weekend only service Saturdays from 11:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. excluding holidays.
Click here for more information about WFU’s shuttle service.
Purchasing a WFU parking permit
Please visit WFU’s Parking & Transportation website for instructions on how to purchase an on-campus parking permit. If you plan on purchasing a vehicle and parking on campus, you must purchase a permit or else you risk receiving a parking citation.
Airport shuttles leave from Benson University Center. Please go to their website for more information and to reserve a shuttle.
Personal Automobiles, Driver’s License and State ID Card Information
Some of our LLM students purchase inexpensive used automobiles when they arrive in the U.S. to make their stay more convenient. They often resell these cars to other LLM or JD students after graduation. For additional details about owning and driving automobiles in North Carolina, visit the Center for International Studies website.
Obtaining a driver’s license
As an international student/scholar, you are eligible to obtain a North Carolina driving license or a state ID Card. It is encouraged that you obtain either one or the other for identification purposes in the United States. A driving license will allow you to operate a car and serve as a means of identification. A State ID card will serve as a means of identification however it will not allow you to operate a car.
- All information as it pertains to obtaining a N.C. driver’s license can be found at the Department of Motor Vehicles Web site. Click here for the 2012 North Carolina Driver’s Handbook.
- In order to qualify to take the written or road test, you will first need to show that you are covered by a valid liability insurance policy. They will not allow you to do anything until you are able to show this proof. If you do not own a car, you will need to obtain a special insurance policy (non-owner’s policy).
→Places to purchase liability insurance (used by past students):
- Nationwide: Agent- Charles Brunson
- Progressive: They do not require you to have a US driver’s license to get insurance coverage; they will insure you as a ‘Foreign Driver’. Past students went to their website and obtained insurance online.
- State farm
If you are not a licensed driver in the U.S., you will be required to take both the written and the road tests. If you are licensed to drive in another state, in most instances you will only be required to take the written portion of the test. The license will contain an expiration date that corresponds with the end date listed on your I-20/DS-2019 form.
If you are a resident of North Carolina, you do qualify to receive a state identification card. This card can be used as your official ID while residing in the U.S. Information on obtaining this card can be found here.
For most people, the North Carolina DMV requires the following documents in order to apply for a NC driver’s license:
- Proof of residency
- Proof of age and identity
- Proof of liability insurance
- Social security card or immigration documents that prove legal presence in the U.S. (i.e. I-20, I-94, etc.)
- Details pertaining to all required documentation can be found here.
Winston-Salem DMV Addresses Hours: 8-4:30pm (Monday – Friday)
- 3637 North Patterson Ave. (generally less crowded & closest to campus)
- 2001 Silas Creek Parkway
Purchasing used cars
WFU’s Center for International Studies (CIS) office regularly assists international students in finding used cars. Here is their recommended dealership:
Big Easy Cars
4272 N. Patterson Ave
Winston-Salem, NC 27105
Additional ways to purchase a used car:
- Craigslist: Past students have also found used cars to purchase on Craigslist If you choose to use Craigslist, be careful to avoid scamming. Never give away your personal credit card information online or in an e-mail Read here about how to avoid scams.
- Carmax: You can also search for affordable cars on Carmax, which will allow you to search for cars in Winston-Salem. Go to their website for more information.
City of Winston-Salem Public Transportation
The city of Winston-Salem does have public transportation, but it is not as readily available to the extent it exists in European and Asian countries. There is only a limited public bus transit system in Winston-Salem. Most people rely on private automobiles. You may wish to view a Reynolda Campus Map of Wake Forest University and the city of Winston-Salem (use links below). The bus system here is called Winston-Salem Transit Authority (WSTA). For more information and bus schedules, go here. The cost is $1 per ride. For your reference, here is a map of Winston-Salem.
Popular shuttle routes:
- From campus to downtown: Route 5- This bus meets on the corner of Wingate and Paschal (see campus map). It will take you to downtown. Popular streets with shopping, nightlife and restaurants are 4th street and upper Trade Street.
- From downtown to the Hanes Mall area: Route 18
Renting a car
Below are suggested locations to rent a vehicle. You will still need to obtain a NC driver’s license in order to rent a car.
- Closest location to campus: 3080 University Parkway, Winston-Salem, NC 27105. Phone: (336) 661-9222
- Hertz Rent-a-car:
- Closest location to campus (downtown): 425 North Cherry Street, Winston-Salem. Phone: 336-723-7976
Wake Forest- Zipcar
Past students who chose not to purchase a vehicle have used the zipcar service. You will still need to obtain a driver’s license if you use zipcar. You can join for $25 (yearly fee) and reserve cars to use throughout the year (much like renting a car). You will then have to pay to use cars either hourly or daily, depending on the car. To learn more, visit their website.
Bus routes throughout NC and the U.S.
The PART shuttle travels all throughout the Piedmont Triad, Boone, Chapel Hill and Durham. Go here for more information: http://www.partnc.org/index.htm. You may also view their shuttle map here: http://www.partnc.org/systemmap.html
PART shuttle #4 travels to the Greensboro PTI airport. To view the shuttle schedule, go here: http://www.partnc.org/shuttle-PTI.html. Taking this shuttle does require shuttle changes, so if you are taking this shuttle, we recommend traveling light. The process from Winston would be:
- Take a cab (or get a ride or catch the Winston-Salem bus downtown to the W-S Bus Terminal)
- At the W-S Bus Terminal, take PART Shuttle to the PART Hub
- At the PART Hub, take the Greensboro Express (Shuttle 4) to the airport
Megabus travels from Charlotte or Durham to a few major cities (Washington D.C., Atlanta, and Richmond). This is a cheaper option versus flying. For more information, visit their website at http://us.megabus.com/Default.aspx.
Greyhound is one of the largest bus companies in the U.S. and travels all throughout the States and to major cities. To view routes, go to their website at http://www.greyhound.com/default.aspx. The Greyhound station is located in downtown Winston-Salem on Trade Street.
There is a train station in Winston-Salem that travels to many major cities. For example, a ticket to Washington D.C. is currently $60.00. For more information and schedules, go to: http://www.amtrak.com/home.