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-   -   4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV.. (https://britishexpats.com/forum/usa-57/4-6-week-wait-get-appointment-dmv-879305/)

dbr84 Jun 22nd 2016 11:37 pm

4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
.. San Francisco/Oakland area.

Any tips/ways around this? I've tried various offices in the area and they all have crazy delays before I can book an appointment :(

From reading the DMV site, an appointment is required to apply for my license. It looks like they won't accept walk-ins for this?

petitefrancaise Jun 22nd 2016 11:47 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/de...essing_Centers

are any of these close enough for you to use?

In Texas we have mega-centers but they are the same thing. You can turn up early in the morning, just before opening time and get a test that morning.

dbr84 Jun 22nd 2016 11:52 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
Hmm. The one in San Jose is 50 miles away. I guess I could hire a car and drive there one morning. probably my only option

petitefrancaise Jun 22nd 2016 11:54 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
what's wrong with waiting for an appointment?

dbr84 Jun 22nd 2016 11:56 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
Kinda funny, I can legally hire a car and drive there on my UK license (i guess within the 10 day limit), but I cant drive if I buy my own car. heh. Thanks. I think I'll try this

dbr84 Jun 22nd 2016 11:56 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise (Post 11981055)
what's wrong with waiting for an appointment?

6 weeks relying on public transport/uber is a bit too long. I've got stuff to do :-)

petitefrancaise Jun 23rd 2016 12:09 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981056)
Kinda funny, I can legally hire a car and drive there on my UK license (i guess within the 10 day limit), but I cant drive if I buy my own car. heh. Thanks. I think I'll try this

that doesn't make sense, plenty of people get lease cars ready for when they arrive in the USA and before they have their licenses.

I'm off out now but maybe someone could check this one out?

petitefrancaise Jun 23rd 2016 3:41 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise (Post 11981063)
that doesn't make sense, plenty of people get lease cars ready for when they arrive in the USA and before they have their licenses.

I'm off out now but maybe someone could check this one out?

why do you think you can't drive your own car? Is this a California thing? Is it something an insurance agent has told you?

dbr84 Jun 23rd 2016 3:49 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
CA DMV says you must apply for a license within 10 days after becoming a resident

petitefrancaise Jun 23rd 2016 4:10 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
You ought to be able to drive your own car with your current license (?UK) - telling you 10days then making you wait up to 6 weeks for an appointment to take your test.
I had a client here in Texas who was waiting for 3 months for a document before she could take her test, she drove her car in the meantime.
Having insurance is a requirement for buying a car, so speak to an insurance agent.

Pulaski Jun 23rd 2016 4:47 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981206)
CA DMV says you must apply for a license within 10 days after becoming a resident

As long as you have started the process and can show you have an appointment you will be fine - it is fairly common for Americans to take months or years to get around to changing their license when they move to another state.

Someone here on BE, who immigrated to California had been stopped and even the police officer thought people had 30 days to switch their license.

Also bear in mind that the police don't have access to any data that shows exactly when you became resident in the state, so it is a bit of a moving target anyway.

It does, of course, make sense to be extra careful during that time before you get your CA license.

That said, I agree with doing whatever you can to get your license ASAP, and when I moved to New York (close to NYC), I was told the wait was almost three months, but by trying offices further and further out into the boonies the wait time went progressively down, to two months, then one month, then two weeks and finally I found somewhere willing to let me take my road test the following week, but it was halfway across the state in the middle of nowhere!

dbr84 Jun 23rd 2016 8:17 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
drove down to San Jose, waited about an hour then got my test and permit passed. Cool.

Now to book the behind the wheel.. ;-)

slices Jun 24th 2016 3:22 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 
The county I'm in Florida there is only one office that does road tests for that county and only on Tuesdays and Thursdays so there is a four week wait. Could do the written test sooner but have booked both in the same day.

malch Jun 25th 2016 7:28 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981859)
drove down to San Jose, waited about an hour then got my test and permit passed. Cool.

Now to book the behind the wheel.. ;-)

Good luck!

When I took my CA driving test, they wouldn't allow me to take it in a rental car. Ultimately, I booked a 1 hour lesson with a driving school and then used their vehicle for the test.

I understand DMV will permit tests in rental cars now but I have to say using the driving school is not a bad idea. Of course, I already knew how to drive but my instructor gave me a whole slew of tips on how to pass the CA test. It was easily worth the cost of the 1 hour lesson.

Pulaski Jun 25th 2016 7:59 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by malch (Post 11984445)
.... I already knew how to drive but my instructor gave me a whole slew of tips on how to pass the CA test. It was easily worth the cost of the 1 hour lesson.

So you learned to stop at STOP signs and at red lights, and ..... ???? :unsure:

IMO if you have a British licence and learned anything substantial from a US instructor, then you probably shouldn't have been on the road in the UK.

Someone else here on BE noted recently, that the only criteria appeared to be not killing someone during your road test. :rolleyes:

malch Jun 25th 2016 10:17 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11984485)
So you learned to stop at STOP signs and at red lights, and ..... ???? :unsure:

IMO if you have a British licence and learned anything substantial from a US instructor, then you probably shouldn't have been on the road in the UK.

Someone else here on BE noted recently, that the only criteria appeared to be not killing someone during your road test. :rolleyes:

Well, I'd only had a little over 2,000,000 miles of driving experience in the UK and Europe at that point (with only one accident -- I was rear-ended while stationery at an intersection). Completed a few advanced and defensive driving classes too. That's more than most people drive in a lifetime. So I think I knew how to drive and safely :rolleyes: :-)

And I absolutely found the 1 hour lesson helpful immediately before the CA driving test. The instructor took me around all of the DMV routes pointing out the speed limits (not all would be immediately obvious to someone unfamiliar with those streets) as well as the blind intersections (slow to 15 and look both ways). When stopping in traffic leave a gap such that the rear tires of the car in front are visible (most London drivers would stop a LOT closer). And more.

The CA test is easier than the UK test (was) but I imagine it's harder than the test in some other states.

johnwoo Jun 26th 2016 4:21 am

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981036)
.. San Francisco/Oakland area.

Any tips/ways around this? I've tried various offices in the area and they all have crazy delays before I can book an appointment :(

From reading the DMV site, an appointment is required to apply for my license. It looks like they won't accept walk-ins for this?

I've found Walnut Creek seems to have the shortest wait times in the East Bay.

Steerpike Jun 26th 2016 6:16 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by dbr84 (Post 11981859)
drove down to San Jose, waited about an hour then got my test and permit passed. Cool.

Now to book the behind the wheel.. ;-)


I was going to advise the same - wait times in SF are crazy; pop out to the suburbs and life is good! I think I got my first appointment in Redwood City. Also, you are less likely to be murdered in the burbs ... the DMV in SF is located in, shall we say, an 'interesting' neighborhood!


Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11984485)
So you learned to stop at STOP signs and at red lights, and ..... ???? :unsure:

IMO if you have a British licence and learned anything substantial from a US instructor, then you probably shouldn't have been on the road in the UK.

Someone else here on BE noted recently, that the only criteria appeared to be not killing someone during your road test. :rolleyes:


This attitude is completely misguided. YES, the test in UK is far, far more difficult, and YES, the standard of driving in UK is far, far better than in the US. So common sense says, any UK driver is not going to have a difficult time DRIVING in the US. But passing the test is not the same as being a good driver. In the written test, there are all manner of stupid questions about minimum stopping distances, etc. I instinctively know when / how to stop safely, but can I tell you the actual number of feet it takes to stop when travelling at 55mph? No. Also, if you were to apply your handbrake at every stop, UK style, they'll probably fail you, and if you look in the rearview mirror with the passion you are expected to exhibit in UK, they'll probably assume you are checking you makeup and fail you.


I passed my CA written test back in the 80s without issue but about 10 years ago I had to retake, and failed the first time round because I assumed it was going to be easy. I failed on those detail-oriented numerical questions. Here are some real examples from the CA test, which I will happily admit I don't know the answer to:



You are approaching a railroad crossing with no warning devices and are unable to see 400 feet down the tracks in one direction. The speed limit is:


15 mph.
20 mph.
25 mph.
========================
To avoid last minute moves, you should be looking down the road to where your vehicle will be in about ______________.


5 to 10 seconds
10 to 15 seconds
15 to 20 seconds
========================
You are about to make a left turn. You must signal continuously during the last ____ feet before the turn.


50
75
100
========================
Unless otherwise posted the speed limit in a residential area is ____.


20 mph
25 mph
30 mph
========================
With a Class C drivers license a person may drive:


A 3-axle vehicle if the Gross Vehicle Weight is less than 6,000 pounds.
Any 3-axle vehicle regardless of the weight.
A vehicle pulling two trailers
====================
If you are involved in a traffic collision, you are required to complete and submit a written report (SR1) to the DMV:


Only if you or the other driver is injured.
If there is property damage in excess of $750 or if there are any injuries.
Only if you are at fault.
=======================
Roadways are the most slippery:


During a heavy downpour.
After it has been raining for awhile.
The first rain after a dry spell.
============================
It is illegal to park your vehicle:


In an unmarked crosswalk.
Within three feet of a private driveway.
In a bicycle lane.



In my case, I answered every 'unknown' question with the 'safest possible' answer, and the lady acknowledged that, and asked me 5 additional questions so I could pass ... she said you are obviously a cautious driver so I don't want to fail you ... :)


Originally Posted by malch (Post 11984617)
Well, I'd only had a little over 2,000,000 miles of driving experience in the UK and Europe at that point (with only one accident -- I was rear-ended while stationery at an intersection). Completed a few advanced and defensive driving classes too. That's more than most people drive in a lifetime. So I think I knew how to drive and safely :rolleyes: :-)

And I absolutely found the 1 hour lesson helpful immediately before the CA driving test. The instructor took me around all of the DMV routes pointing out the speed limits (not all would be immediately obvious to someone unfamiliar with those streets) as well as the blind intersections (slow to 15 and look both ways). When stopping in traffic leave a gap such that the rear tires of the car in front are visible (most London drivers would stop a LOT closer). And more.

The CA test is easier than the UK test (was) but I imagine it's harder than the test in some other states.


Precisely.

Pulaski Jun 26th 2016 10:17 pm

Re: 4-6 week wait to get appointment at DMV..
 

Originally Posted by Steerpike (Post 11985519)
..... This attitude is completely misguided. YES, the test in UK is far, far more difficult, and YES, the standard of driving in UK is far, far better than in the US. So common sense says, any UK driver is not going to have a difficult time DRIVING in the US. But passing the test is not the same as being a good driver. In the written test, there are all manner of stupid questions about minimum stopping distances, etc. I instinctively know when / how to stop safely, but can I tell you the actual number of feet it takes to stop when travelling at 55mph? No. Also, if you were to apply your handbrake at every stop, UK style, they'll probably fail you, and if you look in the rearview mirror with the passion you are expected to exhibit in UK, they'll probably assume you are checking you makeup and fail you.

I passed my CA written test back in the 80s without issue but about 10 years ago I had to retake, and failed the first time round because I assumed it was going to be easy. I failed on those detail-oriented numerical questions. Here are some real examples from the CA test, which I will happily admit I don't know the answer to:

In my case, I answered every 'unknown' question with the 'safest possible' answer, and the lady acknowledged that, and asked me 5 additional questions so I could pass ... she said you are obviously a cautious driver so I don't want to fail you ....

Written test - I entirely agree, (which is not what you take an hour's pre-test lesson for, which is what Malch said, and what I was specifically responding to). .... But the road test, not so much. Though it sounds like the CA road test might be a little tougher than the joke that most of us took. .... As far as I know whether or not I looked in my mirror was a consideration when I took my test in NY.


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