Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > USA
Reload this Page >

Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Old Jan 14th 2018, 7:48 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
mbhep27's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2018
Location: From London (UK) to North Virginia / Washington D.C. (USA)
Posts: 4
mbhep27 is an unknown quantity at this point
Question Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Hi guys,

I'm moving from the UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C., under an O-1 visa, for at least three years, and wanted to see if you have any advice, recommendations or watch outs?

There's so much I still need to do, for example:
  • Apply for a social security number
  • Find accommodation
  • Open a US bank account
  • Transfer money from UK to US bank account
  • Purchase a mobile phone (and contract)
  • Hire a rental car (until I buy a car)
  • Get a US driver's license
  • Buy a car
  • Arrange healthcare insurance through work
  • Register with local GP
  • Register with local dentist

This list goes on...!

Fortunately, I have a friend that I can stay with until I find my feet. However, I do need to drive for work, as the office is quite far out. I'm hoping I can just get a rental car using an international driving permit (IDP), as a temporary solution; until I get a US drivers license and credit to buy a car. Please tell me if that sounds like a crazy idea?

Appreciate any help you might have here, or more things to add to my list.

Thanks!
mbhep27 is offline  
Old Jan 14th 2018, 8:07 pm
  #2  
 
lansbury's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Posts: 9,541
lansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

You can rent a car with your UK driving licence.
lansbury is offline  
Old Jan 14th 2018, 10:12 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
 
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
Carabonara is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Getting a driving license over here was one of my biggest worries, even though I'd been driving in the UK for 6 years. But it was SO easy.

I got my US license about 2 months ago in MD, so it might be a little different than in VA. I needed to do a Drug and Alcohol class, a theory test like in the UK and a road skills test. I did not need to get a learners permit or provisional license or anything like that. I just took the class, took the tests and came out with a full license. I was able to take both tests on the same day. The road test took 10 minutes, if that.

You can drive a rental on a UK license for a limited amount of time, and getting a US license is so easy, there's no point getting an international driving permit.
Carabonara is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 1:21 am
  #4  
 
lansbury's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2005
Location: Milwaukie, Oregon
Posts: 9,541
lansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond reputelansbury has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Just a thought in the absence of Pulaski. Go to the International Autosource web site, if there is time before you leave you may be able to order your car before you leave the UK for delivery when you get here.
lansbury is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 1:28 am
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
tom169's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2015
Location: NC, USA (ex Yorkshire)
Posts: 4,127
tom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond reputetom169 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

For money check transferwise.

For Dr and dentist figure out your insurance details first. Will make financial sense to go "in network". Basically use a Dr the insurance company has deals with.
tom169 is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 1:59 am
  #6  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Sep 2008
Location: Rural Virginia
Posts: 1,021
ottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond reputeottotheboar has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Could you give a more exact location as Northern Virginia (NOVA is the usual term) and Washington DC covers a huge area.
ottotheboar is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 3:46 am
  #7  
BE Enthusiast
 
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 315
Ecto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond reputeEcto17 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Originally Posted by lansbury View Post
Just a thought in the absence of Pulaski. Go to the International Autosource web site, if there is time before you leave you may be able to order your car before you leave the UK for delivery when you get here.
We used them and they were great. They also paid for our rental cars whilst we waited for delivery of our new ones. Give them a call and make sure you negotiate with them!
Ecto17 is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 6:24 am
  #8  
BE Forum Addict
 
Guindalf's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 2,903
Guindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond reputeGuindalf has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

Do not wast money on an IDP. It is totally unnecessary. THe only time you would ever actually need this document is if you are in a country that doesn't recognize English and needs a translated version of your licence.

Depending on the state (you'll need to check with the DMV - try online), you usually have up to 30 days to get your licence and your UK one will suffice until then.

Cell phones can be bought just about anywhere, including Walmart! Pre-paid is probably the way to go these days and you can find unlimited service for as little as around $35+. Which one to get depends on your actual work and home location and the commute as well as anywhere you're likely to visit regularly. Generally, be prepared to give up coverage for price!
Guindalf is offline  
Old Jan 15th 2018, 6:38 am
  #9  
MODERATOR
 
penguinsix's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2006
Location: Hong Kong, mostly.
Posts: 5,129
penguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond reputepenguinsix has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

You don't 'register with a GP' per say over here. Your insurance will give you a preferred provider network of doctors and dentists and you'll ring one up when sick and go see them if needed. It's not quite as formal as registering in the UK and certainly not something you need to worry about right away.

Getting insurance cover right away is a different matter. You don't want to be without insurance so get that sorted with your company HR as soon as possible.

As for your list, I'd break it into groups.

Fresh off the plane / Day 1 I would:

Apply for an SSN
Hire a rental car (actually I'd do this at the airport as it is cheaper)
Get a prepaid SIM card for your phone (not a full contract--just a prepay for the first month)
Arrange healthcare through work.

Then I'd go house hunting. You see, having an address is rather important for opening a bank account, getting a drivers license, getting a full phone contract, and whatnot. You don't' want to rush those things only to have to redo all the paperwork when you move.

A bit after that, look at buying a car and your medical items.
penguinsix is offline  
Old Jan 17th 2018, 1:11 am
  #10  
BE Enthusiast
 
Amie06's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2014
Location: Alliance AL
Posts: 302
Amie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond reputeAmie06 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Advice on moving from UK to North Virginia / Washington D.C.

One thing to be aware of is the fact that your credit rating will be zero when you get here in the US, unless you have an Amex card and can get it transferred to a US account, your UK credit rating will not count over here.
Amie06 is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.