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Another Driving License Question (CA)

Another Driving License Question (CA)

Old Apr 3rd 2012, 11:47 am
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Default Another Driving License Question (CA)

Hi Guys,
Ive done some reading around and found this on the CA DMV:

"If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.

If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents."

I am dual nationality, I was planning on driving on my UK license while I got a CA one. Is that going to be an issue with me also having US Citizenship? Can you think of any "other benefit" not extended to nonresidents that i may have to utilise which will therefore exempt me from visitor licensing?
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by ned1983 View Post
I was planning on driving on my UK license while I got a CA one. Is that going to be an issue with me also having US Citizenship?
Your citizenship is irrelevant... and has nothing to do with whether or not you are resident in CA. If, for example, you lived in Oregon and moved to CA, you'd still be able to use your Oregon license while you got your CA one. It's a non-issue.

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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 1:20 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Are you going to be living in California?

If the answer's yes, don't bother tying yourself in knots with all the 'resident benefit' questions; they're appropriate for more borderline situations. Just take your written test at the DMV, and then you'll get a three month temporary CA license, during which period you can take the practical test.

If you keep driving on your UK license, I'm sure 99% of the time there won't be any issues, but there might be that 1% when you're left arguing the finer points of residency with a cop or insurance company. If you're genuinely living in California, it's going to be hard to make your case on technicalities.

In my case, I'm legally non-resident by almost every criteria except the '..but do you LIVE here?' question -- and I still needed a CA license.
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Thanks guys, I figured as much. Does the 3 month temporary not require me to have a person in the car with me at all times or something?
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 1:26 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by ned1983 View Post
Thanks guys, I figured as much. Does the 3 month temporary not require me to have a person in the car with me at all times or something?
No -- it's a full, temporary license. You'll get it when you show your UK license (do remind them to give it to you; sometimes they forget). You'll also get a Learner's Permit, which is valid for a year, and this is the one that requires you to be accompanied etc. But as long as the temporary full license is valid, you're fine.
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Old Apr 3rd 2012, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Thanks Moshi. Love this forum!
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Old Apr 27th 2012, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by MoshiMoshi View Post
No -- it's a full, temporary license. You'll get it when you show your UK license (do remind them to give it to you; sometimes they forget). You'll also get a Learner's Permit, which is valid for a year, and this is the one that requires you to be accompanied etc. But as long as the temporary full license is valid, you're fine.
I'm worried now - the papers I received state "Instruction Permit" and "must be accompanied by a Calif. licensed driver". No separate full, temporary license. I showed my UK license to the first person and to the last person - the latter of which issued the license after I'd completed the written test. I guess I need to go back and queue all over again.
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Old Apr 27th 2012, 4:15 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I'm worried now - the papers I received state "Instruction Permit" and "must be accompanied by a Calif. licensed driver". No separate full, temporary license. I showed my UK license to the first person and to the last person - the latter of which issued the license after I'd completed the written test. I guess I need to go back and queue all over again.
What you received is called here a "Learner's Permit".

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Old Apr 27th 2012, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
What you received is called here a "Learner's Permit".
I guess "Instruction permit" is what CA calls it. Either way I should have had a full, temporary license, right?
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Old Apr 27th 2012, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
I guess "Instruction permit" is what CA calls it. Either way I should have had a full, temporary license, right?
Go back to the DMV and ask for the supervisor and show him your UK license and he should issue you a temporary license until you take the road test. In California, you are supposed to be issued a 90 day temporary license if you have a UK license but like most bureaucracies, the clerks aren't the smartest people in the world.

If you have a problem at that DMV, go to a large one.
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Old Apr 27th 2012, 8:31 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Originally Posted by GeoffM View Post
Either way I should have had a full, temporary license, right?
Yes -- I'm in CA, and I got my 3-month temporary full license alongside the instruction/learner's permit. It really is a crapshoot as to whether the DMV staff know what you're entitled to. I'd happily pay a few dollars more state tax if they could just *pretend* to care.
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Old Apr 27th 2012, 10:52 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Thanks, I'll give that a try. Though there are plenty of Mexicans here, I suspect they don't get too many from different continents.
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Old May 2nd 2012, 5:30 pm
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Default Re: Another Driving License Question (CA)

Well I finally managed to get back to the DMV today - yes I know I should have done it earlier but we can't all just drop work and queue for ages. Turning up early, before it opened, didn't work!

Anyway, first desk the lady said I should only have an instruction permit. I said that lots of Brits in California get temporary full licenses but she wouldn't budge. Asked to see the supervisor. "I AM the supervisor"! Eventually she let me walk to the written test desk where the instruction permit was issued. Same thing all over again but she went and asked somebody who agreed that I should have had a full license. She had to "trick" the computer into thinking I'd passed the test already but eventually got a piece of paper with the full (temporary) license on it, valid until 06-30-12.

Now need to work on my US accent to get past the computerised voice recognition thing to actually book a driving appointment, since you can't book a test in person at the center you do the test in person at.

Pretty much as expected really!
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