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

CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Old Jul 12th 2013, 7:40 pm
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Hi folks,

I'm now in California having relocated from Scotland and am looking to purchase a vehicle. I am also in the process of obtaining my full driving license.

Yesterday I sat my written test at the DMV and passed no problem. Whilst I was waiting on the member of staff printing out the paperwork, she said I'd be able to use it to drive for up to 2 months with my UK license.

However, upon reading the paper work more closely when I got back home, it looks like it's really just a permit to drive so long as somebody with a CA license accompanies me in the car at the same time!

I have uploaded a photo of said permit. It doesn't say "temporary license" anywhere on it, front or back.

Can I check with others here whether the paperwork I was given is actually a temporary license or just something they'd hand out to learner drivers?

The reason I want to check is that if I do buy I car, I obviously want to ensure I am legally able to drive it off the dealership (I have insurance already lined up BTW).

miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 7:49 pm
  #2  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 57,664
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
Yesterday I sat my written test at the DMV and passed no problem. Whilst I was waiting on the member of staff printing out the paperwork, she said I'd be able to use it to drive for up to 2 months with my UK license.
I think what she meant was that you're allowed to drive for a while in the USA using your UK license, until you can sort out your CA license.

However, upon reading the paper work more closely when I got back home, it looks like it's really just a permit to drive so long as somebody with a CA license accompanies me in the car at the same time!

I have uploaded a photo of said permit. It doesn't say "temporary license" anywhere on it, front or back.
There's no such thing as a "temporary license", or even a "full license" as you referred to before. There is only a "learner's permit" and a "drivers license". You are correct, the permit allows you to drive if you have another licensed CA driver in the car with you.

Can I check with others here whether the paperwork I was given is actually a temporary license or just something they'd hand out to learner drivers?
It's not a temporary license, as there is no such thing. It's a learner's permit.

The reason I want to check is that if I do buy I car, I obviously want to ensure I am legally able to drive it off the dealership (I have insurance already lined up BTW).
You would be legally able to drive it off the lot using either your UK license, OR your learner's permit if you have another CA driver with you.

My immigrant husband got his learners permit in CA. The problem was, I'm only an AZ driver, I dont' have a CA license. So I could never teach him to drive!

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 7:58 pm
  #3  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Hi Noorah,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, however there is such a thing as a temporary license here in California, which is why I am asking about it. Perhaps it's different in Arizona.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc12506.htm

There have been other posts on this site referring to similar "temporary licenses" too.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=745538 and
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=778998

By "full license" I mean the license you get once you pass the behind-the-wheel test, not just the written part, i.e. the process of obtaining a drivers license is not fully complete.

mm
miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:03 pm
  #4  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 57,664
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
Hi Noorah,

Thanks for taking the time to reply, however there is such a thing as a temporary license here in California, which is why I am asking about it. Perhaps it's different in Arizona.

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc12506.htm

There have been other posts on this site referring to similar "temporary licenses" too.
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=745538 and
http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=778998

By "full license" I mean the license you get once you pass the behind-the-wheel test, not just the written part, i.e. the process of obtaining a drivers license is not fully complete.

mm
Interesting, thanks for that, I was unaware.

But what you have in hand is a learner's permit. My understanding is that if you are a new driver in CA (as you are), and you're applying for a drivers license (as you are), they will issue a learner's permit first, and then when you pass the road test, they'll issue the real (or full, as you say) drivers license.

That's how it worked for my husband. Although he was so lazy he never got around to taking the road test until the permit had expired. Then he got another permit and still never took the road test. So after 9 years in the USA, he's still not driving. LOL

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:10 pm
  #5  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Hi,

Yes, I realise that about the new driver thing and that I have what appears to be a learner's permit.

I'm asking whether there is something else (the "temporary license") that they could have given me because I also have a UK license, or whether I got just the permit.

mm
miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:26 pm
  #6  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 57,664
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
Hi,

Yes, I realise that about the new driver thing and that I have what appears to be a learner's permit.

I'm asking whether there is something else (the "temporary license") that they could have given me because I also have a UK license, or whether I got just the permit.

mm
I don't believe having a UK license allows you to get the temporary CA license, no. All new CA drivers get a learner's permit, like you did.

That first link you posted says:

The department may issue a temporary driver's license to any person applying for a driver's license, to any person applying for renewal of a driver's license, or any licensee whose license is required to be changed, added to, or modified. Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 12805, the department may issue a temporary driver's license to an applicant who has previously been licensed in this state or in any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Dominion of Canada, notwithstanding that the applicant has failed the written examination on the person's first attempt.

None of those scenarios seem to apply to you.

Rene

Last edited by Noorah101; Jul 12th 2013 at 8:31 pm.
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 8:38 pm
  #7  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Hi Noorah/Rene,

I appreciate you're trying to help out here, but with respect, please refer to the posts I mentioned above.

In there, two people describe being issued with temporary driving licenses, one of whom suggested strongly that having a UK license was an influence:

"I passed the written test, no problem, and then, based on my valid UK driver's license, I was issued a Temporary License on the understanding that I could drive on that up until I'd passed the 'Behind-the-Wheel' test."

and when referring to the moment he failed his driving test:

"The girl who examined me then started muttering something along the lines that my temporary license would be taken away and that I'd have to get an 'Instruction Permit' with which I can only drive if accompanied by a licensed California driver..."

So, does any Brit in California who has gone through the driving license process have any insight?

Thanks, mm

Last edited by miggy_magic; Jul 12th 2013 at 8:41 pm.
miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 10:26 pm
  #8  
Bob
SUPER MODERATOR
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,487
Bob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond reputeBob has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

You can get a temporarily license in CA, there are plenty of threads on this.

It's to tie you over until you can book and take the proper test, off the top of my head, it's good for 90 days? Just need a full license from abroad.
Bob is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 10:59 pm
  #9  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Hi Bob,

Yes, I know you can get temporary licenses. You say there are plenty of posts on this but I haven't found any that specifically address what I thought was a straight-forward question otherwise I wouldn't be asking the same question again. I took time to search on this site and others before posting, but apologies in advance if I missed something.

What I am asking is: is the one I showed in my post a temporary license? Or is it simply a permit like you'd give a brand new driver. Are they the same piece of paper?

I'm looking for help here from someone who has relevant experience and information to share.

mm
miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:18 pm
  #10  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 57,664
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
What I am asking is: is the one I showed in my post a temporary license?
No.

Or is it simply a permit like you'd give a brand new driver.
Yes.

Are they the same piece of paper?
I can't say for sure, but doubtful, since someone with a temporary license woudln't need to have a CA driver along with them. And it most likely wouldn't say "Instruction Permit" at the top.

I'm looking for help here from someone who has relevant experience and information to share.
I know I don't have this exact experience, but the paper you showed on here looks just like my husband's learner's (instruction) permit.

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:21 pm
  #11  
MODERATOR
 
Noorah101's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2003
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 57,664
Noorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond reputeNoorah101 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Go to Google, type in "temporary california driver's license", then click on Images.

You will see some examples of the Temporary License, which actually says "Temporary License" at the top, rather than "Instruction Permit".

Rene
Noorah101 is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:38 pm
  #12  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: May 2013
Location: Pleasanton, CA
Posts: 20
miggy_magic is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Thanks Rene.

Right, so it looks like the woman at the DMV printed off the wrong bl**dy thing... Another delightful trip to the DMV for me.
miggy_magic is offline  
Old Jul 12th 2013, 11:45 pm
  #13  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Michael's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: San Francisco Bay Area
Posts: 10,678
Michael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond reputeMichael has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
Thanks Rene.

Right, so it looks like the woman at the DMV printed off the wrong bl**dy thing... Another delightful trip to the DMV for me.
That often happens and a person normally has to call the supervisor and everything get straightened out. If a person is from out of state, they immediately get a full California license but for foreigners from some countries, this may be unusual for the clerk so she/he may not know that you are allowed a temporary license. I suspect you'll have to go back to the DMV and argue with them until they give you a temporary license.
Michael is offline  
Old Jul 13th 2013, 10:38 am
  #14  
Misses Los Angeles
 
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: London
Posts: 436
MoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond reputeMoshiMoshi has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

Originally Posted by miggy_magic View Post
Thanks Rene.

Right, so it looks like the woman at the DMV printed off the wrong bl**dy thing... Another delightful trip to the DMV for me.
When I took my written test in CA (2 years ago) I was given that learner's permit AND a short-term temporary license. The temporary license was clearly titled as such. Looks like you only got given half the paperwork -- seems to happen a lot.
MoshiMoshi is offline  
Old Jul 13th 2013, 6:14 pm
  #15  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 41,518
Sally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond reputeSally Redux has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: CA Drivers permit / temporary license question

They are idiots at the DMV.

You should be able to change it, or just do the behind-the-wheel test ASAP.
Sally Redux is offline  

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

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