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Can I drive straight away?

Can I drive straight away?

Old Dec 25th 2015, 7:27 am
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Default Can I drive straight away?

I'm moving to California, but I've only just passed my test in the UK.

I'm worried I'll have to wait a year before I can drive - is this true? or is it just for rentals?
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Old Dec 25th 2015, 10:57 am
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

After you "establish residence" in California you have, per the letter of the law, 10 days to obtain a CA license. This will involve taking a California road test, which is much easier than a British test, but given how little experience you have I would not take passing for granted.

In practice you won't be able to take your road test within ten days, but be sure to register for thr test and take it as soon as possible, and carry the paperwork with you to show, in the event that you are stopped, that you are using your best endeavors to get your license ASAP.

The California road test can be taken in an automatic car, and indeed it would be a little odd to take the test in a manual car. There is no such thing as an automatic license, you get a "full" license no matter what sort of vehicle you pass your test in.

======================================

If I don't ask, someone else will - what is the basis of your move to California? Are you a USC? Or what sort of visa do you have?

Last edited by Pulaski; Dec 25th 2015 at 10:59 am.
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Old Dec 25th 2015, 10:04 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

I believe you can use your UK license for 3 months in California.
As Pulaski said, the test is very easy compared to the UK. Probably why there are so many bad drivers here but that's a topic for another day.
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Old Dec 25th 2015, 10:14 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Originally Posted by cheradenine View Post
I believe you can use your UK license for 3 months in California. .....
Nope, it's ten days "after establishing residence".
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Old Dec 25th 2015, 11:15 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Nope, it's ten days "after establishing residence".
I see, trying to figure out where I got that figure from.

Last edited by cheradenine; Dec 25th 2015 at 11:18 pm.
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Old Dec 25th 2015, 11:19 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Originally Posted by cheradenine View Post
Isn't that for applying for a California licence?
I was referring to how long you can use your UK licence. ....
Someone who is deemed "resident" can't legally use an out of state licence, in any state, not just in California. At the point you become resident in a state your previous license becomes void.

If you're a visitor it is much longer, possibly 12 months, but once you become a resident you are no longer a visitor.
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Old Dec 26th 2015, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Someone who is deemed "resident" can't legally use an out of state licence,
...this means beginning to put down roots, taking a house rental, insuring a car etc etc. ie. you're living here for real, not passing through.
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Old Dec 26th 2015, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Each State seems to have its own definition of what constitutes resident, and seems to vary depending on which Dept you are talking to.
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Old Dec 26th 2015, 6:08 pm
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Default Re: Can I drive straight away?

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Each State seems to have its own definition of what constitutes resident, ....
They do, though they're much of a muchness, and they are all going to reached the same conclusion if you say "I'm moving to [state] .... " Clue: they won't be a visitor.
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