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Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Old Aug 11th 2011, 1:12 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by janj View Post
Hi there,
Just wanted to point out that you can drive for up to a year on your British driver's license here in MA, and I'd always assumed it was the same in other states?
Indiana and South Carolina require you to get a licence within 90 days of becoming resident. It varies between each state.
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 1:40 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by janj View Post
Hi there,
Just wanted to point out that you can drive for up to a year on your British driver's license here in MA, and I'd always assumed it was the same in other states?
Good luck with he move - my daughter lives in Century City and works in Santa Monica. She's been there 2 years and loves it!
Jan
It's only a couple of states, ME and Texas being a couple of them, I'm pretty sure MA wasn't one of them if you've got certain visa's, student visa would be okay to use UK license though.

Thing is, it'll be tough getting insurance and really, why wait? You're just putting off building up insurance and driving history and be paying higher rates and missing out on a standard ID.
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 3:30 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
Indiana and South Carolina require you to get a licence within 90 days of becoming resident. It varies between each state.
30 days in California, as far as I remember. All details are on the DMV website. I would definitely book an appointment though - wait times can be horrendous.

Also, our DMV required a SSA letter advising ineligibility for SSN - the H4 visa was not enough. More queuing (no appointments at the SSA office...).
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 4:12 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
.Also, our DMV required a SSA letter advising ineligibility for SSN - the H4 visa was not enough. More queuing (no appointments at the SSA office...).
This is what I had to do - thought it would be quite painless but as I already had a SSN when I had a J1 BUNAC visa, it caused all sorts of issues. I wasn't eligible for an SSN on my O3 but I had one ...so could they issue me with a letter saying I wasn''t eligible for one - a rhetorical question that apparently could not be resolved after 3 visits.
My solution - I went to a different SSN office and kept my mouth shut.
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
This is what I had to do - thought it would be quite painless but as I already had a SSN when I had a J1 BUNAC visa, it caused all sorts of issues. I wasn't eligible for an SSN on my O3 but I had one ...so could they issue me with a letter saying I wasn''t eligible for one - a rhetorical question that apparently could not be resolved after 3 visits.
My solution - I went to a different SSN office and kept my mouth shut.
I don't understand why you did this. Your SSN is yours for life. Why did you not want to use it?
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 4:34 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

In California you have 10 days to get a license after becoming a resident according to the DMV. This is impossible if you are waiting for a SSN first. I think it took us about 3 weeks after moving here to do our written test and get our temporary license and then another 4 week wait for an appointment to do our road test.
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 4:40 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by Elvira View Post
I don't understand why you did this. Your SSN is yours for life. Why did you not want to use it?
I dont have the actual card and Indiana DMV wanted only the card and wouldn't accept a letter from the US Embassy confirming the number. The SSA wouldn't issue me with a new card because my present status is not eligible for work and they dont see DMV as a valid reason to issue a replacement card. We went round in circles and they couldn't work out what to do. Took me 4 months to get to the driving test stage and then I left the state before it was mailed to me so I have to start all over again in SC but now have the added complication of an issued Indiana licence which I dont actually physically possess and they wont forward..
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
I dont have the actual card and Indiana DMV wanted only the card and wouldn't accept a letter from the US Embassy confirming the number. The SSA wouldn't issue me with a new card because my present status is not eligible for work and they dont see DMV as a valid reason to issue a replacement card. We went round in circles and they couldn't work out what to do. Took me 4 months to get to the driving test stage and then I left the state before it was mailed to me so I have to start all over again in SC but now have the added complication of an issued Indiana licence which I dont actually physically possess and they wont forward..


DMVs have cranked bureaucracy up to an entirely new level.

Kafka would have had a field day...
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

so general consensus, wait til we arrive to learn and take a test? I'm having a baby in November so can't see having much inclination between newborn, Christmas and moving to the states to fit in enough lessons and test etc and in my head it just makes sense to learn in the kind of car on the side of the road I'll be driving in and on over the next few years. I get the point about building up time with a licence but realistically I can't see me taking the test much before the baby is born, so will have only been driving 2-3months before we leave
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 5:46 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

we'll be put up in serviced apartments in the middle of Santa Monica, DH can drive but I appreciate will be working so I'll be carless until I learn, so this might be a pro to learning before we go
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
we'll be put up in serviced apartments in the middle of Santa Monica, DH can drive but I appreciate will be working so I'll be carless until I learn, so this might be a pro to learning before we go
This is the only problem, you're really going to have your hands full with a new baby and trying to learn to drive on top of everything. Do you have any driving experience at all?
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
we'll be put up in serviced apartments in the middle of Santa Monica, DH can drive but I appreciate will be working so I'll be carless until I learn, so this might be a pro to learning before we go
If I was you I would try and do it in the UK or at least learn and get some confidence driving - you might be a natural and pick it up really quickly. You will have so much to deal with when you get out to the US and the sooner you can get the test and licence ...then the sooner you can start living properly.. You gonna be one busy lady
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 6:04 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
we'll be put up in serviced apartments in the middle of Santa Monica, DH can drive but I appreciate will be working so I'll be carless until I learn, so this might be a pro to learning before we go
The center of Santa Monica is a pretty walkable place - more than most parts of the US.
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Old Aug 11th 2011, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

Originally Posted by mymatemarmite View Post
so general consensus, wait til we arrive to learn and take a test? I'm having a baby in November so can't see having much inclination between newborn, Christmas and moving to the states to fit in enough lessons and test etc and in my head it just makes sense to learn in the kind of car on the side of the road I'll be driving in and on over the next few years. I get the point about building up time with a licence but realistically I can't see me taking the test much before the baby is born, so will have only been driving 2-3months before we leave
I'd say get learning as soon as you can, the longer you are without a car in LA the harder your life will be.

Regardless of which you decide to do get GPS in your car. Finding your way around can be a real mare and you'll have enough to concentrate on with being a new driver and having a baby and toddler in the car.
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Old Aug 12th 2011, 12:02 am
  #90  
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Default Re: Cost of Living for a young family in LA?

The time limit for getting a license after becoming a resident is only if you are driving on a license from out of state/country If you aren't driving they can't make you get a license in 10 or 30 days, learning takes time.
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