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drivers license- Georgia

Old Apr 25th 2011, 11:38 am
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Default drivers license- Georgia

Hi, we are Brits moving to Atlanta in a couple of months, and want to check about our UK drivers licenses, is it correct that they only valid for 1 year and then we must surrender them? Also my son is learning in the UK, (he is 17), and looking up the price of learning in Georgia I cannot believe how expensive it is, does it really cost $150 for 2 hours tuition? Should he get his full license in the UK before we move?
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 11:42 am
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by AllysonCross View Post
Hi, we are Brits moving to Atlanta in a couple of months, and want to check about our UK drivers licenses, is it correct that they only valid for 1 year and then we must surrender them? Also my son is learning in the UK, (he is 17), and looking up the price of learning in Georgia I cannot believe how expensive it is, does it really cost $150 for 2 hours tuition? Should he get his full license in the UK before we move?
Google the local DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles) - rules vary from state to state.

Many states demand that you get a local license after one month of becoming resident (the one year thing is usually just for visitors).

Can't imagine a scenario where you would surrender your UK license. Where did you hear that?
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 11:45 am
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Default Re: drivers license

Hi, maybe I misunderstood about the surrendering thing? We will be in Atlanta on L1 & L2 and hope to stay permanently. Thank-you for the reply
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:31 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

In general, if you're in the US as a visitor, your foreign license will be good for one year. Then you'll have to obtain a local one.

If on the other hand you're taking up residence ("moving to"), then you will have to get a US license within 30-ish days (varies, depends on state, can't be bothered to google it for Georgia, you do it).

The procedure to get a local license is horribly complicated:
find a local DMV, bring an insured car and proof that you're allowed to be in the US, do a quick vision test, fill out a brief, very brief test on the computer, scoot around the block for 5 minutes, reverse-parallel park, wander out with brand new license. Subject of foreign license never even comes up.
(details may differ in various states)
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:32 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

I do remember the switch to a Georgia license being discussed before, and yes, they apparently often do insist that you surrender your UK license.

To be honest it doesn't matter if they take it anyway, since if you aren't resident in the UK your UK license is not valid anyway, even if returning to the UK for a visit (be careful you don't fall foul of that when renting a vehicle in the UK during a visit - your UK license is NOT VALID so any insurance you purchase based on that license is also not likely to be valid. You should use your GA license for the rental).

This page...

http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/DLdata...47371440&ty=dl

...isn't that clear, it says that you might be able to drive for up to a year on a foreign license then in the next breath says that if you become a resident of Georgia you need to get a GA license.

Since you will be residents of GA you should get GA licenses ASAP, especially since insurance is a lot cheaper with a US license.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:33 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by Kar98 View Post
Subject of foreign license never even comes up.
There are a few states in which they do seem to insist you relinquish your UK license (according to reports on this forum). GA is one such state.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:34 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
There are a few states in which they do seem to insist you relinquish your UK license (according to reports on this forum). GA is one such state.
'k.
But you see the difference between driving on a foreign license as a tourist for up to a year, and taking up residence, right?
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:37 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Yes.

The OP appears to be taking up residence, hence my recommendation to get the GA licence ASAP.

Originally Posted by Kar98 View Post
In general, if you're in the US as a visitor, your foreign license will be good for one year. Then you'll have to obtain a local one.
It also should go without saying that you can't legally be in the US as a 'visitor' for a year.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:38 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
There are a few states in which they do seem to insist you relinquish your UK license (according to reports on this forum). GA is one such state.
If no allowance is made in the process for previous driving history/qualifications from the UK then couldn't you just say that you haven't got one?
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:39 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

I have been living here for four years (ATL)
I came on a J1 and now a permanent residence.

I obtained my license from the DMV and they needed proof that I could drive and that I had done x amount of driving hours in the past.. my British licence was proof of that. .. at the DMV counter they took my British license and threw it away. Apparently you are not allowed to have 2 licences (this was 2 years ago!!)

I had since applied the UK for a replacement.

In order for you to be the insurer of avehicle, you will need to have an American license..this I do know for sure.

I would advice your son to get his license in the UK if it is easier.. otherwise if you can teach him to drive then I am sure he can go to the DMV and apply. The tests here are so much more easy here.. no roundabouts etc, even the theory is a no brainer, relative to the one taken back home.

This above is just my opinion and a reflection of my experience..so check it out first
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:40 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by tonrob View Post
If no allowance is made in the process for previous driving history/qualifications from the UK then couldn't you just say that you haven't got one?
You could, but then wouldn't you need to undergo a period of training on a learner's permit first, before even being able to take the tests?

I think that's what the UK license is supposed to get you out of.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:41 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by Jhutchnz View Post
In order for you to be the insurer of avehicle, you will need to have an American license..this I do know for sure.
Nope. There are insurers that will insure you on a foreign license, but they are few, and the coverage expensive.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:42 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
Nope. There are insurers that will insure you on a foreign license, but they are few, and the coverage expensive.
Right. I got insanely expensive insurance through Progressive when all I had was a German license.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 2:53 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

Originally Posted by AllysonCross View Post
does it really cost $150 for 2 hours tuition? Should he get his full license in the UK before we move?
That cost will fade into insignificance when you see how much he increases your auto insurance.
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Old Apr 25th 2011, 3:25 pm
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Default Re: drivers license

thank-you for all of the information. I think I now understand the best way to proceed on this.
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