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Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Old Jul 2nd 2013, 3:22 am
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Default Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

I have my uncle's car and he has it insured under his name. Do I insure it under my name too, obtain temporary insurance under my name or do I simply get some sort of signature from the owner of the car authorising my use of the vehicle?

Also, what other documents do I need to bring?
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

You'll probably want to get an international driving license. Not strictly required (I believe) but may help cut short any complications if you end up being stopped by a po-po who's not too bright.

WRT insurance, you'll want to check very carefully to be sure you're covered under the policy. Often, a policy will only insure a vehicle not being driven by the insured if the driver has their own policy. In some circumstances, you might only be covered third party. Driving out of country/state also complicates things. Probably your best bet is to talk to your own insurance company and get, as you say, temporary coverage. It's typically cheap for short periods of time.

You'll probably have best luck talking to your own insurance company than trying to sort things out in the Americas. European insurance companies typically have a boatload of experience dealing with out-of-country situations. In the US, not so much.

Last edited by tnguy; Jul 2nd 2013 at 3:38 pm.
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 4:26 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by tnguy View Post
You'll probably want to get an international driving license.
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an "international driving license) is just an English translation of a non-US license. If the UK license is in English, there's no need to get an international equivalent.

Rene
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 5:33 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by tnguy View Post
You'll probably want to get an international driving license. Not strictly required (I believe) but may help cut short any complications if you end up being stopped by a po-po who's not too bright.

WRT insurance, you'll want to check very carefully to be sure you're covered under the policy. Often, a policy will only insure a vehicle not being driven by the insured if the driver has their own policy. In some circumstances, you might only be covered third party. Driving out of country/state also complicates things. Probably your best bet is to talk to your own insurance company and get, as you say, temporary coverage. It's typically cheap for short periods of time.

You'll probably have best luck talking to your own insurance company than trying to sort things out in the Americas. European insurance companies typically have a boatload of experience dealing with out-of-country situations. In the US, not so much.
So looks like I need to check with the insurance policy
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an "international driving license) is just an English translation of a non-US license. If the UK license is in English, there's no need to get an international equivalent.

Rene
That is my understanding too. The document is worthless on its own, but provides a formal multi-language translation of your license.
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 6:36 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an "international driving license) is just an English translation of a non-US license. If the UK license is in English, there's no need to get an international equivalent.

Rene

+1

That is all an international driver's license is. Since both UK and Canadian licenses are in English you don't need one.

What your uncle should do is call his insurance company and get a card that states his insurance is good in the US. We do the same when we drive from the US to Canada. We get a card stating the insurance is valid in Canada.

Since you are not the owner of the car, you might want your uncle to look into adding you to his policy.
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 7:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
+1

That is all an international driver's license is. Since both UK and Canadian licenses are in English you don't need one.

What your uncle should do is call his insurance company and get a card that states his insurance is good in the US. We do the same when we drive from the US to Canada. We get a card stating the insurance is valid in Canada.

Since you are not the owner of the car, you might want your uncle to look into adding you to his policy.
So what documents do we need to provide in total and is fax fine or are original copies required? My uncle lives quite far from here

Last edited by zakiahmaduk; Jul 2nd 2013 at 7:03 pm.
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 7:13 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by zakiahmaduk View Post
So what documents do we need to provide in total and is fax fine or are original copies required? My uncle lives quite far from here
1. Proof that you are allowed to drive his car and remove it from Canada (so they don't think you're stealing it)
2. Proof that the car is insured (preferably with your name as the insured).
3. Valid UK drivers license
4. Valid UK passport
5. Proof that you will leave the USA before your 90-day VWP visit ends

A fax or email from your uncle and the insurance company will probably be OK, if that's all you can get.

Rene
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 8:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an "international driving license) is just an English translation of a non-US license. If the UK license is in English, there's no need to get an international equivalent.

Rene
Well, certainly in the US it's covered by reciprocal agreements but the upside is that it does have "International Driving License" written across the front in very authoritative looking letters. When there's blue flashing lights in your rear-view mirror and Bubba is trying to remember why "United Kingdom" wasn't in the list of 50 states he was taught at school, it could come in handy.

Likelihood is it won't make any difference though
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Old Jul 2nd 2013, 8:50 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Trying to call the US Border but none of the numbers work! (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/c...er_service.xml)
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
1. Proof that you are allowed to drive his car and remove it from Canada (so they don't think you're stealing it)
2. Proof that the car is insured (preferably with your name as the insured).
3. Valid UK drivers license
4. Valid UK passport
5. Proof that you will leave the USA before your 90-day VWP visit ends
6. Proof that you are not going to leave the vehicle in the US.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 2:02 am
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by zakiahmaduk View Post
Trying to call the US Border but none of the numbers work! (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/toolbox/c...er_service.xml)
Calling the border probably won't do a lot of good. Your uncle has to contact his insurance company and get any required documents/acknowledgements that allows you to drive the car (car is insured for you) and drive it to the US. The insurance company should know what is required.

Since you are crossing an international border, all acknowledgements should be in writing.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 2:14 am
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

He will probably have to add you to his insurance policy. You will need to travel with the insurance documentation, your driver's license, the car registration and plenty of money for gas.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 1:32 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
My understanding (and I could be wrong) is that an "international driving license) is just an English translation of a non-US license. If the UK license is in English, there's no need to get an international equivalent.

Rene
It's actually a multiple language translation of the driver's home country driving license. Also, it is not actually a license - its official name is "International Driving Permit" (IDP). It is not valid on its own so must be accompanied by a valid driving license. It is not recognized in all countries. You are correct in that there really is no need to get one if you're driving in the US with a license that is already in English.
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Old Jul 3rd 2013, 6:32 pm
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Default Re: Driving from Canada to USA on UK Driving License?

Originally Posted by MarylandNed View Post
You are correct in that there really is no need to get one if you're driving in the US with a license that is already in English.
Unless you are going to Florida.
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