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

Driving in USA

Driving in USA

Old Dec 11th 2009, 10:14 am
  #1  
Just Joined
Thread Starter
 
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 6
scoobygilchrist is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Driving in USA

I will soon be immigrating to the US. Can anyone tell me how long I can drive on a UK license in the USA. Should I get an International License before I leave?
Also is there anything I can take with me to prove no claims when arranging car insurance, or will I have to start again?
scoobygilchrist is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 10:53 am
  #2  
Septic Sprout
 
tonrob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: Singapore
Posts: 7,989
tonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond reputetonrob has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by scoobygilchrist View Post
I will soon be immigrating to the US. Can anyone tell me how long I can drive on a UK license in the USA. Should I get an International License before I leave?
Also is there anything I can take with me to prove no claims when arranging car insurance, or will I have to start again?
Use the search function to get lots of good info - there are at least a couple of threads about this every month, sometimes more.

International driving licenses are not required and give no advantage. The amount of time you can reside somewhere before having to get a local license varies by state. Google the the name of the state you are moving to and 'DMV' for more info.
tonrob is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 2:53 pm
  #3  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,259
BritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by scoobygilchrist View Post
a) Can anyone tell me how long I can drive on a UK license in the USA.

b) Should I get an International License before I leave?

c) Also is there anything I can take with me to prove no claims when arranging car insurance, or will I have to start again?
a) That varies by state. As you haven't told us which state you plan to live in.....

b) Don't bother, it's irrelevant. An International License only serves as a translation from a non-english license. As you have a license that's printed in English already, it would be useless.

c) You're starting again. Start saving up now.
BritishGuy36 is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 2:59 pm
  #4  
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Bluegrass Lass's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2003
Location: My Old KY Home!
Posts: 6,498
Bluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond reputeBluegrass Lass has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by scoobygilchrist View Post
I will soon be immigrating to the US. Can anyone tell me how long I can drive on a UK license in the USA. Should I get an International License before I leave?
Also is there anything I can take with me to prove no claims when arranging car insurance, or will I have to start again?
Only thing I'll add is that when my (now) husband came over on his fiancee visa, he brought with him a 'no claims' document. It actually did prove useful because my insurance company, Traveler's at that time, did take it into account when I added him and our rates were kept reasonable. However, that was over 5 years ago now, and I don't know if the same would hold true today. Best thing for you to do may be to shop around and see if any companies will take your 'no claims' into account.
Bluegrass Lass is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 3:12 pm
  #5  
BE Forum Addict
 
The Horticulturalist's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 1,540
The Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond reputeThe Horticulturalist has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by sunflwrgrl13 View Post
Only thing I'll add is that when my (now) husband came over on his fiancee visa, he brought with him a 'no claims' document. It actually did prove useful because my insurance company, Traveler's at that time, did take it into account when I added him and our rates were kept reasonable. However, that was over 5 years ago now, and I don't know if the same would hold true today. Best thing for you to do may be to shop around and see if any companies will take your 'no claims' into account.
I'd agree with Sunflower girl. The received wisdom is that no one will take your UK insurance information into account here, but you never know and it's certainly a lot easier to get it before you leave the UK.

I'd also advise that you plan on paying cash for a car if you can, you'll have no credit on arrival and will likely find it very difficult to get any kind of loan. Avoid hire purchase like the plague, it's a total waste of money.
The Horticulturalist is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 6:24 pm
  #6  
Bob
BE Site Lead
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,714
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: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
b) Don't bother, it's irrelevant. An International License only serves as a translation from a non-english license. As you have a license that's printed in English already, it would be useless.
except if the UK license is the old paper one without a photo, then it's worth getting, but other wise it's a waste of a fiver.
Bob is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 6:26 pm
  #7  
Bob
BE Site Lead
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,714
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: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by The Horticulturalist View Post
I'd also advise that you plan on paying cash for a car if you can, you'll have no credit on arrival and will likely find it very difficult to get any kind of loan. Avoid hire purchase like the plague, it's a total waste of money.
If you can put in a decent deposit it's a good idea to get a car loan, through a local credit union, AAA can help here actually...rates a bit poo, but keep a bit of a balance going for 6 months and it'll help build you some history.
Bob is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 6:58 pm
  #8  
Just Joined
 
MikeyT's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 21
MikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant future
Default Re: Driving in USA

With regards to c), I'd shop around different insurance companies. Some as a matter of policy do not take into account previous driving history but others do. I've lived in both Massachusetts and California as was able to find auto insurance that took into account my 10+ years of clean driving in the UK. I just had to produce my UK paper license and former policy documents for them.

Otherwise starting from scratch can be very expensive.
MikeyT is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 7:29 pm
  #9  
Bob
BE Site Lead
 
Bob's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Location: MA, USA
Posts: 91,714
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: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by MikeyT View Post
With regards to c), I'd shop around different insurance companies. Some as a matter of policy do not take into account previous driving history but others do. I've lived in both Massachusetts and California as was able to find auto insurance that took into account my 10+ years of clean driving in the UK. I just had to produce my UK paper license and former policy documents for them.
It's really a bit of a con because they don't really, just seems that way. What it really boils down to, if you've got the no claims letter or a UK drivers license that shows you've got more than 3 years clean history is that you get recorded as someone with a driving history as opposed to a new driver, so basically get treated as a 18 year old rather than a 15/16 year old. In MA that is at least.
Bob is offline  
Old Dec 11th 2009, 8:13 pm
  #10  
Just Joined
 
MikeyT's Avatar
 
Joined: Jun 2008
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 21
MikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant futureMikeyT has a brilliant future
Default Re: Driving in USA

Point taken. I agree overseas experience counts for relatively little vs US driving history. But my point for the OP was that I did save several hundred $ off my premium by shopping around different insurance companies and finding one that took UK experience into account.
MikeyT is offline  
Old Dec 22nd 2009, 7:48 pm
  #11  
Forum Regular
 
ajcmals's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Kentucky - Green Card came 2 months after marrying! :D
Posts: 188
ajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by scoobygilchrist View Post
I will soon be immigrating to the US. Can anyone tell me how long I can drive on a UK license in the USA. Should I get an International License before I leave?
Also is there anything I can take with me to prove no claims when arranging car insurance, or will I have to start again?
Each state is different but I moved to KY and got married in May 2009. My UK License is valid for 1 year. I got my Green Card REALLY fast after I applied for AOS. Last week I went to the local 'driving authority' thinking I had to take my actual drivers test again, turns out I only needed to take the written test (computer multi-choice) and eye test. They granted my KY License without having to do a road test, they said it's because I have my 'Green Card'. RESULT!

I would recommend waiting for your Green Card before applying for the drivers license, it could mean (depending on which state you are in) that you only have to do the written and eye test. Only cost me $20 for my license and got it there and then.

Good Luck!
ajcmals is offline  
Old Dec 22nd 2009, 9:43 pm
  #12  
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Feb 2008
Posts: 3,259
BritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond reputeBritishGuy36 has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Each state is different but I moved to KY and got married in May 2009. My UK License is valid for 1 year.
I doubt it. As soon as you become a resident of KY you need to get a license within 30 days, or you are unlicensed.

The definition of 'resident' varies between states and/or in comparison to federal law, and is definitely different to the description as it is viewed by USCIS/DHS. In other words, just because you don't receive your green card (i.e. become a permanent resident) for a few months doesn't mean you can drive on an out-of-country license.
BritishGuy36 is offline  
Old Dec 23rd 2009, 12:04 am
  #13  
Forum Regular
 
ajcmals's Avatar
 
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Kentucky - Green Card came 2 months after marrying! :D
Posts: 188
ajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond reputeajcmals has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by BritishGuy36 View Post
I doubt it. As soon as you become a resident of KY you need to get a license within 30 days, or you are unlicensed.

The definition of 'resident' varies between states and/or in comparison to federal law, and is definitely different to the description as it is viewed by USCIS/DHS. In other words, just because you don't receive your green card (i.e. become a permanent resident) for a few months doesn't mean you can drive on an out-of-country license.
Untrue, I called them twice to check I was ok to drive on my UK license. Also I have a couple of traffic Cop friends and they said the same. Notwithstanding the fact I was insured on my wife's car insurance WITH my British license number on their file.

In KY you get 1 year to get your KY license. I suppose if you got caught after this time they could penalise you.

But hey, do what you want, just telling you how it happened for me
ajcmals is offline  
Old Dec 23rd 2009, 12:09 am
  #14  
BE Enthusiast
 
helwardman's Avatar
 
Joined: Oct 2008
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 610
helwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond reputehelwardman has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Untrue, I called them twice to check I was ok to drive on my UK license. Also I have a couple of traffic Cop friends and they said the same. Notwithstanding the fact I was insured on my wife's car insurance WITH my British license number on their file.

In KY you get 1 year to get your KY license. I suppose if you got caught after this time they could penalise you.

But hey, do what you want, just telling you how it happened for me
helwardman is offline  
Old Dec 23rd 2009, 1:21 am
  #15  
L2, GC, Surrey, OH, TX!
 
MsElui's Avatar
 
Joined: Aug 2007
Location: Surrey to Dallas (via Ohio)!
Posts: 6,357
MsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond reputeMsElui has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Driving in USA

Originally Posted by ajcmals View Post
Each state is different but I moved to KY and got married in May 2009. My UK License is valid for 1 year. I got my Green Card REALLY fast after I applied for AOS. Last week I went to the local 'driving authority' thinking I had to take my actual drivers test again, turns out I only needed to take the written test (computer multi-choice) and eye test. They granted my KY License without having to do a road test, they said it's because I have my 'Green Card'. RESULT!

I would recommend waiting for your Green Card before applying for the drivers license, it could mean (depending on which state you are in) that you only have to do the written and eye test. Only cost me $20 for my license and got it there and then.

Good Luck!
but taking the test is such a piece of cake that why bother to wait? its not like its some incredible challenge or anything? I mean a 5 min drive round the block without killing anyone is fairly do-able
MsElui is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

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