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Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Old Feb 10th 2009, 4:46 pm
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Default Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Hi guys,

First post on the site and I'm hoping someone can help me out!

I'm 28 and am on a year long working visa in New York which may, or may not, get renewed given the current economic climate.

Anyway, I plan on renting a car in New Mexico at the start of May and have a valid UK driving licenece which I've held for 10 years.

Is this all I need to hire a car? I know a rental place will give me one I just want to check my insurance etc will be valid! I ask because I'm no longer deemed a tourist having been here for five months and just want to check that I don't need to apply for a US licence or international permit etc.

I've found so much conflicting information that I just wanted to check with people who have no dout been there and done it!

Thanks!
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Your UK licenece [SIC] will be fine and will be all you need. You don't need a US licence as you are NOT a permanent resident.

Incidentally, there is no such thing as an international permit.

One thing you said concerns me though. what do you mean "I just want to check my insurance etc will be valid!"
You mean your UK car insurrance/ or the insurrance you'll get from the rental agency?
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Michelmas View Post
Your UK licenece [SIC] will be fine and will be all you need. You don't need a US licence as you are NOT a permanent resident.

Incidentally, there is no such thing as an international permit.

One thing you said concerns me though. what do you mean "I just want to check my insurance etc will be valid!"
You mean your UK car insurrance/ or the insurrance you'll get from the rental agency?
I think the concern is that given this guy is here on a visa and there is probably a requirement in NY to get a license within x amount of time of being resident in the state (not the same as being a permanent resident), then if he needs to make a claim on the insurance they could argue he should have had an NY license. It's a valid concern. Usually if you are not on a visa valid for longer than a year then you don't need the state license so there might be a way around it.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
I don't think he needs to be a PR..he's a resident of the US that's all that matters isn't it? This is one of those things that is probably different from state to state...I suggest he checks the requirements for NY.
Correct we have had this before hey!! lol but every state is different in thier requirements.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Michelmas View Post
Your UK licenece [SIC] will be fine and will be all you need. You don't need a US licence as you are NOT a permanent resident.
Not in terms of immigration but in terms of being resident of a state they probably are. It varies by state but a large number you become resident after 30 days of living there, taking a job or other such qualifying event. They may need a US license in NY but should be fine in New Mexico seeing as they aren't resident there, unless they qualify as resident based on the states definition.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
Correct we have had this before hey!! lol but every state is different in thier requirements.
I've just deleted my post because I realised he's wanting to drive in New Mexico.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

A couple of things - yes, there is an international drivers permit http://www.theaa.com/getaway/idp/motidp002.html

And second, yeah, I meant the insurance i take out when hiring the car. I know my UK insurance won't cover me, particularly as it ended when I left the uk!

So far that's two responses and two different answers. Does anyone know definitively? I've tried the UK embassy sites, the rental car companies (website and phones them), the New Mexico drivers something or other!

I just want to make sure that when I take out insurance that IF I have an accident I am covered and have the right paperwork to show to the police! Didn't think it would be this difficult!
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
A couple of things - yes, there is an international drivers permit http://www.theaa.com/getaway/idp/motidp002.html

And second, yeah, I meant the insurance i take out when hiring the car. I know my UK insurance won't cover me, particularly as it ended when I left the uk!

So far that's two responses and two different answers. Does anyone know definitively? I've tried the UK embassy sites, the rental car companies (website and phones them), the New Mexico drivers something or other!

I just want to make sure that when I take out insurance that IF I have an accident I am covered and have the right paperwork to show to the police! Didn't think it would be this difficult!

Do you have a CCard check with them they normally give you automatic cover for car rental.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by neil View Post
I think the concern is that given this guy is here on a visa and there is probably a requirement in NY to get a license within x amount of time of being resident in the state (not the same as being a permanent resident), then if he needs to make a claim on the insurance they could argue he should have had an NY license. It's a valid concern. Usually if you are not on a visa valid for longer than a year then you don't need the state license so there might be a way around it.
That's exactly my concern expressed far more succinctly than I managed to!

My visa, incidentally, is for 13 months
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:03 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Michelmas View Post

Incidentally, there is no such thing as an international permit.
Well kind of, but it's just a translation, worth having if you have the old style license without a photo though...
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
Do you have a CCard check with them they normally give you automatic cover for car rental.

I do have a credit card - a virgin american express and surprisingly they don't cover me.

But, even if they did, that wouldn't help the fact that the police would want to see the correct paperwork.

I've been looking for answers on this for days! I KNOW I could just book it, claim to be a tourist and be fine BUT, there is always that slim chance I have an accident!
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:06 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
I do have a credit card - a virgin american express and surprisingly they don't cover me.

But, even if they did, that wouldn't help the fact that the police would want to see the correct paperwork.

I've been looking for answers on this for days! I KNOW I could just book it, claim to be a tourist and be fine BUT, there is always that slim chance I have an accident!
Why don't you ask the car rental company...surely they should know?
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
I do have a credit card - a virgin american express and surprisingly they don't cover me.

But, even if they did, that wouldn't help the fact that the police would want to see the correct paperwork.

I've been looking for answers on this for days! I KNOW I could just book it, claim to be a tourist and be fine BUT, there is always that slim chance I have an accident!
http://www.dmv.org/ny-new-york/apply...p#Non-Citizens

And it would help the CC they faxed me proof of coverage from mine, but its a no go for Virgin weird hey!
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:08 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Scot_in_NYC View Post
I've been looking for answers on this for days! I KNOW I could just book it, claim to be a tourist and be fine BUT, there is always that slim chance I have an accident!
You should be fine. If you were in NY you would need a NY license. If you are driving in any other state then you are a visitor of that state and don't need a state license.
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Old Feb 10th 2009, 9:10 pm
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Default Re: Driving in the USA - I'm confused so please help!

Originally Posted by Poppy girl View Post
http://www.dmv.org/ny-new-york/apply...p#Non-Citizens

And it would help the CC they faxed me proof of coverage from mine, but its a no go for Virgin weird hey!
I don't want to drive in NYC, and, I'm actually a resident of New Jersey - I know you couldn't have known that given my username! Sorry!
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