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FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Old Oct 21st 2016, 7:49 pm
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Default FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Hey Folks,
I'm confused, and somewhat frustrated!
It would seem that to buy a car in Florida, I need to have a US driving licence, as without that, I can't buy and register a car to myself, is this right?
However to get a US driving licence, I apparently need to have my SSN number, as well as various proofs of identity including my US address etc.
So, I surmise from all of this, that after landing in FL, I'm basically stuck with a hire car for at least one month .. as getting the SSN isn't a quick thing, and then once I have that, getting a driving test might take ~ 2 weeks, or more.
Or, am I missing something?
I know all about IAS for cars etc, but really I just want to land, and buy a second hand one .. and yes, I know, it'll have to be at least $12k Plus to not end up with a junker
Any help would be appreciated as I seem to be reading conflicting information in regards to all this.
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Old Oct 21st 2016, 8:58 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

It might be state dependent. Where are you reading this - is it a credible source? For a non-financed purchase of at least $10,000 SSN is required for an OFAC check with the federal government. This stems from the Patriot Act.

I bought a new car for cash before I was resident without a SSN or US DL but this was in 2007 and in SC. I registered the car in my name. I did have a US address.
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Old Oct 22nd 2016, 1:08 am
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

In many states, and Florida might be one of them, you need to have at least three proofs of where you live, i.e. lease, utility bill, bank statement, etc. Also you are required to have a social security number. If you are not eligible for one, then you get a letter from the SSO stating that you are ineligible for one and use that letter to get your driver's license.

As for purchasing a car, I never had to show my driver's license to have it registered. I did need proof of insurance, sales tax and registration fees. Your foreign license should be sufficient to cover the purchase of a vehicle.
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
..... I know all about IAS for cars etc, but really I just want to land, and buy a second hand one .. and yes, I know, it'll have to be at least $12k Plus to not end up with a junker
Any help would be appreciated .....
Remember that

(i) second hand cars are disproportionately expensive in the US,

And arguably more significantly for a new immigrant,

(ii) having a car loan is a great way to kick-start your credit history.

Last edited by Pulaski; Oct 23rd 2016 at 4:26 pm.
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

I can only speak for Colorado, they wanted the money.
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 9:24 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Remember that

(i) second hand cars are disproportionately expensive in the US,

And arguably more significantly for a new immigrant,

(ii) having a car loan is a great way to kick-start your credit history.
Hey Pulaski,
Yeah I know all about that, as I've read just about every car thread you've ever commented on
I appreciate the used car market in the states is crazy priced compared to the UK but .. it's all relevant. if a used car costs me say £15k to start with, then a few years later it'll still be worth £8-10k and so on ..
It can't possibly cost me significantly more then what I'm used to, then suddenly plummet a year after that to being worth nothing, swings and roundabouts
I'm good with all that though.
The main issue with something like IAS is I have no idea at all, what my yearly mileage is going to be, so taking on a car lease for 2-3 years is even more crazy

I get the whole credit rating thing, but theere are other ways .. secured loans, credit cards etc, but again, I'm good with that.

My main confusion is buying the actual car, everywhere I look, I get totally conflicting info about what I actually need to buy and register one in the first place :/ US driving licence would be required or not? who knows?
sales people that I've spoken to online are clueless about expats requirements as well .. Arrgghh!
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 10:41 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
.... The main issue with something like IAS is I have no idea at all, what my yearly mileage is going to be, so taking on a car lease for 2-3 years is even more crazy. ....
Are you buying or leasing? Are you here for life, or on a 2-3 year secondment?

FWIW, from what I have heard, IA are not so good for leases, .... a bit pricy, and my only experience is buying from them. If you have $12,000 for a car then plonk $6,000 deposit on a purchase, and you'll probably have 18+ months of payments from the other $6,000.
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Old Oct 23rd 2016, 11:21 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

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Old Oct 24th 2016, 12:44 am
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Pulaski, I'd be buying rather than leasing, and we're aiming to be in the US for life as we have Green cards
Yes I would agree leasing through IA isn't the best, but the guy I spoke to at some length, never really went into the buying aspect of things, he seemed to shy away from that any time I tried to go down that route? not too sure why.

Tuxedocat - Many thanks for that .. it does seem to indicate that no US driving licence is required, but at the same time it does contradict what I've read in many other places .. that also seemed to be pukka FL-DMV sites.
It all sounds so much more bloody involved though, what with registration and titles, taxes, licence plates requiring to be purchased, and all the other paperwork that seems to be involved such as proof of insurance, VIN verifications?? etc etc
Maybe it's really just not all that different, but just that it's all called different things, and of course it's a whole new process that I'm not familiar with ..
Ho hum .. I probably just need to get used to this experience x1000 huh?
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Old Oct 24th 2016, 1:59 am
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
Pulaski, I'd be buying rather than leasing, and we're aiming to be in the US for life as we have Green cards
How is it that you have green cards, but don't appear to have yet landed in the USA? Did you enter the USA using immigrant visas and then turn right around and return to the UK before applying for SSN, US drivers license, etc.?

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Old Oct 24th 2016, 2:10 am
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
Pulaski, I'd be buying rather than leasing, and we're aiming to be in the US for life as we have Green cards
Yes I would agree leasing through IA isn't the best, but the guy I spoke to at some length, never really went into the buying aspect of things, he seemed to shy away from that any time I tried to go down that route? not too sure why.

Tuxedocat - Many thanks for that .. it does seem to indicate that no US driving licence is required, but at the same time it does contradict what I've read in many other places .. that also seemed to be pukka FL-DMV sites.
It all sounds so much more bloody involved though, what with registration and titles, taxes, licence plates requiring to be purchased, and all the other paperwork that seems to be involved such as proof of insurance, VIN verifications?? etc etc
Maybe it's really just not all that different, but just that it's all called different things, and of course it's a whole new process that I'm not familiar with ..
Ho hum .. I probably just need to get used to this experience x1000 huh?
Once you get the can car insured, the rest is pretty easy. I know I've had Geico fax the proof of coverage right to the tax collector's office before. The dealers and ins companies are used to dealing with it.

Getting a license or state ID is always a PITA. I had to go around in circles trying to get a replacement SSN card for my son. Apparently you can only prove they exist with their birth certificate once.


Visiting Florida Frequently Asked Questions - Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
When must a driver get a Florida driver license?
You must get a Florida license within 30 days of becoming a resident. You are considered a resident of Florida if you:

1. Enroll your children in public school, or
2. Register to vote, or
3. File for a homestead exemption, or
4. Accept employment, or
5. Reside in Florida for more than six consecutive months.

Current law requires customers to present proof of legal name, lawful presence, Social Security Number and two forms of residential address. If your name has ever been changed by marriage, divorce or court order, then you must present these documents. You will have to provide proof of any and all name changes. To find out more regarding these documents, please visit GatherGoGet.

If you are not able to provide the necessary documents, you may be issued a 60-day temporary permit, providing your out-of-state license is valid or has been expired for 60 days or less. This will permit you to drive for 60 days while you are obtaining the documents.
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Old Oct 24th 2016, 6:00 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Noorah101, nope, we got our "temp" GCs at the embassy in London, and will be sent the proper ones once we have a US address to send them to

Tuxedocat - Thanks again for the extra info, sounds like you've already been through this particular ringer

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Old Oct 24th 2016, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
Noorah101, nope, we got our "temp" GCs at the embassy in London, and will be sent the proper ones once we have a US address to send them to. ....
What you have are visas, that is the correct description, and calling them "green cards", which they are not, is confusing.
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Old Oct 24th 2016, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Hmm, not sure I or Google agree with that Pulaski ..
"The primary difference between a green card and a visa is that the visa is only a temporary pass that lets you enter the United States and remain there for a specific period of time, whereas the green card is a permit that does not only allow you to enter the US, but also lets you stay there for as long as you want"
But I'm happy to call it a Visa from now on
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Old Oct 24th 2016, 6:27 pm
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Default Re: FL Driving Licence SSN and Buying a car!

Originally Posted by Porkis View Post
Hmm, not sure I or Google agree with that Pulaski ..
"The primary difference between a green card and a visa is that the visa is only a temporary pass that lets you enter the United States and remain there for a specific period of time, whereas the green card is a permit that does not only allow you to enter the US, but also lets you stay there for as long as you want"
But I'm happy to call it a Visa from now on. ....
What you have quoted is exactly consistent with what I just told you. You will arrive in the US using your visa, and you will immediately be granted permanent residence, evidenced by your green card, and the I-551 stamp in your passport until your actual "green card" arrives.

The visa you have is a single use visa (a "temporary pass" per what you just quoted), and on all future occasions that you leave the US, you will reenter the US using your green card.
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