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Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Old Sep 23rd 2021, 5:48 pm
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Default Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Hi, I'm a noob here. I recently relocated to South Orange NJ from London by way of living in Queens for 2 years. I've got a valid UK license, but I don't know where to start getting the permit to drive in NJ. I made several attempts to call NJ DMV (pretty much useless). Having read this thread, it seems like I have up to 12 months? to get the NJ license and I'm entitled to drive with my UK license. What would you recommend I do next? - I'd like to get a lease from a local car dealer.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 5:52 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Welcome to BE. I have moved your post into a new thread of its own.

Best place to start is here…

https://www.nj.gov/nj/trans/vehicles/
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 5:58 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Thank you!
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 5:59 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Agebous01 View Post
Thank you!
BTW do not stress about the actual driving part of the test…it is extremely easy.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 6:12 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Correct you have 12 months after moving to NJ to get a NJ license. Until then you are permitted to drive on your UK license. I know there are conflicting opinions and muddy rules documented around this but this is the advice from our companies legal team.

You may struggle to get a lease or insurance without a state license so it's better to get it sooner rather than later. I wasn't able to complete certain lease forms as they force you to select a US state of your DL. Your experience may differ!

The steps to get a NJ license are actually straightforward so long as you can get the appointments:
  1. Get an appointment for an 'Initial Permit'
    • Note you may need to constantly check/refresh and be prepared to visit a center further away.
    • If you want sooner, be prepared to go on the same day or next day as cancellations occur daily.
    • Make sure you have all the required documentation and meet the 6 point score.
  2. After you have your initial permit you can make an appointment for your knowledge test.
    • Same appointment booking tips as above.
    • Study the NJ rules using mock tests and the NJ driving manual, particularly the special learner rules and fines/points system as usually at least 10% of the test will be on those topics. Other questions if you are already a driver will be easier.
    • Make sure they know you have the UK license. Note that you don't need to give this up.
    • Complete the eye test then knowledge test.
    • You will be able to forego a driving test based on your UK license. You'll be issued a temporary paper license on the day.
  3. License card arrives in the post some days later.
Note that if you are on a Visa, the expiry date of your license will match your I-94. So make sure you have the latest for your appointments.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Agebous01 View Post
Hi, I'm a noob here. I recently relocated to South Orange NJ from London by way of living in Queens for 2 years. I've got a valid UK license, but I don't know where to start getting the permit to drive in NJ. I made several attempts to call NJ DMV (pretty much useless). Having read this thread, it seems like I have up to 12 months? to get the NJ license and I'm entitled to drive with my UK license. What would you recommend I do next? - I'd like to get a lease from a local car dealer.

If you have already lived in the US for two years, it would seem that the 12 month rule would become moot, but the NJ experts can confirm whether that is so.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 6:54 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Thank you, Tino! This is very helpful.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 6:59 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Thank you, Nutmegger! I'll have to find out if I can still use the 12 month period. I moved to SO NJ only last month. Crossing my finger I can use it as making the DMV appointment for the first time US driver seems impossible at the mo.
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Old Sep 23rd 2021, 10:50 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Agebous01 View Post
Thank you, Nutmegger! I'll have to find out if I can still use the 12 month period. I moved to SO NJ only last month. Crossing my finger I can use it as making the DMV appointment for the first time US driver seems impossible at the mo.
Try a rural area if possible.
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Old Sep 24th 2021, 4:18 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Had to look up what a "noob" stood for. It is someone who does not know how to use the internet.

Jerseygirl has given you the website for the NJ DMV. Google is your friend.

It is doubtful that you will have an issue with getting your NJ driver's license. You won't be exchanging licenses but rather getting a new license and will have to do the practical and driving tests and perhaps classes, as well.

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Old Sep 24th 2021, 4:24 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Had to look up what a "noob" stood for. It is someone who does not know how to use the internet.

Jerseygirl has given you the website for the NJ DMV. Google is your friend.

It is doubtful that you will have an issue with getting your NJ driver's license. You won't be exchanging licenses but rather getting a new license and will have to do the practical and driving tests and perhaps classes, as well.
As the OP holds a UK DL there will be no lessons to take or practical driving test. If that has changed since I got my NJ DL, my daughter’s test was driving a couple of hundred yards in a empty car park. Then reversing between 2 cones about 50 ft apart. There is a multiple answer written exam to take.
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Old Sep 24th 2021, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

When I got my NJ license in late 2019 I didn't have to take a road test, just the knowledge test. Even pre-COVID it was a nightmare and took 3 visits and many hours of waiting. At least one of the times the system for the knowledge tests was broken. Also, you have to constantly repeat that you have a foreign licence, I had an issue where the employee didn't read the document properly and got themselves confused (and was very rude).

I don't envy you trying to do it these days, you'll have to book an appointment which is difficult to impossible (Google around for tips on how best to get them, I think they're released late at night). They are trying to get everyone to do things online but if you're not a Citizen or GC you can't. Not looking forward to renewing my licence next year...
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Old Sep 24th 2021, 4:41 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Thanks for all your suggestions here everyone! I have found various useful information on the NJ DMV stie, too via Google. But it would have been impossible to find the info on making the most out of my valid UK license in NJ on that site! So thanks again Another Q. How did you all get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. It's more concerning than actually passing the theory & practical driving tests!
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Old Sep 24th 2021, 4:46 pm
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Agebous01 View Post
How did you all get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. It's more concerning than actually passing the theory & practical driving tests!
You get used to it I have found technically driving in the US is much easier than the UK (wide roads, lower speed limits etc) but the standard of driving from others is much lower (not surprising considering the tests!). In general, expect everyone else to do something insane at any time and you'll be good. NJ/NY has a reputation of 'bad' drivers but it's more than people are aggressive and fast (speed limits are very optional here). It's also a very dense/busy area (think London).

For example, my American SO was confused the other day when I used the gears to maintain speed on a downhill (even in an automatic). Everyone else on the same road just sat on the brakes for a really long time.

Car insurance in NJ is also super expensive and the coverage varies unlike the UK, so check carefully when shopping around. State minimum coverage is crazy low (I think around $30k!!).

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Old Sep 25th 2021, 12:00 am
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Default Re: Help…NJ Drivers Licence

Originally Posted by Agebous01 View Post
Thanks for all your suggestions here everyone! I have found various useful information on the NJ DMV stie, too via Google. But it would have been impossible to find the info on making the most out of my valid UK license in NJ on that site! So thanks again Another Q. How did you all get used to driving on the wrong side of the road. It's more concerning than actually passing the theory & practical driving tests!
It took no adjusting whatsoever. You'll be fine.
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