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Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Old Jun 15th 2013, 4:42 pm
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Default Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Hello All

Apparently, our European driving licence is not converted to the MA one. I passed the reading test and got a learner's permit.

It will expire in a couple of years.

My question is, what am I allowed to do with such learner's permit? (I am above 21 years old) Can I drive until it expires?

Can I really not use my Swiss/British Driving license to drive here together with the international permit?

Thanks!
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Old Jun 15th 2013, 4:55 pm
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

The International DL means nothing here...it is just an English translation. Each state has it's own rules for the amount of time a resident can drive using an out of state DL. It can range from a month to several months...but certainly not a couple of years. No doubt someone who lives in MA will be along before long to help you. The info should be on MA's DMV website.
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Old Jun 15th 2013, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

A learner's permit usually requires an accompanying adult licensed driver. In California, they normally give a 90 day temporary (renewable) license to foreigners with a driver's license when they pass the written test allowing them time to get a full driver's license.
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Old Jun 15th 2013, 8:43 pm
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
The International DL means nothing here...it is just an English translation. Each state has it's own rules for the amount of time a resident can drive using an out of state DL. It can range from a month to several months...but certainly not a couple of years. No doubt someone who lives in MA will be along before long to help you. The info should be on MA's DMV website.
You'd think it was. Unfortunately, it's not. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone - police / RMV / attorney - who can authoritatively tell me how long I can drive on my UK drivers licence here for.

The RMV drivers handbook states that you may drive on a foreign licence 12 months, and the clock is reset everytime you leave and re-enter the USA.

It also states right next to it that 'the moment you become resident in MA, you must obtain a MA drivers licence. There is no grace period'. The last bit is bolded.

So, if I read that correctly, the moment I become 'resident' (the definition of which they don't publish anywhere) my UK licence is no longer valid. To make matters worse the wait for a driving test is 1 1/2 months currently.
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Old Jun 15th 2013, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post
You'd think it was. Unfortunately, it's not. In fact, I have yet to meet anyone - police / RMV / attorney - who can authoritatively tell me how long I can drive on my UK drivers licence here for.

The RMV drivers handbook states that you may drive on a foreign licence 12 months, and the clock is reset everytime you leave and re-enter the USA.

It also states right next to it that 'the moment you become resident in MA, you must obtain a MA drivers licence. There is no grace period'. The last bit is bolded.

So, if I read that correctly, the moment I become 'resident' (the definition of which they don't publish anywhere) my UK licence is no longer valid. To make matters worse the wait for a driving test is 1 1/2 months currently.
All the rules and regs differ from state to state. I think NJ has a 30 days grace period before you have to get a NJ DL. We took our test and got our DLs within a few days of arriving...because without a NJ DL you cannot get insurance...without insurance you can't get a new car.

I don't know about MA but we have several regulars who live in the state...perhaps they know. If no one seems to know the best thing would be to organise a DL as soon as you move.

Edit: Getting a US DL means that your insurance premiums should be reduced.

Last edited by Jerseygirl; Jun 15th 2013 at 8:58 pm.
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Old Jun 16th 2013, 12:31 am
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Learners permit means shit here.

You're starting from scratch if you don't have a full license.

At least with a full license you don't have to faff around with having to drive with someone that has a local license for at least 3 years and over 21, nor have to go through drivers ed and do the required number of hours driving.
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Old Jun 16th 2013, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Originally Posted by hungryhorace View Post

The RMV drivers handbook states that you may drive on a foreign licence 12 months, and the clock is reset everytime you leave and re-enter the USA.

It also states right next to it that 'the moment you become resident in MA, you must obtain a MA drivers licence. There is no grace period'. The last bit is bolded.

So, if I read that correctly, the moment I become 'resident' (the definition of which they don't publish anywhere) my UK licence is no longer valid. To make matters worse the wait for a driving test is 1 1/2 months currently.
That is only the case if you are not resident of the state. So if you were a student or here for medical treatment and what not.

You've got 30 days to get a license if you're considered a resident of the state.

I know someone who hadn't bothered after a few months get pulled over. Apart from the fine the statie gave them, the car was towed from the pike and cost a fortune to get released.
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Old Jun 16th 2013, 1:05 am
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Originally Posted by Bob View Post
That is only the case if you are not resident of the state. So if you were a student or here for medical treatment and what not.

You've got 30 days to get a license if you're considered a resident of the state.

I know someone who hadn't bothered after a few months get pulled over. Apart from the fine the state gave them, the car was towed from the pike and cost a fortune to get released.
The policeman was probably a badass. I've known many in California (including myself) that were pulled over while driving on an out of state license and nothing was said. In California, unless you flagrantly abuse the system and drive on an out of state or foreign license for a very long time, usually nothing happens.

Last edited by Michael; Jun 16th 2013 at 1:09 am.
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Old Jun 16th 2013, 3:31 am
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Default Re: Learner's Permit D - Massachussetts

Originally Posted by Michael View Post
The policeman was probably a badass. I've known many in California (including myself) that were pulled over while driving on an out of state license and nothing was said. In California, unless you flagrantly abuse the system and drive on an out of state or foreign license for a very long time, usually nothing happens.
Staties in this neck of the woods are known for getting your car towed if you don't have a valid license/insurance/registration.

Regular cops, less so.
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