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New Jersey Driving License Review

New Jersey Driving License Review

Old Mar 25th 2009, 8:22 pm
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Default New Jersey Driving License Review

Hi

Anyone had to go thru a New Jersey Driving License Review ?

I went down to Elizabeth today to convert my UK license to a NJ one. Had to do a written test (all correct if you must ask !) and then the woman attempted to issue a license to me but had some system warning.

She said that there are 2 people with the same name and similar birth dates. She then said I needed to go to Regional to sort it out and gave me an address in Newark. I went up there and they said they don't do it and I need to go to Patterson, East Orange (why is the DMV always in dodgy areas?) or Newton.

I have no idea what its all about but I'm off to Newton tomorrow (on the basis that its not East Orange or Patterson.....).

Also they will only give me a license for less than a year because I don't have a greencard in my possession yet (only got the I-551 which is only valid for a year - I entered last week but visa was issued in Oct last year).

So any comments ? What should I expect ? Should I take everything I own as proof I'm not this other guy ? Its pretty freaky that a guy with the same name and same birthday (but 1 year less) is running around in Jersey.....

Thanks all.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

grrr.... the I-551 endorsed MRIV in your passport is the equivalent of a Green Card.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 8:52 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
grrr.... the I-551 endorsed MRIV in your passport is the equivalent of a Green Card.
Yeah but the DMV probably won't recognise this. I know it was a while ago but we gave them our UK PP as a form of ID and they didn't know what it was...or what to do with it. The supervisor actually thought it was issued by the state of Oklahoma...(UK = OK...I know it's a stretch but get it?) It was then approved.

To the OP try another DMV...I suggest a better area and yes take all the proof you can.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:00 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

thx - the 551 only shows its valid for a year but I was expecting to at least get it from the time it was endorsed rather than when it was issued.

I'm off to the sticks tomorrow to do the License Review process and see what that is all about. I'd start again at another dmv but this is the only one in our county that does the written tests and deals with foreigners. It may have worked out better if my spanish wasn't so rubbish

Its certainly been a lesson in how this place works - hope its not indicative....
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:28 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by goatherder View Post
thx - the 551 only shows its valid for a year but I was expecting to at least get it from the time it was endorsed rather than when it was issued.

<snip>

Its certainly been a lesson in how this place works - hope its not indicative....
The "I-551" is actually the green card form number.

What is in your passport is a Machine Readable Immigrant Visa. When endorsed, as yours is, it serves as a temporary form I-551 for one year *from the date of endorsement* (date of entry).
I'm not entirely clear with what you wrote in the first sentence.

Regardless, once you are a Permanent Resident (you are), you are one until USCIS tells you you are not. While you are always supposed to carry documentation of your status (the green card or your pp), if a document expires, your status does not.
That's why these DMVs make me crazy.

Indicative of how this place works? Well, in a way it is. Since 9/11/01 the US gov't has been trying to block up a number of holes that were in the previous, State-independent duties, particularly around documentation.

See, you think a driver's license is just for driving cars. In a few months, you'll see that it's an important piece of US ID and that it's finally being issued only after making sure that the bearer is someone with legal presence etc etc.

Hopefully everything will become easier for you.
Don't recommend that you 'convert' your UK license either. You might want to hang onto that, since it's not going to benefit you in getting a US one anyway.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:40 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

sorry for the dodgy terminology...

I guess my thoughts are that they are trying to limit the validity of the driving licence for the time it says I'm able to stay in the US in my passport irrespective of what is coming down the track.

Hence I read "from date of endorsement" to mean the date that my entry to the US was made (ie the date of entry) not the date the Visa was issued. So I have an issue with them only giving me a driving licence with 6 months to expiry. They seem to be basing the expiry date of the license on the Visa issue date (Oct 08) rather than my entry date (Mar 09). So it seems that I'll get a licence that expires in Oct 08 rather than Mar 10. Worst case for me would be that the physical green card takes longer than 6 months and I'm left with a expired licence but no way of renewing it.

I've assumed that they will take my UK license off me and issue a US one (as the UK did when I switched from a Queensland (Aust) one to a UK one 10 years ago). Good to know that I'll retain a UK however.

They were pretty friendly to me (to others not so much) so I've got no complaints yet - just intrigued as to what this review is all about.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:43 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by goatherder View Post
sorry for the dodgy terminology...

I guess my thoughts are that they are trying to limit the validity of the driving licence for the time it says I'm able to stay in the US in my passport irrespective of what is coming down the track.

Hence I read "from date of endorsement" to mean the date that my entry to the US was made (ie the date of entry) not the date the Visa was issued. So I have an issue with them only giving me a driving licence with 6 months to expiry. They seem to be basing the expiry date of the license on the Visa issue date (Oct 08) rather than my entry date (Mar 09). So it seems that I'll get a licence that expires in Oct 08 rather than Mar 10. Worst case for me would be that the physical green card takes longer than 6 months and I'm left with a expired licence but no way of renewing it.

I've assumed that they will take my UK license off me and issue a US one (as the UK did when I switched from a Queensland (Aust) one to a UK one 10 years ago). Good to know that I'll retain a UK however.

They were pretty friendly to me (to others not so much) so I've got no complaints yet - just intrigued as to what this review is all about.
They didn't get my UK license...tell them it's the property of the Crown and they have no right to take it. That'll fool them.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:46 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

I think the reveiw is specific to the name hit they got for you.

BUT, if you want to dig out their web page for required documentation I'll see if I can find the lingo that lets them give you a year. You are completely correct that they will limit the DL validity to the validity of your documentation.
IE, one year from your entry date.

The visa is a one time event. It's done, used up and it was only valid for 6 months, to let you in the gate.
Normally, it would be the I-94 arrival/departure card they look at.
Can't blame them for getting confused, (you're a mostly rare case) but it bugs me that they don't put a little more effort into it considering all the press this topic has had over the past few years (google REAL ID Act for info).


Don't even show/whisper/breathe about the UK dl. How unfortunate that you left it at home packed in a trunk in the storage unit that only your MIL has a key to.

lol, or flash the Queen thing around. I'm just jealous.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:49 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Actually they asked me for a I-94 card - I told them I don't have one (its the green / white bit of card they stick in your passport right?)

That confused matters some what.

Re the Aust Licence - The UK DVLA told me that they would return it to Australia - nice of them I thought.

The lady at Elizabeth was suggesting that since I had a UK Licence I wouldn't need to do a road test - just the written.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

sorry further info - just pulled the bit of paper with all the details on it they gave me (ie the actual licence) - at the top it says temp immigration status... I might ask these people at the review if thats correct tomorrow.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 9:53 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by goatherder View Post
Actually they asked me for a I-94 card - I told them I don't have one (its the green / white bit of card they stick in your passport right?)

That confused matters some what.

Re the Aust Licence - The UK DVLA told me that they would return it to Australia - nice of them I thought.

The lady at Elizabeth was suggesting that since I had a UK Licence I wouldn't need to do a road test - just the written.
Suggest you arm yourself with their actual regulations. NJ *may* have reciprocity with the UK, but I dont' think so (you drive on the wrong side of the road afterall. )
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 10:09 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Suggest you arm yourself with their actual regulations. NJ *may* have reciprocity with the UK, but I dont' think so (you drive on the wrong side of the road afterall. )
If you hold a UK licence all that's required in NJ is the written test. The DMV I went to didn't ask me to hand over my UK licence.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 10:10 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

arh disco..

Thanks jerseygirl! - last thing I wanted was to have to go for another appointment!
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 10:13 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl View Post
If you hold a UK licence all that's required in NJ is the written test. The DMV I went to didn't ask me to hand over my UK licence.
Bien excellente! I thought I remembered something else special about NJ.
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Old Mar 25th 2009, 10:15 pm
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Default Re: New Jersey Driving License Review

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Bien excellente! I thought I remembered something else special about NJ.
You're just sucking up to me for a pack of chilli & choc crisps aren't you?
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