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New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Old Feb 10th 2011, 8:00 am
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Default New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Hello all,

I've been lurking for a bit but had a question and thought I'd sign up and say hello. I'm a Brit who works for an American company and am transferring to our Florida office next month on a H1B visa. Pretty stressed about the move at the moment but looking forward to a change of scene!

Back in '99 I did a study abroad program in the US and was given a social security number. Would that number stay with me for life, or would I need a new one when I arrive?

Next question is about buying a car. I'll be looking to pick up something cheap within the first week, paying cash, any problems with doing that? I don't need to get a US drivers license first or jump through any other hoops?

Many Thanks,

Colin
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Back in '99 I did a study abroad program in the US and was given a social security number. Would that number stay with me for life, or would I need a new one when I arrive?
My understanding is that once you have a US SSN it's yours for life. If you did apply for a new card, you'd need to disclose your previous application and they'd just send you the same number over again.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 1:52 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Would that number stay with me for life...
Yes.

Ian
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 3:12 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Next question is about buying a car. I'll be looking to pick up something cheap within the first week, paying cash, any problems with doing that? I don't need to get a US drivers license first or jump through any other hoops?
Check with the DMV where you'll be living. You might not need a DL, but you might need proof of US car insurance.

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Old Feb 10th 2011, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

If you email the Federal Benefits Unit at the London Embassy they will verify your number and send you a printout. I believe I filled out a form, emailed it to them and had the number sent by regular post within a week. Then when you get here, go the SSA office and get a new card which you must have to get a driving licence.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 4:36 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
If you email the Federal Benefits Unit at the London Embassy they will verify your number and send you a printout. I believe I filled out a form, emailed it to them and had the number sent by regular post within a week. Then when you get here, go the SSA office and get a new card which you must have to get a driving licence.
Thanks to everyone who replied on this point. I have the card in hand (impressed with myself that I found it after 10 years!) so I think I'm ok.


Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Check with the DMV where you'll be living. You might not need a DL, but you might need proof of US car insurance.

Rene
Many thanks, from further research it seems that I'm ok with the British DL but that taking the Florida license straightaway is worth doing for cheaper insurance, and the fact that I'll need to sooner or later because I'm staying >3 months.

Is there a separate motorcycle test in the US like in the UK?
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 4:53 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Thanks to everyone who replied on this point. I have the card in hand (impressed with myself that I found it after 10 years!) so I think I'm ok.




Many thanks, from further research it seems that I'm ok with the British DL but that taking the Florida license straightaway is worth doing for cheaper insurance, and the fact that I'll need to sooner or later because I'm staying >3 months.

Is there a separate motorcycle test in the US like in the UK?
Hello K2Col and welcome to The Sunshine State!
I had a similar experience. I did BUNAC back in 1991 got a SSN. I moved to Florida last year and I have the exact same piece of paper from 20 years ago! I recieved an annual SS statement last year and it showed my $85 payment that I made way back then!

If you are going to apply for a FL licence you have 10 days to make an appointment. You can do it online.

Welcome to the crazy world of driving in Florida!
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 5:47 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Is there a separate motorcycle test in the US like in the UK?
http://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/mtcynewlaw.html

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Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:15 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

There certainly is a motorcycle test in Florida, regardless of previous experienceas far as I am aware. You are required to take classroom instruction and pass a written test (I think 80%+) before practical instruction and test. Can be done in lots of places, using their bikes - provide own gloves and boots, and helmet if you have one, otherwise use theirs. You will probably find it can be taken at a local Harley store.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:24 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post
Thanks to everyone who replied on this point. I have the card in hand (impressed with myself that I found it after 10 years!) so I think I'm ok.




Many thanks, from further research it seems that I'm ok with the British DL but that taking the Florida license straightaway is worth doing for cheaper insurance, and the fact that I'll need to sooner or later because I'm staying >3 months.

Is there a separate motorcycle test in the US like in the UK?
Go on DMV for Florida and all the rules of that state will be there......I think if you ride solo you don't have to take your Florida motorcycle test right away not sure of the cc laws on that, but can find out if you need, then you can apply for extensions to that rule. There is not a helmet law in place at the moment, but that could change after bike week Daytona, deaths at bike week always spark talk of changes to the helmet law. Every state is different on their laws. Happy riding. Just remembered the helmet law, you have to carry a medical insurance card with you to ride without a helmet. only know all this with living in Florida for 16yrs and my hubby being a Harley rider, on moving too Virginia he had to take his test before he could ride.

Last edited by anne55; Feb 10th 2011 at 6:40 pm.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:35 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by janette View Post
There certainly is a motorcycle test in Florida, regardless of previous experienceas far as I am aware. You are required to take classroom instruction and pass a written test (I think 80%+) before practical instruction and test. Can be done in lots of places, using their bikes - provide own gloves and boots, and helmet if you have one, otherwise use theirs. You will probably find it can be taken at a local Harley store.
However many people don't take it, and just ride anyway. Many cops don't seem to care, most motorists don't care for motorcyclists either.

Where are you moving in Fl?
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:52 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by anotherlimey View Post
However many people don't take it, and just ride anyway. Many cops don't seem to care, most motorists don't care for motorcyclists either.

Where are you moving in Fl?
I don't know why they pay for their tags just like everyone else, and they dont slouch back in their seats, so the only visual you get is from the forehead up.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 6:57 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

If you're transferring, why aren't you getting a L1 visa? Wouldn't have to wait till Oct to start, presuming you don't already have the visa for the last fiscal year, and if you've a spouse, they could work.

Anyway, welcome to BE and good luck!
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 7:52 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by janette View Post
There certainly is a motorcycle test in Florida, regardless of previous experienceas far as I am aware. You are required to take classroom instruction and pass a written test (I think 80%+) before practical instruction and test. Can be done in lots of places, using their bikes - provide own gloves and boots, and helmet if you have one, otherwise use theirs. You will probably find it can be taken at a local Harley store.
It's also worth checking if the MSF course is accepted by the DMV as a way to get the motorcycle endorsement. I did that here in an NV (took their experienced rider course as I did ride a lot on the UK and probably well above average over here, too) and I really liked it as you actually learn something and/or unlearn some bad habits.

Of course I was the only idiot who turned up with the bike on a trailer, all the others who needed to pass the MSF course to get their endorsement just rode there .

BTW, for some odd reason you don't seem to need insurance on a motorcycle in Florida - I leave it to your imagination if that's a good plan given the high blind & deaf retiree density there, but that probably explains why people don't necessarily bother with the DL. Heck, it was good enough for Arnold for a long time.
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Old Feb 10th 2011, 9:05 pm
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Default Re: New member hello - emigrating to FL next month!

Originally Posted by k2col View Post

Is there a separate motorcycle test in the US like in the UK?
I think the others have nailed the legalities of this one, but let me say that you should check out how they drive here first before you decide if you want to ride here.

Much like you plan to, I relocated with work around 1.5yrs ago. I used to ride in Scotland, but I'm not in a hurry to buy a bike here.

Some things to consider:

* If you want to wear all the protective gear you wear in the UK - forget it. you'll melt in the summer here. Many of the guys I know here with bikes consider them a winter toy.

* Weather. Here in Tampa, in the summer, it rains VERY heavily every other day around 4pm. You don't want to ride home from work in that!

* Standard of driving here is much lower than in UK. I see many more accidents here, people reversing on the highway, and everyone seems incapable of driving their huge SUV without being welded to their cell phone, and they don't see anything wrong with drinking a few beers after work before driving home. All of these are serious contributing factors to you and your bike becoming a mere 'speed bump'.

Before the trolls jump on me, yes, I've made some sweeping generalisations here, but just be aware that you will need to have eyes on the back of your head and built in air-conditioning if you're going to ride here.

Anyway, there's not a decent corner in the whole state, but there are no suicidal sheep here to run out in front of you!

Good luck on the move.
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