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Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Old Jan 10th 2010, 8:11 pm
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Default Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Hi, I came across this site after googling a topic which was similar to one posted in this website. The responses didn't quite match my situation, so here goes with the question. I hope you can help.
I am not an expat, and do not work or live in the US. I am a UK resident and own a second, vacation only property in South Carolina. In August 2009, I purchased and successfully registered a used car for use when visiting. I successfully obtained reasonably priced insurance against my UK Driver's Licence. All good so far.
Last week, my insurer sent me a letter stating that my underwriter in SC was now obliged (by a change in State Law) to obtain US Driver's Licences from all of their clients.
I am hoping that as a property owner who can demonstrate payment of property taxes, and as the owner of a B1/B2 Visa which is valid until 2015, I can register for a US Driver's Licence, even though I do not work or reside there, or have a Social Security number.
I am looking for any relevant advice that you guys may be able to offer.
Thanks in advance.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by danemo58 View Post
Last week, my insurer sent me a letter stating that my underwriter in SC was now obliged (by a change in State Law) to obtain US Driver's Licences from all of their clients.
Sorry, you're pretty much SOL.


I am hoping that as a property owner who can demonstrate payment of property taxes, and as the owner of a B1/B2 Visa which is valid until 2015, I can register for a US Driver's Licence, even though I do not work or reside there, or have a Social Security number.
Nope... SOL.


I am looking for any relevant advice that you guys may be able to offer.
Move to SC... or sell the car and get a car for hire when you're in the US... or drive without insurance.

Ian
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 8:28 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
Sorry, you're pretty much SOL.



Nope... SOL.



Move to SC... or sell the car and get a car for hire when you're in the US... or drive without insurance.

Ian
Is driving without insurance a legitimate legal option, or are you just joking? If legitimate, do I need to declare my absence of insurance with the dmv (with whom I had to demonstrate insurance to get the car registered in the first place), or not?
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 8:48 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Do you have a good friend there who'll insure it for you and you just drive it when in town? I'm same situation - live in SC, own a house, pay property tax and have a B1 and am in the US for approx 4 months of the year. My boyfriend insures my car and I drive on his insurance.
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 8:57 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
Do you have a good friend there who'll insure it for you and you just drive it when in town? I'm same situation - live in SC, own a house, pay property tax and have a B1 and am in the US for approx 4 months of the year. My boyfriend insures my car and I drive on his insurance.
Nice thinking. I can't see a neighbour (only friends I have there) putting me on his insurance, because if I crash/claim them his premium would go up? Even if I volunteer to pay that, any claims would presumably affect their otherwise good record. It'd be different if we were family, like you guys practically are.
It has been suggested to me that as a property taxpayer (whish implies residence) I should apply to the Social Security Dept (in Beaufort) for a SSN. They would then reject my application but I can use that rejection letter to successfully apply for a Licence. Ever heard that one before?
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

My OH has huge problems with renewing his licence in SC. When he first moved to US, he was in Charlotte, NC and they gave his a licence when he was just visiting back in 2003! When we built the house in SC in 2006, just over the state line, getting a licence took him about a year, so I know how frustrating it is. He has to renew yearly as he's on a H1b and he takes every bit of paper he has. This year it only took 5 trips to DMV and he got it by mistake as a junior physically gave it to him when she shouldn't have - pending another piece of paper! He legged it out of the office as quick as he could and someone came running out as he screeched around the corner..

Just try anything - they make up the rules as they go along!
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Old Jan 10th 2010, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by danemo58 View Post
Is driving without insurance a legitimate legal option, or are you just joking?
I'm not joking... but I don't believe it's legal either. Where I live, lots of folks drive without insurance for 6 months of the year. They pay the other 6 months because, like you, they need to demonstrate that the car is insured to get new plates or stickers.

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Old Jan 11th 2010, 2:32 am
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
I'm not joking... but I don't believe it's legal either. Where I live, lots of folks drive without insurance for 6 months of the year. They pay the other 6 months because, like you, they need to demonstrate that the car is insured to get new plates or stickers.
Glad I got coverage against uninsured drivers then....
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Old Jan 11th 2010, 12:46 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

Originally Posted by Orangepants View Post
Just try anything - they make up the rules as they go along!
You couldn't have said it better! That is SC for sure. You get a different answer each time to go into a DMV here. If you'e lucky they might know the answer too. It took me 2 attempts to get a DL here when I moved from NC in 2004.

This is all part of the anti-illegal immigrant drive (pardon the pun) here in SC. They've taken a leaf out of Oklahoma's book and done the same here. Unfortunately they didn't think about people such as the OP when they passed the law. As it is, unless you are able to physically move and reside 24/7 legally here, you're SoL as others have said. Having a local "own" your car is probably the only way to do it.

Other option is to sell up the property and buy in FL where I think they are still a bit more user-friendly to snowbirds. If everybody did that they'd soon get the message!
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Old Jan 30th 2010, 7:26 pm
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Default Re: Process for obtaining SC Driver's Licence

I agree, Getting a licence in SC is nigh on impossible. Best bet is to rely on their imcompetance of which there's no shortage. FL is easier
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