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Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Old Jun 9th 2011, 2:30 am
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Default Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Sorry if this sounds like a daft question but I am confused!

We are from Uk. My husband has h1b visa and I have h4. He has ss number and I don't qualify for one. Does that make us residents or non-residents? From the information I have managed to find on the internet, the answer to that question appears to vary depending on the context.
I'm asking in relation to our driving licenses.

If we are classed as residents then it is my understanding that we can drive on our uk license for up to 30 days, but we must obtain a Texas driving license during that time.

If we are non-resident then we Have a year to obtain a Texas driving license as uk is part of a reciprocity agreement.

So back to my questions!

1. Are we residents or non-residents?

2. How long can we legally drive on our Uk license for?

Thank you to anyone who can clear this up for me!

Last edited by julie2; Jun 9th 2011 at 2:56 am.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 2:55 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by julie2 View Post
We are from Uk. My husband has h1b visa and I have h4. He has ss number and I don't qualify for one. Does that make us residents or non-residents? From the information I have managed to find on the internet, the answer to that question appears to vary depending on the context.
I'm asking in relation to our driving licenses.
Yes - it does vary according to context. The definition of "resident" is quite different depending on whether you are talking about immigration, taxation or something else.

Since driving licenses are issued by the states you have the additional complication that there are probably another 50 definitions depending on which state you are talking about.

The "simple" answer for most things like driving licenses is quite simply "do you live there" on a permanent or semi-permanent basis? If you own or rent property and spend a substantial amount of time there or if you work there and are paying state taxes then you are almost certainly going to be considered a resident.

If we are classed as residents then it is my understanding that we can drive on our uk license for up to 30 days, but we must obtain a Texas driving license during that time.
That sounds about right.

So back to my questions!

1. Are we residents or non-residents?
You have not given enough information for me to be able to answer this question, but my guess would be that "yes, you are residents" as far as the state is concerned.

2. How long can we legally drive on our Uk license for?
Assuming that you are residents, then up to 30 days from the time that you became a resident.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 3:33 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Thanks for your reply.

We ticked non resident when entering USA and immigration officials didn't contradict. Maybe we were wrong? We live in a company apartment so we don't pay rent. Husband works on a 12 week rotation then 2 weeks leave to spend in Uk if we choose. So the majority of the year is spent in Texas. My husband pays state tax.


I thought it was just me missing the obvious, but regarding resident status, it really isn't that straight forward!
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 4:08 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by julie2 View Post
the majority of the year is spent in Texas.
Your a resident.

Texas driving test is easy.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 4:43 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by cranston View Post
Your a resident.

Texas driving test is easy.
Ditto
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 5:08 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by julie2 View Post
We ticked non resident when entering USA and immigration officials didn't contradict. Maybe we were wrong?
Not quite sure what it was that you "ticked" when entering the US - as far as I know neither the I-94 or the US Customs form has a check box for resident vs non-resident, although the customs form does ask for your "country of residence" but, regardless of that, you weren't wrong - you are not residents for immigration purposes - you are visitors.

... but, as you now know, that has nothing to do with the way that a state regards you when it comes to drivers licenses (or, for that matter, the way that the IRS regards you when it comes to taxes) ...
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 10:03 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Please remember that the word "resident" means different things to different entities. It means one thing to the USICS and the Border Control, but a different thing entirely when it comes to matters under local control, such as drivers licenses and school districts.

By and large, with the exception of immigration and US federal taxes, your federal "resident" status or lack thereof will never really be queried based on the federal definition. Most of your day-to-day matters dealing with states and local governments will have a different state "resident" definition, of which there are probably 50 different definitions.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 11:01 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Texas doesnt appear to require you to provide a utility bill as proof of "residence" in the particular state you are applying in unlike some other states do when applying for a licence.
It would appear that " Present proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance on all vehicles you own." would determine that you physically lived in Texas.


http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/DriverL...forLicense.htm
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by Vimto View Post
It would appear that " Present proof of Texas vehicle registration and liability insurance on all vehicles you own." would determine that you physically lived in Texas.
Not as far as I can tell - it would just prove that you had registered and insured vehicles in Texas. (and, actually, I don't believe that it is really "all vehicles" because I am sure Texas doesn't know or care about that old MGB that you have back in the UK). That, in turn, might suggest that you were a resident for some purposes but I don't think that it would necessarily be definitive.

Texas doesnt appear to require you to provide a utility bill as proof of "residence" in the particular state you are applying in unlike some other states do when applying for a license.
True, but essentially irrelevant to the OP's original question and only likely to confuse them more.

For some reason lots of people fail to understand that the requirement that residents of a state must acquire a driving license from that state does not in any way imply that you need to be a resident in order to get a license. The two things are completely unrelated and many states do not specifically prohibit non residents from getting a license.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 7:03 pm
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

If you're living and working in a state you are generally considered a "resident" of the state, unless you are a student.

Get the license.

I think Texas is one of the few who allows foreigners 12 months to get a local license, but get it anyway, it's quick, it's easy, it makes your life easy and it is the defacto ID and life is just easier with it.

Plus insurance will be even shitter without a local license.
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Old Jun 9th 2011, 11:47 pm
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Thanks all for the info. You are right, there was no tick box at immigration, we were asked where our country of residence was and we put uk.

So......

In terms of immigration, our country of residence is UK.
But as far as the driving license is concerned we are residents in Texas so do the test!

Correct?:
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 12:10 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by julie2 View Post
Thanks all for the info. You are right, there was no tick box at immigration, we were asked where our country of residence was and we put uk.

So......

In terms of immigration, our country of residence is UK.
But as far as the driving license is concerned we are residents in Texas so do the test!

Correct?:
No.

Immigration-wise, you are non-immigrants, but resident in the US. "Permanent Resident Alien" is an immigration designation for people who have 'green cards'.

You are a US resident for all intents & purposes. You are not Permanent Resident Aliens.

I don't understand where you entered resident vs not at immigration entry.. maybe you meant on the Customs form?
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Originally Posted by meauxna View Post
Immigration-wise, you are non-immigrants, but resident in the US.
I understand what you are saying, and it makes sense, but it doesn't match up with the terminology used on this web page, for example, which quite clearly lumps all of the non-immigrant visas under "Types of Visas for Temporary Visitors" which leads to my understanding that, for immigration purposes, anyone on a non-immigrant visa is considered to be a "temporary visitor" (although, possibly in the US for an extended period of time) and not a "resident" for immigration purposes even though they may be considered to be a resident for just about every other possible purpose ...

That having been said, I know that when I was still on an H-1B visa US customs said that I should fill out the "residents" box not the "visitors" box on the customs form, but then again customs and immigration are not the same.

PS Do you think we have beaten this one to death yet?
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 4:11 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Tell you what.....

We'll just do the test!!

No more beating to death!!!

Thanks folks!
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Old Jun 10th 2011, 4:55 am
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Default Re: Texas driving license. Are we resident or non-resident?

Good luck with the DMV!
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