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US Drivers License and entry problems

US Drivers License and entry problems

Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:01 pm
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Default US Drivers License and entry problems

I visit the USA for 4-5 months each year on a B1/B2 visitor's visa.
Apparently as from last year your US Driver's license appears on the INS computer.

Last August on entry I was sent to secondary inspection where I had to explain at length why I have a WA drivers license - apparently it's a black mark against you, even though it's a legal requirement to obtain a WA license if you want to drive for more than 60 days. It was also a registration and insurance requirement for a car.

I don't think your car's registration is in their database, fortunately for me as I have a pickup truck!

I'd like to hear from others who have had this problem.
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:03 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Are you retired .....Or I should say of retirement age

Most Non citizen licences expire on the date of your I-94
if you can even get one ..

Last edited by Ray; Mar 30th 2008 at 4:05 pm.
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:20 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Yes Ray, I'm 63 and retired (ie on a company pension). Not sure that has 'owt to do with it - though I guess the INS would take that as evidence that I don't intend to work in the US.

I didn't have any trouble getting my WA license. After the test (very easy, I got 100%!) they gave me it for the full 5 years. I just had to show them my I94 and sign a statement to say I was a non US resident. Last year I renewed it for a further 5 years, no probs just the same statement.

But with all the fuss about NY licenses I imagine the paranoia will drift west.
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:30 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by spaarks View Post
Yes Ray, I'm 63 and retired (ie on a company pension). Not sure that has 'owt to do with it - though I guess the INS would take that as evidence that I don't intend to work in the US.

I didn't have any trouble getting my WA license. After the test (very easy, I got 100%!) they gave me it for the full 5 years. I just had to show them my I94 and sign a statement to say I was a non US resident. Last year I renewed it for a further 5 years, no probs just the same statement.

But with all the fuss about NY licenses I imagine the paranoia will drift west.
Snowbirds as we call retirees down here have very little problem
on 6 month entries...the CIS .have no problem with that at all normally
Here in Florida we have 1000s every year

Expect your driving licence rules to change eventually ..

I believe you extended your B-2 at sometime ..that was probably
the reason for the pull ..dont try that too often...
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:43 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

I guess in FL they welcome you with open arms, with tourism contributing so much to the economy. What ratio of time-out to time-in can you get away with? I know there is no official rule, except that going out to Mexico or Canada doesn't qualify.

I don't think my extensions were the reason for me being pulled, as they didn't mention it. I don't think it is in their database as long as you don't overstay. Reading between the lines I think their database only holds entries and criminal activities.
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:48 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by spaarks View Post
I guess in FL they welcome you with open arms, with tourism contributing so much to the economy. What ratio of time-out to time-in can you get away with? I know there is no official rule, except that going out to Mexico or Canada doesn't qualify.

I don't think my extensions were the reason for me being pulled, as they didn't mention it. I don't think it is in their database as long as you don't overstay. Reading between the lines I think their database only holds entries and criminal activities.
Believe me ..they seem to know everything ...they even corrected me on the date I entered 3 years previously at one time ..If you exceed 180 days in any 12 month period thay can get snotty .. go along with that ..and its all smooth
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 4:51 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

I think you wil find the rule requiring License after 60 days applies to WA residents, not visitors.

It does in most States.
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Old Mar 30th 2008, 5:02 pm
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Yes, apart from one incident it was quite smooth - until last time when my drivers license appeared on their computer! That was at a Canadian land border, where they might be a bit more suspicious.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 1:21 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Hi there,

There is no requirement for tourists to get a WA Driving Licence if they intend to drive for more than 60 days.

The reason is due to the Geneva Convention, a treaty that both the UK, US and many other countries signed. Basically it says that visitors have the right to drive for up to one year if they are in the foreign country as a tourist. If you were to become a resident then a time limit would apply similar to the time limit if a US Citizen moved to the state.

All states have the same requirement since it was the US government that signed the treaty so this particular rule is outwith their control.

More info available here
http://www.dol.wa.gov/driverslicense/driverguide.pdf in the Non Residents and Visitor section.

Also the Wisconsin DOT has much more detail. http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/drivers...ly/foreign.htm

Now as far as your little problem with immigration now that you have a licence, I do not know. I obtained my WA licence in early 2001. Two years before I became a resident and had no problems.
Things have probbly changed now.

It still seems weird, to me anyway, that a driving licence means anything more than proof that you have passed a driving test.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 1:54 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by spaarks View Post
I guess in FL they welcome you with open arms, with tourism contributing so much to the economy. What ratio of time-out to time-in can you get away with? I know there is no official rule, except that going out to Mexico or Canada doesn't qualify.

I don't think my extensions were the reason for me being pulled, as they didn't mention it. I don't think it is in their database as long as you don't overstay. Reading between the lines I think their database only holds entries and criminal activities.
It's lucky you don't need any help or advice, because you clearly know way more than Ray and the rest of us.

So what's your problem again? Something about your WA drivers license... which you don't need, because you're not a WA resident. The 60-day-rule (according to the WA DMV, it's actually 30 days) only applies to people who move to WA as residents.

So it's not surprising that you have a black mark on your file with USCIS - you appear to have told the WA DMV that you were resident in the state. That's not a very good thing to have done, since you're not, is it?
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 2:03 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by dbj1000 View Post
It's lucky you don't need any help or advice, because you clearly know way more than Ray and the rest of us.

So what's your problem again? Something about your WA drivers license... which you don't need, because you're not a WA resident. The 60-day-rule (according to the WA DMV, it's actually 30 days) only applies to people who move to WA as residents.

So it's not surprising that you have a black mark on your file with USCIS - you appear to have told the WA DMV that you were resident in the state. That's not a very good thing to have done, since you're not, is it?
Actually the original poster mentioned that he had signed a statement that he was not a US resident as a condition of getting his WA license, so I don't see why you think that he must have told them that he was a WA resident.

He may not *need* a WA license in the sense that he is not legally *required* to have one, but that doesn't mean that he isn't allowed to have one if he wants to.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 2:08 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

In the WA DMV there is clearly a requirement that you need to show proof of residence. However when I got my licence I simply needed an ID (passport) as proof of who I was. No one at the DMV asked for the proof of residence as they said would be needed in the handbook.

I think in this case we should be asking why the staff at the WA DMV are not following their own guidelines and are issuing Driving licences to non residents.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 4:23 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
In the WA DMV there is clearly a requirement that you need to show proof of residence. However when I got my licence I simply needed an ID (passport) as proof of who I was. No one at the DMV asked for the proof of residence as they said would be needed in the handbook.

I think in this case we should be asking why the staff at the WA DMV are not following their own guidelines and are issuing Driving licences to non residents.
Don't you have a passport?
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 6:12 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by k1journey View Post
In the WA DMV there is clearly a requirement that you need to show proof of residence. However when I got my licence I simply needed an ID (passport) as proof of who I was. No one at the DMV asked for the proof of residence as they said would be needed in the handbook.

I think in this case we should be asking why the staff at the WA DMV are not following their own guidelines and are issuing Driving licences to non residents.
Well, presumably that would be because the employees of the WA DMV are just as clueless as those of any other state

Seriously, though, it would be a mistake to assume that the term "resident" as used by the Washington DMV with regard to residency in the state has the same meaning as it does when it is used by USCIS.
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Old Mar 31st 2008, 6:37 am
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Default Re: US Drivers License and entry problems

Originally Posted by md95065 View Post
Well, presumably that would be because the employees of the WA DMV are just as clueless as those of any other state

Seriously, though, it would be a mistake to assume that the term "resident" as used by the Washington DMV with regard to residency in the state has the same meaning as it does when it is used by USCIS.
I seem to remember that WA was recommended as a place those who were undocumented could get a DL.

I must have been to 30 odd countries, never thought of getting a DL in other than two of them.
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