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US Driving licence - FL now requires immigrants wait 30 days before issuing

US Driving licence - FL now requires immigrants wait 30 days before issuing

Old Jan 12th 2003, 9:24 pm
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Joined: Jan 2003
Location: Gainesville,FL
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niceukbloke is an unknown quantity at this point
Post US Driving licence - FL now requires immigrants wait 30 days before issuing

Hi Blokes & Birds,
here's my experience:
Moved to Missouri early last year - after I got my SSN (social security number) I went down the Department Of Revenue (driving licences/plates etc), took a free eye and writen test which I passed. I then took a (free) 30 min driving test on the road which was pretty easy for driver of 20 years plus experience. Easy because the car was AUTO (they all are here) and if you drive carefully and confidentally u will be ok.
Remember the STOP SIGN is the most important sign over here!
I borrowed an in-laws 20 year old Chevvy for the test which caused me my only minor errors as I coudn't locate the rear demister when asked!
Then paid $15 for the photo licence which I received in 15 mins.

I have an international UK photo licence which I read (99% sure of this) I could use in USA up to one year when in country (same as vice versa).
Only problem there is getting local car insurance if u buy a car here in USA. They want you to get a licence in 30 days usually.

I then moved to Florida and switched to a Florida licence. This was a bit more of a pain but not much. While the Missouri office was quick and helpful and there were branches everywhere, in Gainesville (a LARGE student town) there was only ONE small office dealing with the the whole of the areas driving permits.
I had to hand in (relinquish) my Missouri licence permanently and then wait up to 30 days for them to send me a Florida licence throught the mail. This was only because I am a RESIDENT ALIEN. My wife a US citizen was given hers immediately. I complained to no avail saying that other than my green card my licence was my only other photo ID and the ONLY one that EVERY store/bar/bank wants to see. (If you dont have a valid driving licence in USA you a probably an escaped criminal). Sure enough I bought some gas on the way home with my USA credit card and I had only my green card to show (its unfamiliar to most americans who have heard of them but never seen them)
Another slight moan would be the blatant (to me) discrimination against non-US citizens in the driving permit office : As we entered we all took a ticket from the machine with a number on it (yep the food counter tickets!).
However, a guy would call out the numbers and when anyone said "here" he would ask "are u a US citizen?" If the answer was no he would continue counting through the numbers until he had a batch of 8 people (US citizens only) who he took into another room for service. I asked about this and they said it was a busy time and he was the only guy serving and the room he is using can ONLY take US citizens. (so indirect discrimination i guess) so me and the 20 other immigrants had to wait an hour before someone else arrived back from lunch before the would serve us and only THEN because I stood at the counter and made a polite complaint on behalf of the new guys and gals.
My new licence arrived in mail Jan 11th 2003 and which was about 3 weeks after I traded my old licence in.
I also arranged Florida car insurance at the same time( another minefield) and used the temporary printout from licence bureau to get it( had a 10% hike cos of new credit history but at least i got it up to 687 so not too bad). AM still waiting to get Florida plates for my car as they cost about $150 for first registration and we are broke at moment. (got burgled and lost thousands)
Oh, about that car insurance - get your credit sorted out ASAP over here and make sure you never use it (pay off credit cards in full every month) to get a good score because immigrants start off with a zero score and then a low one for at least a year. Unfortunately, nearly all insurers check your credit before insuring you. This means that a 50 year old UK driver with a perfect clean licence for 30 years will get the same credit report as a new driver of 18 years which will probably DOUBLE your car insurance. There is no way round this just pay up.

Well I hope that helps somone!

Russell Gough
Any other questions welcome
niceukbloke is offline  

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