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Goodlad Sep 30th 2014 9:59 pm

USA Driving licence
 
Hi all
Can someone please explain the process of converting UK full driving licence to a USA one?
Your help is appreciated
Thx

sir_eccles Sep 30th 2014 10:23 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Goodlad (Post 11423872)
Hi all
Can someone please explain the process of converting UK full driving licence to a USA one?
Your help is appreciated
Thx

There is no such thing as a US license. States issue their own licenses and each state has its own rules. Most will require a computer multi choice test as well as a trivial round the block practical test. You generally cannot convert a UK license.

Which state?

Bob Sep 30th 2014 10:27 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
You search out the state DMV/RMV/BMV whatever that state calls is, requirement for taking the test and you do the test, from scratch.

You usually have between 10/30/60/90 days to get the local license once you move, depending on the state. Some states require doing x hours of drivers ed, but most you just book a slot and take a multi choice theory test and then doing a practical test.

Pulaski Sep 30th 2014 10:45 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 11423903)
You search out the state DMV/RMV/BMV whatever that state calls is, requirement for taking the test and you do the test, from scratch.

You usually have between 10/30/60/90 days to get the local license once you move, depending on the state. .....

All of the above (Bob and Sir Eccles)

In many (most?) states it may be difficult if not impossible to book and complete the drivers ed, and then book and take the road test within the prescribed time, which leaves you in a legally grey area. Generally you will be OK to drive despite technically being outside of the period to get a local license, but you should (i) be extra careful, and (ii) in the event you are stopped by the police, you should make certain you can prove you have used your best endeavours to get a local license but have been prevented (only) by a lack of drivers ed and/or testing time slots from completing the process. BTW you can often complete the road test sooner by going out into a small town in a rural area to take it.

MarylandNed Oct 1st 2014 11:42 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by sir_eccles (Post 11423901)
There is no such thing as a US license. States issue their own licenses and each state has its own rules. Most will require a computer multi choice test as well as a trivial round the block practical test. You generally cannot convert a UK license.

Which state?

And, to be consistent, there's no such thing as a UK license either. There's a GB license (administered by DVLA) and a NI license (administered by DVA in NI). DVLA and DVA have their own reciprocal agreements with foreign agencies so, for example, being able to swap a GB license with one foreign agency doesn't necessarily mean that you can swap a NI license with the same foreign agency (and vice versa).

Pulaski Oct 1st 2014 11:48 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by MarylandNed (Post 11424368)
And, to be consistent, there's no such thing as a UK license either. There's a GB license (administered by DVLA) and a NI license (administered by DVA in NI). .....

Sorry, that is no longer correct. The NI DVA closed on July 17, 2014 , and all UK licenses are now issued by the DVLA in Swansea. :nod:

MarylandNed Oct 1st 2014 3:46 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11424376)
Sorry, that is no longer correct. The NI DVA closed on July 17, 2014 , and all UK licenses are now issued by the DVLA in Swansea. :nod:

Actually it is you who are incorrect. Only vehicle tax and registration services were transferred to Swansea. The driver licensing process did NOT change:

23 June 2014 - All Motor Tax Offices in Northern Ireland close on 17 July | Northern Ireland Executive

The DVA’s other functions:

- driver licensing,
- driver and vehicle testing,
- bus and taxi licensing
- roadside compliance checks
are not affected by the transfer of vehicle licensing to Swansea.

The identity checking service for first time applicants for provisional driving licences currently provided at motor tax offices, will be available from Monday 21 July at Driver Licensing HQ, County Hall, Coleraine and at the following test centres:

- Armagh,
- Ballymena,
- Belfast,
- Downpatrick,
- Enniskillen,
- Derry,
- Omagh.

Pulaski Oct 1st 2014 3:48 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by MarylandNed (Post 11424679)
Actually it is you who are incorrect. Only vehicle tax and registration services were transferred to Swansea. The driver licensing process did NOT change:

23 June 2014 - All Motor Tax Offices in Northern Ireland close on 17 July | Northern Ireland Executive

The DVA’s other functions:

- driver licensing,
- driver and vehicle testing,
- bus and taxi licensing
- roadside compliance checks
are not affected by the transfer of vehicle licensing to Swansea.

The identity checking service for first time applicants for provisional driving licences currently provided at motor tax offices, will be available from Monday 21 July at Driver Licensing HQ, County Hall, Coleraine and at the following test centres:

- Armagh,
- Ballymena,
- Belfast,
- Downpatrick,
- Enniskillen,
- Derry,
- Omagh.

Ooops. :o

rpjs Oct 1st 2014 4:29 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
Does this mean Norn Iron will adopt the Mainland regional/date number plate system?

MarylandNed Oct 1st 2014 4:36 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by rpjs (Post 11424711)
Does this mean Norn Iron will adopt the Mainland regional/date number plate system?

No

londonboy450 Oct 1st 2014 6:10 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
It's so easy, you convert it to usa license. In Florida where I live, I have a full license but still needed to go though the regular process of getting a learners permit by passing computerized test then pass a driving test to get full license. One benefit over getting UK license is that both theory and driving test can be done in the same day

Nutmegger Oct 1st 2014 6:26 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by londonboy450 (Post 11424806)
It's so easy, you convert it to usa license. In Florida where I live, I have a full license but still needed to go though the regular process of getting a learners permit by passing computerized test then pass a driving test to get full license. One benefit over getting UK license is that both theory and driving test can be done in the same day

As was pointed out to you in another thread, this is incorrect. One does NOT need to start out with a learner's permit in FL if one has a full license from the country of origin.

londonboy450 Oct 1st 2014 6:35 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Nutmegger (Post 11424828)
As was pointed out to you in another thread, this is incorrect. One does NOT need to start out with a learner's permit in FL if one has a full license from the country of origin.

Thanks for pointing out , sorry. From my experience, I had to get a all new license as I never had a U.S license despite having a full UK license. Once again sorry and thanks for reply

Jerseygirl Oct 1st 2014 6:42 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by londonboy450 (Post 11424806)
It's so easy, you convert it to usa license. In Florida where I live, I have a full license but still needed to go though the regular process of getting a learners permit by passing computerized test then pass a driving test to get full license. One benefit over getting UK license is that both theory and driving test can be done in the same day

Even easier to get a NJ DL if you have a UK DL. No practical test required...just a multi answer test.

Nutmegger Oct 1st 2014 6:47 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by londonboy450 (Post 11424837)
Thanks for pointing out , sorry. From my experience, I had to get a all new license as I never had a U.S license despite having a full UK license. Once again sorry and thanks for reply

I understand that you went that route, but it was not necessary for you to do so.

londonboy450 Oct 1st 2014 6:47 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 11424841)
Even easier to get a NJ DL if you have a UK DL. No practical test required...just a multi answer test.

:thumbup::goodpost:
Thanks, I do know that in MA its easier as they accept your UK DL but here in FL you need to get a license if you lived or worked in the state which I have.

ubernathan Oct 1st 2014 11:30 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by londonboy450 (Post 11424845)
:thumbup::goodpost:
Thanks, I do know that in MA its easier as they accept your UK DL.

This is false. in MA you need to take the theory and road tests. (Apparently French licenses are good to convert though)

Bob Oct 2nd 2014 12:03 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by londonboy450 (Post 11424845)
:thumbup::goodpost:
Thanks, I do know that in MA its easier as they accept your UK DL but here in FL you need to get a license if you lived or worked in the state which I have.

No, NJ and I think one other midwest state. MA certainly doesn't. Just like most other states, you apply for a theory, pass that, apply for a practical test and do that. Some states might have you get a temporary license based on your full UK license to allow you to drive while waiting for a test date such as CA, or some other states make you apply for a learners permit to allow you to take the test, but you are still allowed to drive on your UK license and do not have to go through all the new drivers ed stuff that a spotty oink would have to go through. Though I think NY makes people sit the drivers ed class, but that's more of an exception than the rule.

Hanco Oct 2nd 2014 9:54 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 
As mentioned on another thread, I was required to take an instructional permit / learner license in Georgia, despite having a UK license. As mentioned above by Pulaski, the chances of getting the "Test" completed before the 30 days is up (when you can drive on your UK license) are non-existent here... A couple of months is the waiting time for the test here. Makes sense to note down what you did to "Try" and get within the 30 days though, in case you need to refer to it if you do get stopped by the police for any reason.

calman014 Oct 2nd 2014 10:34 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 
The best way to obtain a USA license (American spelling!) is to spend a little money with a driving school and drive for at least 5 - 6 weeks with them in order to learn the peculiarities of the area where you live. They will often take you on the known test route, just like in UK.
With an international license you can rent a vehicle anyway, but I had to work in USA for a while and found this experience invaluable. After that it was a matter of taking the theory, sitting in the car with a rather large guy wearing his "smokey bear" hat and him shaking my hand. $9 later I had my state license.

The stuff I learned with the driving school I would have never learned myself or just by doing the theory test.

Apart from being the only non 18-year old who showed up for lessons, it was a great experience. Many of those tips have saved my skin, even in Europe!..

Nutek Oct 2nd 2014 12:00 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by calman014 (Post 11425548)
The best way to obtain a USA license (American spelling!) is to spend a little money with a driving school and drive for at least 5 - 6 weeks with them in order to learn the peculiarities of the area where you live. They will often take you on the known test route, just like in UK.
With an international license you can rent a vehicle anyway, but I had to work in USA for a while and found this experience invaluable. After that it was a matter of taking the theory, sitting in the car with a rather large guy wearing his "smokey bear" hat and him shaking my hand. $9 later I had my state license.

The stuff I learned with the driving school I would have never learned myself or just by doing the theory test.

Apart from being the only non 18-year old who showed up for lessons, it was a great experience. Many of those tips have saved my skin, even in Europe!..

I took a flyer at the multiple choice questions.. No practice or revision.. Wandered out to the car, got in, drove once around the block (right turns only), got out of the car and went to pick up my license (unaccompanied by the guy I just drove around with so I have no clue how they knew *I* had been the driver).
Short of losing the keys on the way to the car, I'm not sure how I could have failed really.

Oh, this was with a UK License (no International Permit). Do those even do anything if you are in an English speaking country?

Pulaski Oct 2nd 2014 12:03 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by calman014 (Post 11425548)
The best way to obtain a USA license (American spelling!) is to spend a little money with a driving school and drive for at least 5 - 6 weeks with them in order to learn the peculiarities of the area where you live. They will often take you on the known test route, just like in UK.
With an international license you can rent a vehicle anyway, but I had to work in USA for a while and found this experience invaluable. After that it was a matter of taking the theory, sitting in the car with a rather large guy wearing his "smokey bear" hat and him shaking my hand. $9 later I had my state license.

The stuff I learned with the driving school I would have never learned myself or just by doing the theory test.

Apart from being the only non 18-year old who showed up for lessons, it was a great experience. Many of those tips have saved my skin, even in Europe!..

You must have been an utterly inept driver before you came to the US. :confused: The (compulsory) driver's ed was a complete waste of my time, as was, quite frankly, the road test, but luckily the test only wasted about ten minutes of my time. :rolleyes:

And an "international driving license" is entirely unnecessary in the US if your foreign driving licence is in English.

So all round great advice. Thx! :rolleyes:

Jerseygirl Oct 2nd 2014 12:46 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11425615)
You must have been an utterly inept driver before you came to the US. :confused: The (compulsory) driver's ed was a complete waste of my time, as was, quite frankly, the road test, but luckily the test only wasted about ten minutes of my time. :rolleyes:

And an "international driving license" is entirely unnecessary in the US if your foreign driving licence is in English.

So all round great advice. Thx! :rolleyes:

He was 18 yrs old...as he was not an experienced driver it makes sense to take a few lessons before driving in a new country.

Nutek Oct 2nd 2014 12:49 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 11425655)
He was 18 yrs old...as he was not an experienced driver it makes sense to take a few lessons before driving in a new country.

Nah... What's the worst that could happen? :demon:

Pulaski Oct 2nd 2014 1:16 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 11425655)
He was 18 yrs old...as he was not an experienced driver it makes sense to take a few lessons before driving in a new country.

Er, he specifically stated he was a "non 18-year old". :confused:

Originally Posted by calman014 (Post 11425548)
.... Apart from being the only non 18-year old who showed up for lessons, ....


Jerseygirl Oct 2nd 2014 1:56 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11425688)
Er, he specifically stated he was a "non 18-year old". :confused:

Just testing to see if you would notice. ;)

Nutek Oct 2nd 2014 1:59 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl (Post 11425725)
Just testing to see if you would notice. ;)

Your test was harder than the one I took for my license.

Jerseygirl Oct 2nd 2014 2:06 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Nutek (Post 11425732)
Your test was harder than the one I took for my license.

:lol:

I'm sneaky like that...:sneaky:

londonboy450 Oct 2nd 2014 4:30 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by ubernathan (Post 11425164)
This is false. in MA you need to take the theory and road tests. (Apparently French licenses are good to convert though)


Originally Posted by Bob (Post 11425188)
No, NJ and I think one other midwest state. MA certainly doesn't. Just like most other states, you apply for a theory, pass that, apply for a practical test and do that. Some states might have you get a temporary license based on your full UK license to allow you to drive while waiting for a test date such as CA, or some other states make you apply for a learners permit to allow you to take the test, but you are still allowed to drive on your UK license and do not have to go through all the new drivers ed stuff that a spotty oink would have to go through. Though I think NY makes people sit the drivers ed class, but that's more of an exception than the rule.

Thanks so much all, It ok since I passed the driving test and obtained my FL driving license and im ok taking the FL theory test and getting the learner permit because it easier than UK. No Hazard perception

Bob Oct 2nd 2014 7:27 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by calman014 (Post 11425548)
The best way to obtain a USA license (American spelling!) is to spend a little money with a driving school and drive for at least 5 - 6 weeks with them in order to learn the peculiarities of the area where you live. They will often take you on the known test route, just like in UK.

Waste of time and money.

Just download the states driving handbook, learn about penalty points for drinking offences and things for people under 21. Take the test, it's hardly ever more than a spin around the block with maybe a maneuver or two at the most, but done in such a way that you have to be comatose to fail. Just don't speed, stop at stop sign/line/junctions and look over shoulder to over emphasise the looking in mirror/window bit.

Pulaski Oct 2nd 2014 7:35 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 11426041)
..... Just don't speed, stop at stop sign/line/junctions, and look over shoulder to over emphasise the looking in mirror/window bit.

"Don't speed" would have worked better at the end of the list than at the start. :lol:

markonline1 Oct 2nd 2014 7:38 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Bob (Post 11426041)
Waste of time and money.

Just download the states driving handbook, learn about penalty points for drinking offences and things for people under 21. Take the test, it's hardly ever more than a spin around the block with maybe a maneuver or two at the most, but done in such a way that you have to be comatose to fail. Just don't speed, stop at stop sign/line/junctions and look over shoulder to over emphasise the looking in mirror/window bit.

Totally agree. The driving test here in CA, as it appears to be in most states is a complete joke! No wonder everyone drives like a clown! As you say, the important things are come to a complete stop at the stop signs, and look over your shoulder, especially when entering a cycle lane (which is a pointless exercise). My maneuver (if you can call it that) was reversing in a straight line for about 10 feet. I wonder whether he went easy on me because of my UK license though.

Nutek Oct 2nd 2014 7:44 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
I never touched reverse gear at all. Not even in the parking lot. In fact, I drove through an empty space in front of where I was parked when we pulled out.

Pulaski Oct 2nd 2014 7:44 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by markonline1 (Post 11426059)
Totally agree. The driving test here in CA, as it appears to be in most states is a complete joke! No wonder everyone drives like a clown! As you say, the important things are come to a complete stop at the stop signs, and look over your shoulder, especially when entering a cycle lane (which is a pointless exercise). My maneuver (if you can call it that) was reversing in a straight line for about 10 feet. I wonder whether he went easy on me because of my UK license though.

Though my (NY) road test was indeed a joke, I did have to do a parallel park manoeuvre, which wasn't part of the test when I got my UK licence. The space I had to reverse into was literally big enough to park a bus, mostly because there wasn't a vehicle at the rear end of the space for me to back towards. :rolleyes:

rpjs Oct 2nd 2014 7:58 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11426068)
Though my (NY) road test was indeed a joke, I did have to do a parallel park manoeuvre, which wasn't part of the test when I got my UK licence. The space I had to reverse into was literally big enough to park a bus. :rolleyes:

Just took my NYS test this morning. Thought I'd failed on the parallel parking because I forgot to switch to reverse when pulling out. Obviously didn't hit the car in front before realizing and switching, but I thought that'd be the clincher. Examiner didn't even deduct any points for it!

Also the three-point turn was on a road so wide I could have easily done a U-turn instead. And then back to the start after approx 10 minutes. Now I know why NYS drivers are so bad!

fozzyb Oct 2nd 2014 10:15 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
When I did my California test, you were allowed up to 15 minor errors and still pass. Which considering the test is about 10 mins long, means you are allowed to make an error every 40 seconds. Pretty scary.

I'm still resentful for the one minor error I got though. Approaching an intersection on a residential street, the road markings did indicate that I had priority but were rather worn, so I took the intersection slowly enough to see that both the cross streets were clear. Had that counted as a minor error for showing undue hesitancy.

Out of interest does anyone know if I do move back to the US - would I have to do the test again. I still have my California licence, but it expired 5 years ago now.

Bob Oct 3rd 2014 4:13 am

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by fozzyb (Post 11426220)

Out of interest does anyone know if I do move back to the US - would I have to do the test again. I still have my California licence, but it expired 5 years ago now.

If you move back to CA, you could probably renew it. If you moved back to another state, you'd probably have to take the test, or go back to CA and renew it before swapping it in the new state as most states require a valid license to do a swap or one that hasn't expired more than x number of day/months.

Worth double checking with the state DMV though.

Jerni Oct 3rd 2014 10:33 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by Pulaski (Post 11426068)
Though my (NY) road test was indeed a joke, I did have to do a parallel park manoeuvre, which wasn't part of the test when I got my UK licence. The space I had to reverse into was literally big enough to park a bus, mostly because there wasn't a vehicle at the rear end of the space for me to back towards. :rolleyes:

LOL same here, I had to do a 3-point turn on a street I could have done a u-turn in a lorry on, and parallel park into a 'space' with no car behind.

smarty156 Oct 3rd 2014 11:31 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 
If the road is wide enough to just u turn do they still expect you to 3 point turn anyway or can you just u turn?
Next thing on my list is to swat up on the NYS driving test.

Rpjs - did you have to do the 5 hour course? Where did you do it, what does it cost and how quickly could you get booked on it?

Jerni Oct 3rd 2014 11:42 pm

Re: USA Driving licence
 

Originally Posted by smarty156 (Post 11427359)
If the road is wide enough to just u turn do they still expect you to 3 point turn anyway or can you just u turn?
Next thing on my list is to swat up on the NYS driving test.

Rpjs - did you have to do the 5 hour course? Where did you do it, what does it cost and how quickly could you get booked on it?

I did my driving test in NYS earlier this year. I had to do the 5hr class, I did mine at AAA it cost me around $50. They ran the class several times a week so it was easy to get booked in.

If you have a UK license you can attend the driving test alone, but you'll have to turn it in if you pass the test, the examiner will give you a notice that it will be held at the DMV. If you don't want to go that route, you'll have to bring a license driver with you.


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