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Old 05-08-2005, 07:27 AM   #1
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Hi all.

The research is going well but every once in a while a liitle doubt starts to creep in. Not in the desire to do this, far from it, just questioning if it is really that practicable with all the red tape that wants to get in the (d*mn*d) way.

The current issue is one regarding drivers permits.

A International Drivers permit is valid for one year (and in my case, to apply for it, I must have been a permanent UK resident for the preeceeding 6 months. How does reapplication work if I've been abroad for that long? Hhhhmmm!). Not too bad in the first instance, but I want to be fulltiming for a few more years than that if at all possible.

So I thought, OK, I'll get a South Dakota Drivers permit. This is where the interpretaion is open to question.

SD dmv states the following "If you are not a U.S. citizen you will be issued a license for the duration of your legal stay based on immigration documents provided at license issuance not to exceed 5 years." .

The question is, do they mean the length of time given under the Non-Immegrant Visa (B2) or are they more likely to consider the I-94.

If anyone has any experience in any of these areas I would be grateful for any advice.

Rgds


Cam.
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Old 05-08-2005, 07:27 AM   #2
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Hi all.

The research is going well but every once in a while a liitle doubt starts to creep in. Not in the desire to do this, far from it, just questioning if it is really that practicable with all the red tape that wants to get in the (d*mn*d) way.

The current issue is one regarding drivers permits.

A International Drivers permit is valid for one year (and in my case, to apply for it, I must have been a permanent UK resident for the preeceeding 6 months. How does reapplication work if I've been abroad for that long? Hhhhmmm!). Not too bad in the first instance, but I want to be fulltiming for a few more years than that if at all possible.

So I thought, OK, I'll get a South Dakota Drivers permit. This is where the interpretaion is open to question.

SD dmv states the following "If you are not a U.S. citizen you will be issued a license for the duration of your legal stay based on immigration documents provided at license issuance not to exceed 5 years." .

The question is, do they mean the length of time given under the Non-Immegrant Visa (B2) or are they more likely to consider the I-94.

If anyone has any experience in any of these areas I would be grateful for any advice.

Rgds


Cam.
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Old 05-08-2005, 09:04 AM   #3
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Cam, With as much as stake I suggest you go directly to the source. I googled on 'south dakota motor vehicle department' and here is a web site.

http://www.dmv.org/sd-south-dakota/d...r-vehicles.php

Keep in mind that a lot of practices and procedures are likely to change due to 911. Good luck, Art
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Old 05-08-2005, 02:44 PM   #4
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I would suggest calling a DMV office in South Dakpta and asking them. I have heard several reports that they are quite willing to provide information and do what they can to assist those with unusual circumstances.
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Old 05-09-2005, 11:50 AM   #5
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Hi Gary, ArtB

I took your advise and emailed the SD dmv.

After a couple of exchanges of email concerning the expiration dates of either the B1 non-immigration visa or the I-94 the person with whom I was corressponding came to the decision that....

If the I-94 document is only good for 6 months then the license will only be good for 6 months.

So, unless all the other state follow the same policy, I may have to scratch South Dakota from my plans.

I'll try Oregon next. I know they require a driving test to be undertaken and so it is likely that their rules regarding the duration of a license will probably be the same.

Which is the third state one should try when considering the thorny question of the fulltimers home state/vehicle registration/No Sales Tax quandry.

Rgds

Cam
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:38 PM   #6
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Cam, I am totally clueless about International travel and procedures, however I don't want to leave you hanging in the tree. (Old joke)

I meet a lot of vacationing Europeans with rented RVs so someone must be knowledegable.

Maybe try an RV rental place, your local US Consolate, maybe even a local travel agent.

Good luck. Art
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:39 PM   #7
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Hi Art

Thanks for your continued support.

After reading the Oregon dmv site, I emailed them with a few questions that I thought needed qualification. Their response was to merely send me a link to the web site. HhhhMmmm..Is there any space left on the tree?

I reread again the information provided on the official USA emabssy web site here in England. This state that a International Drivers Permit is NOT required but would be helpful. (In fact just a translation into English from the national licence).

The (general) rules seem to state that I can drive in the USA on my national licence for a period of one year (after which I must get a USA state licence).


So I have decide on the following strategy...

As I can only stay in the states for a period of 6 months under the I-94/B2 visa combination at any one time my own english licence will suffice.

Each time I re-enter the states to renew my I-94, so restarts the clock on the use of my English drivers licence.

I won't bother with the IDP at all.

Rgds

Cam.

Ps

if anyone from INS or any other gov't dept is listening in I've just changed my name to

Mrs A.N.Anon.
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Old 05-11-2005, 06:59 AM   #8
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Cam, Here's another idea that just floated up.
You might email your questions to the folllowing.

These are large organizations likely to have dealed with your situation.

RV Dealer
http://www.beaudryrv.com/

RV Rentals
http://www.cruiseamerica.com/
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Old 05-11-2005, 07:17 AM   #9
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In California these days, licenses for non-residents will continue to be an evolving situation. And the California DMV here will help you out with your questions, but here is what their website shows:




Driver License and Identification (ID) Card Information
How to apply for a driver license if you are over 18

......

If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.

If you take a job here or become a resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days.

.....

If you have a license from another country, you will be required to take a driving test. If you have a license from another state, the driving test can be waived.

.......


International Driving Permits

The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident.

The IDP is only a translation of information contained on a person's foreign driver license and is not required to operate a motor vehicle in California. Citations issued to a person in California who has an IDP, but does not have a California driver license will be placed on the Department of Motor Vehicle database.

The IDP is also called an International Driver License, International License, etc.

For more information about travel and driver licensing requirements outside of the US, visit the US State Department Road Safety Overseas website at: http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html



So Cam,
it appears to me that California does NOT rcognize the International license, but DOES recognize the license you probably already have in your wallet, and appears to recognize it for the duration of your stay. Call the DMV in our state here, they will help.
We have the Golden Gate Bridge here that you can drive over, and a big tree in Yosemite National Park that you can drive thru.
Hope to see you on the road.

Mike
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Old 05-11-2005, 12:48 PM   #10
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As noted above, the International Driving Permit is just a translation service; it has no legal standing alone without a valid driver's license from the driver's home country/state. It also is irrelvant for visitors from a country that speaks the same language or close to it (e.g., Brits visiting the US). But why wouldn't a regular British driver's license be recognized in the US as long as it hadn't expired?
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Old 05-11-2005, 01:20 PM   #11
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">But why wouldn't a regular British driver's license be recognized in the US as long as it hadn't expired? </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

It appears to be recognized as valid from what the california DMV website info that i posted above says. Well, with the one caveot that a driving test be taken here. I found that to be an interesting caveot. And Cam, being from the UK, so far does not know what a nuisance that is reputed to be. But hey!, make an appointment at the DMV, Cam you'll wait in line for 20 minutes waiting for your appointment, don't run anyone over while your test is on, and within an hour you have legal permission to drive in the magnificent State of California, good for as long as your license across the drink is good. So renew your UK license right before you come on over here and you are in good shape.

And then you can spend unlimited hours on the freeways here. Lord knows the good people of LosAngeles do.

I still would make a call or write a note to the DMV here, or any state that you intend on visiting, just to fine tune all requirements.
And we have a resident expert here by the name of Baddwalk who is very saavy on the rules of the road, perhaps you could even send him a PM on this website. I would do that if I were you.

Oh, and the beaches here in California are incredible and i have always enjoyed the brutal serenity of the lonely desert as well.

Cam, remember during your driver's test at the DMV, that we drive on the correct side of the road over here. The test will be very easy if you remember that fact. It will come to an end very quickly if you do not.

(do i get the job?)
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Old 05-11-2005, 11:34 PM   #12
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Hi all.

I've now read the California DMV rules that FatDog pointed me towards.

From the way the rules are expressed on that site, I'm going to interpret them as meaning that so long as my English licence is valid, I can drive in California.

Good'O. English licences are valid until our 70th birthdays. (well excepting those bannded for DUI/medical reasons etc). 2028 in my case. (If I last that long ).

That bit about the driving test is written after that stuff about becoming a resident/working. so.....

When I'm arrested, my lawyer is going to say that I was only on holiday and therefore wasn't working or a resident.


Talking about getting arrested suddenly reminded me of something...

Time for an anacdote?


During the fall of 1978/79 (whilst doing my 'travel around the world' stuff) I was a driver for a local transport company which used to operate between Antibes (South of France) and London. (Tooth International Transport Service [great T-Shirts]).


One day I was doing some pickups/deliveries in Monaco. Not being able to find a parking space I illegally double parked outside one of the buildings to which I was delivering.


On coming out of the building I was confronted by a policeman telling me to move my truck.


Well, I made dumb saying "Pardon, mais Je ne speakee pas french mate".


Now, after 30 seconds of him saying "move your truck" and me pleading ignorance, I think he came to the conclusion that my charade was wearing a bit thin, so out came his .357 Magnum and once again he said "Alors, bougez votre camion".


It was amazing how quickly I learnt how to speak french that day.


Now he was a Monogasque policeman so I knew he wasn't really going to shoot me.


Rumour has it that it might be inadvisable to try playing the dumb card with a CHIP? I can't believe that. One hears so many nice things about the police in the USA.

Think I'll go and read the DMV sites of all the other 46 mainland states now.

TTFN.

Rgds


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Old 05-12-2005, 04:37 AM   #13
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Cam:
Sounds like you may have to arrange to be near the Canadian border every six months in order to exit the US and re-start the clock on your visa! (or Mexico I guess)!

As such, your UK unexpiring license would serve you well in both counties and that would leave you with only registering the RV!

I seem to recall a long long string on this topic but I cannot remember the sig for the Brit who did all the research and I failed to locate it in the Search feature, anyone else remember this guy?
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