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How to not lose my valid US driver's license

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I'm moving to the US on July 13 and we're getting married on August 1st and I would love to take his last name.

I've had a US driver's license since 2011 and my current one is valid until 2016. My concern is that when I change my last name I have to change it on my driver's license and I'll be without one because in my experience they generally give you a DL valid as long as your visa is valid. So instead of having a license valid until August 2016 I'll get stuck with one that is only valid until October 2015. Or am I completely wrong and they go by something else since it's a K1 visa?

If I'm correct about the valid date being the visa expiration date, how tricky is it to wait with the name change until a later date?






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Email the dmv Office in your state :)

But i would almost wanna assume that if you bring with you your passport and the marriage certificate they should be able to issue a new license for you.

I don't doubt they will issue a new license. I doubt it will be valid for as long as my current one that is valid until 2016.

My experience with DMV is that they will give me an answer that does not even answer my question. It will more likely be in the lines of what you get from embassies "we can't speculate". :P

So I guess I'm wondering how long is a driver's license valid if you show up there with a K1 and a marriage license? Considering that when you, as a non us citizen, show up they look at your visa, go away to have a supervisors sign a paper and then give you a license that has the same expiration date as your visa.

Edited by Maria&Seve





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I would just wait until you get your EAD or green card in hand, and get the name changed on your drivers license then. Plenty of people drive around with their drivers license in their old name.

I don't know about your state specifically, but in most states you will need to have either the EAD or green card in order to qualify for a new drivers license. So if you were to show up to try to change the name on your current US license, at best they would not be able to help you, at worst they might cancel it.

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I would just wait until you get your EAD or green card in hand, and get the name changed on your drivers license then. Plenty of people drive around with their drivers license in their old name.

I don't know about your state specifically, but in most states you will need to have either the EAD or green card in order to qualify for a new drivers license. So if you were to show up to try to change the name on your current US license, at best they would not be able to help you, at worst they might cancel it.

Aha okay, thank you! I'll just wait until then :)






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Look on the website for the appropriate DMV re: name change.


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As I told you before in other post you mentioned the same thing, here in VA if you try to get another license it won't be issued according to your Visa because your Visa is an one entry one and it is no longer valid once you're here. They will give you a license according to your I94 expiration OR 1 year when you take your AOS NOA1. Since you have your valid until 2016 I don't know if they would be able to issue a license with a shorter expiration date, it doesn't make too much sense tho. When I told you about it you mentioned that is for SURE illegal to keep your license under your maiden name and that's the reason why you want to change it. When I went to DMV they wanted to issue mine under my maiden name since that's what matches my passport so I doubt it's illegal, otherwise they wouldn't try to give me one under my maiden name. But I can be wrong. I live really close to DMV and I will ask about it bc I have been curious about it since the other post where you told me you were fully sure it would be illegal to keep your license. Good luck.

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Look on the website for the appropriate DMV re: name change.

If you mean the DMV website than that would only be helpful if I was at least a legal resident.

As I told you before in other post you mentioned the same thing, here in VA if you try to get another license it won't be issued according to your Visa because your Visa is an one entry one and it is no longer valid once you're here. They will give you a license according to your I94 expiration OR 1 year when you take your AOS NOA1. Since you have your valid until 2016 I don't know if they would be able to issue a license with a shorter expiration date, it doesn't make too much sense tho. When I told you about it you mentioned that is for SURE illegal to keep your license under your maiden name and that's the reason why you want to change it. When I went to DMV they wanted to issue mine under my maiden name since that's what matches my passport so I doubt it's illegal, otherwise they wouldn't try to give me one under my maiden name. But I can be wrong. I live really close to DMV and I will ask about it bc I have been curious about it since the other post where you told me you were fully sure it would be illegal to keep your license. Good luck.

I'm sorry, I had forgotten I had asked about this before. Blame it on way too much to think about during the last few days in Sweden.

But I remember now, and I guess I just couldn't believe that something like that would be legal. If you tried that here and you had, on purpose, neglected to change your name on the driver's license it would not be accepted.

I guess I'll just walk over there and ask ones I get there otherwise I'll just not update my name for now.

Thank you!






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In my State they told me I had to change my name at the social security office if i wanted the license in my nane, other wise it will be in ur maiden name.


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And additionally I was told to go back there with my GC in hands to extend it, however it will be a conditional 2 years GC and they will probably issue the new license matching my GC expiration date.

In Michigan, my wife was able to get a valid learner's permit with her I94 for the length of the I94 in her maiden name. Once she got her two year GC and her SSC in her married name we went back and got her license in her married name which expires with the GC. Therefore we will need to renew it once the ROC process is complete with the 10 year GC, but I imagine the license will only be valid for three years which is the common time frame for Michigan.

Good Luck!


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As long as you are only changing your name and not moving to a different state from where your current driver's license is from you shouldn't have to tell them you're on an I-94. For a name change just update it with SSA, wait a few days, and then most states will only ask for one of the following:

  • Marriage certificate or license.
  • Divorce decree.
  • Court order.
  • Citizenship or naturalization certificate.

They should just update the license you already have with no change in expiry dates. My husband got his AZ ID card using a 10yr green card (didn't know how to drive yet). Once he passed his driver's test they didn't ask for any other info as they had already 'vetted' him for the ID card. They just issued the DL with the same expiry as the ID.

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Why even rush to change your name on your driver's license? Keep it as is until renewal...

Because I like be done with things and get things out of the way. Plus I also thought that it would complicate things as I also want to get a motorcycle license but apparently I have a whole year to get it added to my license.






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If you are currently residing back in your home country,

on what visa were you granted DL until August 2016.

I'm just wondering if that DL is really valid?


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11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

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07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

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09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
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