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xbritto

Driving in America

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I have a couple questions regarding my British fiancé Josh driving in America. He has taken lessons in England, but did not pass his test, then went on to Uni and didn't need a drivers license so he has never gotten his. We are looking into him getting his license now. Does anyone know the steps Josh would need to take to get his USA driver's license. Would it be helpful to have his UK drivers license before getting an American one? Or would it be completely pointless and he'd just have to redo everything here once he gets to America? Thanks in advance :)

Edited by xbritto

06/18/2012 - We met in New York :) 

11/18/2014 - Sent off our I-129F packet to Dallas

12/01/2014 - Hardcopy of NOA1 received in the mail

12/22/2014 - Hardcopy of NOA2 received in the mail

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06/12/2015 - VISA IN HAND!!

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12/11/2015 - AOS delivered in Chicago

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01/11/2016 - Biometrics Complete Charlotte, NC

01/13/2016 - Checked Case Status online, RFE mailed 1/12/2016

01/19/2016 - Request for Initial Evidence received

01/20/2016 - Request for Initial Evidence sent back

01/26/2016 - Request for Initial Evidence received by USCIS

02/24/2016 - EAD/AP approved! (No text, email or notification, found out via checking case tracker app)

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~~moved to moving here and your new life in America from k1 process and procedures as topic is about after arrival and not the K1 process~~

Depending on the state, many immigrants have to start from scratch.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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British person here!

I took my test while in grad school in Mississippi. I didn't have a UK license, so I applied for a MS permit (needed birth certificate, social security and immigration docs), had my friends teach me, then I took the test. I have 2 friends who did have UK licenses, and one had to take the test again here, the other was just given a license. That was at the same DMV! So sometimes it seems to depend on the person in charge that day.

My license expired at the same time as my student visa, and I moved states to join my husband/start AOS, so I had to stop driving at that point. My local DMV in South Carolina told me to come in once I had my EAD. I'm pretty sure that your fiancé won't be able to apply for a permit until he receives his EAD, so that would be the one advantage to taking the test in the UK beforehand--although, he will probably only be able to use it for 1-3 months before he's required to get a US state license anyway, depending on the laws in your area. Your local DMV should be able to tell you those kinds of rules.

I will say that it is much, much cheaper and easier to pass your test in the US than in the UK, so I think it would make sense for him to wait.

Edited by freegaul

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State laws vary. Seeing as you live in Illinois the law states: that a visitor may drive a vehicle using the license issued from their home country. However, once the person becomes a resident of that state it will be necessary to obtain a TVDL within 90 days. Instructions for that can be found here http://www.cyberdriveillinois.com/publications/pdf_publications/dsd_tvdl4.pdf Or you should call your local DMV. Without first having his UK license, it stands to reason that he would then have to learn how to drive from scratch if he ever wanted to drive in the US. The standard rules of needing to take a written and road test apply, but it doesn't look like they would need to sit through lengthy courses as it is in some states. If he is not very familiar with driving in the UK, let alone the US, it may be a good idea to have him learn the basics before setting him on the road cold turkey.


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
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Wedding: 9/30/15

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Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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There is no state that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to give a license based on already having a UK one. There are agreements with Canada and many states have an agreement with Germany. So he will start from scratch with usually a written test that allows a learner's permit so he can drive with a licensed driver (you) and practice. When he feels confident about driving, he can take the driving test and get a license. That is assuming he is over 21. Younger than that there are some other requirements.

Illinois indicates that they can give a license to temporary visitors based on their I-94. To me that would be useful for foreign students who are admitted for a long time. Your fiancé will be admitted for 90 days as shown on his I-94. Illinois says a temporary visitor must be "authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay"

Beyond his 90 days, he has nothing on paper to show he has legal presence in the US. Once he gets an EAD card, it will show he has legal presence for one year. The EAD card should get him a driver license.

He is only a couple of months from getting his visa. Unless he is prepared to go pass the UK test next week without paying a driving instructor a lot of money, then I don't see the point, especially if money is tight.

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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There is no state that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to give a license based on already having a UK one. There are agreements with Canada and many states have an agreement with Germany. So he will start from scratch with usually a written test that allows a learner's permit so he can drive with a licensed driver (you) and practice. When he feels confident about driving, he can take the driving test and get a license. That is assuming he is over 21. Younger than that there are some other requirements.

Illinois indicates that they can give a license to temporary visitors based on their I-94. To me that would be useful for foreign students who are admitted for a long time. Your fiancé will be admitted for 90 days as shown on his I-94. Illinois says a temporary visitor must be "authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay"

Beyond his 90 days, he has nothing on paper to show he has legal presence in the US. Once he gets an EAD card, it will show he has legal presence for one year. The EAD card should get him a driver license.

The EAD is only a work authorization, he'll need his GC to get his license........That all being said, the real issue with driving on a foreign license, etc is how can the immigrant obtain auto insurance? I know with our insurer (major company) she had to be a permanent resident (GC) before she could be listed as a driver. So she obtained her driver's permit as described and only after she had her GC did she take her driving test and was given a license.

He is only a couple of months from getting his visa. Unless he is prepared to go pass the UK test next week without paying a driving instructor a lot of money, then I don't see the point, especially if money is tight.


Phil (Lockport, near Chicago) and Alla (Lobnya, near Moscow)

As of Dec 7, 2009, now Zero miles apart (literally)!

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The EAD is only a work authorization, he'll need his GC to get his license........That all being said, the real issue with driving on a foreign license, etc is how can the immigrant obtain auto insurance? I know with our insurer (major company) she had to be a permanent resident (GC) before she could be listed as a driver. So she obtained her driver's permit as described and only after she had her GC did she take her driving test and was given a license.

The Illinois website Iists:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Forms I-551 (Alien Registration Card); I-571 (Refugee Travel Document); I-766 (Employment Authorization Card); I-797A (Notice of Action Status Change); I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) with Valid Passport

But they also say the legal presence authorization would have to be granted for at least a year and have 6 months remaining. That rules out a K1 getting a license with the I-94. I think it will be a license that expires in one year with EAD, but it will be a license. Some greencards are taking a very long time now. I hope she can get it with an EAD.

Insurance? I don't know. I have State Farm with a local agent, not a 1-800-INSURANCE type of place. My State Farm agent said the car was insured and he could drive it on his UK license as long as I gave my permission. He did not have to have his name on the policy. My son-in-law wrecked a car of mine once. He was not named on the policy. State Farm paid for the repair. I guess it depends on your insurer.

Once my husband got a license (with EAD) I added his name to the policy as a regular driver. They actually told me to do that because it was easier to add if there was a state driver license number to put in the computer. There was no additional cost.

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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There is no state that has a reciprocal agreement with the UK to give a license based on already having a UK one. There are agreements with Canada and many states have an agreement with Germany. So he will start from scratch with usually a written test that allows a learner's permit so he can drive with a licensed driver (you) and practice. When he feels confident about driving, he can take the driving test and get a license. That is assuming he is over 21. Younger than that there are some other requirements.

Illinois indicates that they can give a license to temporary visitors based on their I-94. To me that would be useful for foreign students who are admitted for a long time. Your fiancé will be admitted for 90 days as shown on his I-94. Illinois says a temporary visitor must be "authorized to be in the country for at least one year and have at least six months remaining on an authorized stay"

Beyond his 90 days, he has nothing on paper to show he has legal presence in the US. Once he gets an EAD card, it will show he has legal presence for one year. The EAD card should get him a driver license.

He is only a couple of months from getting his visa. Unless he is prepared to go pass the UK test next week without paying a driving instructor a lot of money, then I don't see the point, especially if money is tight.

Hi in NJ they do,as I have a full UK licence, all I had to do was the eye sight & written tests & they wavered the road test on the strength of my UK licence.

Brian


AOS

Feb 3rd 2014 sent AOS pack I-130, I-485, 
Feb 17th 2014 Received NOA1 x 3 NOA1 date 5th Feb 2014
Feb 22nd 2014 Received biometrics appointment for 7th March 2014 at 3pm
Feb 27th 2014 Did early walk in for Biometrics successfully
March 17th 2014 Received text & email with interview date on 22nd April 2014

March 18th 2014 Received interview letter in post with time & place, 2.15pm at Mt Laurel NJ
April 16th 2014 Received EAD card
April 22nd 2014 Had AOS interview at Mt Laurel NJ APPROVED
April 22nd 2014 Text & email Case Status: Card / Document Production
April 26th 2014 Received my Green Card today
Total time from Application to Approval 11 Weeks & 1 Day
ROC
Feb 9th 2016 I-751 package sent to Vermont Service Center
Feb 11th 2016 I-751 package received at VSC
Feb 17th 2016 Cheque for $590 cashed

Feb 19th 2016 Received I-797 NOA Dated 02/12/2016

March 8th 2016 Biometrics Appointment at 10am. (Done)

April 14th 2017  I-551 stamp in passport 

April 27th 2017 Received text & email Card/Document Production

May 3rd 2017 Received 10 year Green Card today   

N-400

March 7th 2017 N-400 sent to Dallas TX 

March 10th N-400 Application received

March 15th Cheque for $725 cashed

March 20th received NOA1 dated March 15th

March 24th received biometrics appointment for 04/05/17

March 28th did early walk in for biometrics 

October 10th received Citizenship Interview letter

November 13th Citizenship Interview at 10 am Mount Laurel NJ passed my interview.

November 13th Oath ceremony 3pm now a citizen

November 14th applied for my passport 

November 25th Received my passport 

November 27th Received my naturalization certificate back

November 28th Updated my social security records 

 

 

 

 

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The Illinois website Iists:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Forms I-551 (Alien Registration Card); I-571 (Refugee Travel Document); I-766 (Employment Authorization Card); I-797A (Notice of Action Status Change); I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) with Valid Passport

But they also say the legal presence authorization would have to be granted for at least a year and have 6 months remaining. That rules out a K1 getting a license with the I-94. I think it will be a license that expires in one year with EAD, but it will be a license. Some greencards are taking a very long time now. I hope she can get it with an EAD.

Insurance? I don't know. I have State Farm with a local agent, not a 1-800-INSURANCE type of place. My State Farm agent said the car was insured and he could drive it on his UK license as long as I gave my permission. He did not have to have his name on the policy. My son-in-law wrecked a car of mine once. He was not named on the policy. State Farm paid for the repair. I guess it depends on your insurer.

Once my husband got a license (with EAD) I added his name to the policy as a regular driver. They actually told me to do that because it was easier to add if there was a state driver license number to put in the computer. There was no additional cost.

When we were visiting before we moved, we drove my cousin's car. His insurer said it was insured as long as we had valid licenses (from our home country), so sounds like your situauon.

I don't remember our current insurer wanting to see our green cards but they did ask for SSNs. (We did need to show GCs for license, despite AB60)

Hi in NJ they do,as I have a full UK licence, all I had to do was the eye sight & written tests & they wavered the road test on the strength of my UK licence.

Brian

NJ is one of the few states to recognize most other country licenses. It's rare!

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I have a couple questions regarding my British fiancé Josh driving in America. He has taken lessons in England, but did not pass his test, then went on to Uni and didn't need a drivers license so he has never gotten his. We are looking into him getting his license now. Does anyone know the steps Josh would need to take to get his USA driver's license. Would it be helpful to have his UK drivers license before getting an American one? Or would it be completely pointless and he'd just have to redo everything here once he gets to America? Thanks in advance :)

Hi! It sounds like I am in the same situation as your fiancé!

I took lessons in 2013, but then went back to university and never finished learning. I just picked up driving again and hope to pass my test before I go to the states in the summer. I've found the information about licences isn't so clear, but it looks like in MA (where I'm headed), they will give you a US license if you already have a British one, but you may be required to take the written or road test. This is very beneficial as I believe if I had no license I would have to get a driving permit first, which allows me to drive only when with a licence-holder, and I would need to build 6 months driving experience before I can take the test. Depending on your living and work situation, this might be a big inconvenience and I'm sure it would be preferred that he could get out and about by himself when needed.

I've just tried to have look regarding California and found this link http://www.path2usa.com/get-a-drivers-license

Key points:

- You must apply for a driver's license within 10 days of establishing residency. There are two steps involved for getting a driver license: written test and road test.

- If you have moved to the U.S. from India, you will be required to take a road test. If you already have a license from another state, the driving test can be waived.

- Learning Permit: Normally this permit is issued to teens under the age of 18. However if you are learning to drive for the first time, and/or do not have an Indian International Driving Permit you are eligible to get this permit.

So I think it is similar to MA. If you have no foreign license then you will be required to get a permit first. If you have a foreign license (not Indian) then you can skip both the permit and road test.

So all in all, I would recommend trying to pass his UK driving test before leaving as it should mean a much quicker route to a US license and we know how bad American public transport is...! It may also be useful to be able to drive here whenever he visits (although he could also do that on a US license), or should you both end up living in the UK for whatever reasons.

I'm not sure how much driving experience he has had previously, but after not having lessons for 18 months I started again last week and I'm surprised at how quickly it all came back to me. In fact I think I may be a better driver then when I stopped!

I wish him luck with whatever he decides anyway!


Paul (UK) and Brianna (USA) <3

January 2012 - Met in Manchester, UK

29th Sept 2014 - Sent I-129F

8th Oct 2014 - NOA1 received by email/text

9th Nov 2014 - *Officially* engaged in Edinburgh, UK

28th Dec 2014 - Visited Brianna in the US for 10 days

17th April 2015 - Visited Brianna in the US for 1 month

21st May 2015 - NOA2 received by email (225 days)

8th June 2015 - Sent to NVC (19 days)

15th June 2015 - Received by NVC (8 days)

16th June 2015 - Case number assigned

18th June 2015 - Left NVC

22nd June 2015 - Medical

23rd June 2015 - ​Received at London

23rd June 2015 - DS-160 submitted

28th June 2015 - Readinesss form submitted

29th June 2015 - Received packet 3

14th July 2015 - Received packet 4

6th August 2015 - Interview - Approved!

12th August 2015 - AP

13th August 2015 - Issued

18th August 2015 - Visa delivered (Home delivery)

21st August 2015 - POE

1st October 2015 - Wedding!

20th October 2015 - Mailed adjustment of status application

27th November 2015 - Honeymoon! 9 days in U.S. Virgin Islands

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