Jump to content
randomstairs

California DL conundrum

18 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

How can one get a car for the behind-the-wheel test? I'm a Permanent Resident of the US (LPR) and a California resident. I've obtained the Instruction Permit at the DMV which allows me to drive in a company of someone with a CA DL. I also have an old, but still valid, European DL. As a California resident I can't use it in CA (or anywhere in the US?).

 

Now, I can't rent a car without a valid CA license but they would happily take my valid European DL even though I can't use it in CA! (They don't let you rent a car with only the Instruction Permit.) Is it legal to drive with a valid Instruction Permit and a European DL as a California resident? I know that you can't drive with a foreign DL as a resident but can you do so if you apply for CA DL and get the permit? If yes, then I'll simply rent a car with my European DL for the behind-the-wheel test. If no, how can I get a car? My understanding is that I can't just borrow it from a friend because the paperwork has to include me somehow. How about having the friend with a car coming with me to the DMV? 

 

How on earth can one get a car for the driving test if they are LPR and CA resident but don't already have a US DL? (Other than buying a new car, obviously...)

Edited by randomstairs

03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any friends will let you use theirs? Try a driving school? Also what country are you from?  I searched google and something came up saying if you are from some EU countries you can just change your EU license for a US license without the test.

 

"Reciprocity Agreements

Some US states have so called reciprocity agreements with other countries. This means that if your driving permit has been issued in one of these countries, you will be able to simply exchange it for a US driving license of that state (and typically vice versa) without having to take any tests. At the time of writing in early 2014, such mutual exchange agreements existed for the following countries:

If your country is not on this list, it might still be worth your while to enquire, e.g. at your local DMV, whether there have been any new agreements made.

"

 

https://www.internations.org/go/moving-to-the-us/country-facts/getting-a-us-driving-license

Edited by dxec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, dxec said:

Any friends will let you use theirs? Try a driving school?

The car has to be in my name or I need a complicated legal agreement to borrow it from a friend - if I understand this correctly. I do have many friends who would take me to the DMV but they can't be in the car during the test (so I can't use their cars for it).  

 

I'm not sure if any driving schools in my area offer lending a car for the test...

Edited by randomstairs

03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I edited my reply with more information. I used my mothers car all they asked for was any car with insurance, haha. I live in Florida though so things might be different in CA. That link also says they might waive the practical test or both written and practical in some states also if  you have a foreign license.

Edited by dxec

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, dxec said:

I edited my reply with more information. I used my mothers car all they asked for was any car with insurance, haha. I live in Florida though so things might be different in CA

Thanks! Yeah, I'm not sure that would work in CA though. 

 

I don't love the idea of having to buy a car just for the driving test :)


03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Try calling the DMV and very politely asking fir suggestions?

 

If the issue is that you can't rent in CA, could you drive to another state, rent a car for the test, then drive it back? It would still be a hassle, but not as much as buying one.

 

I'm not understanding why the car has to be yours. Is this a special CA rule? In KS most kids use their parents' cars.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, dxec said:

Any friends will let you use theirs? Try a driving school? Also what country are you from?  I searched google and something came up saying if you are from some EU countries you can just change your EU license for a US license without the test.

 

"Reciprocity Agreements

Some US states have so called reciprocity agreements with other countries. This means that if your driving permit has been issued in one of these countries, you will be able to simply exchange it for a US driving license of that state (and typically vice versa) without having to take any tests. At the time of writing in early 2014, such mutual exchange agreements existed for the following countries:

If your country is not on this list, it might still be worth your while to enquire, e.g. at your local DMV, whether there have been any new agreements made.

"

 

https://www.internations.org/go/moving-to-the-us/country-facts/getting-a-us-driving-license

Thanks for checking! Alas it's not on the list and that doesn't work in CA anyway.


03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Daisy.Chain said:

Try calling the DMV and very politely asking fir suggestions?

 

If the issue is that you can't rent in CA, could you drive to another state, rent a car for the test, then drive it back? It would still be a hassle, but not as much as buying one.

 

I'm not understanding why the car has to be yours. Is this a special CA rule? In KS most kids use their parents' cars.

I'll ask them whenever they open again. I think the registration (or something like that) has to be in my name or I have to be "included" in it. That's what they told me at the DMV. But they also suggested that I can rent a car (which didn't work). They asked me about a valid foreign DL for the purpose of renting a car but that doesn't make sense if it's not legal to use a foreign DL as a resident. I think it's obvious I've never done that before :) 


03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, NigeriaorBust said:

Someone who has a car drives with you to the DMV . ( you have to have someone with you when you drive anyway )   you get in line for the test.  The DMV person and you go for the test.  Your other person hangs at the DMV for a bit.  You get back from the test and you and your other person leave together.   I can be a friend or person from a driving school.  If you move to California you only have a short period to use a licence from other places.   

@randomstairs, ^ this is 100% correct. I'm a California resident (I was born and raised in CA; I've only visited 1 other state/place, Nevada, in the whole world, lol). When I took my test in 2014, I passed it using my mother's car and my name was not on the car's registration. About 7 months ago, an acquaintence (friend of a friend of a friend) used my car twice (he failed the test the 1st time) for the test. Obviously, the acquaintence is not on my car's registration. I was with him at check-in with my valid DL and my car's registration and valid insurance. I was on the passenger side when he was waiting in the car line and I got out the car when the DMV employee started the test. The car should be in good condition in order to avoid negative marks on the test. My car's A/C dashboard's lights sometimes don't turn on and in 1 of the tests the DMV employee asked about it but probably disregarded it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for responding. I'll drive to the test with a friend and in his car. I hope the DMV agrees. Regarding the foreign DL: I know I can't use it to drive as a resident but what if I'm using the Instruction Permit to drive (accompanied by an adult CA DL holder) and the foreign DL just to rent the car with (the rental company I spoke to was happy to do that but I'm not sure about the legality - it seems like a loophole to me). 

Edited by randomstairs

03/04/2016 AOS (EB2-NIW concurrent with I-485) mailed to Lewisville TX Lockbox
03/07/2016 AOS delivered to USCIS and signed
03/12/2016 Case received by Nebraska Service Center (NSC)
03/14/2016 Text notification received for I-140/I-485/I-765/I-131.
04/08/2016 Biometrics notice received for 04/21
04/13/2016 Biometrics early walk-in completed.
04/15/2016 EAD/AP combo card received in mail.

 

Long wait begins...

 

11/04/2016 I-140/485 cases transferred from Nebraska to TCS
12/01/2016 Prepared package for EAD/AP renewal (expires 04/09/2017)
12/23/2016 USCIS suddenly changes several forms, invalidating my EAD/AP renewal package (not yet sent)
12/27/2016 USCIS suddenly reforms the entire NIW criteria system, replacing a 20 years old one. Uncharted waters. 
01/07/2017 (Saturday!) EAD/AP renewal package with new forms received in Phoenix "reception desk"
01/17/2017 EAD/AP renewal case accepted; text/email with receipt numbers was received
01/30/2017 Law firm finally confirms that USCIS has suspended processing all EB2-NIW cases due to new criteria. 
02/23/2017 USCIS slowly starts adjudicating NIW cases again.
04/21/2017 Extended EAD/AP received in mail. Valid for 2 years. 
05/06/2017 Received a massive RFE on I-140 NIW case.
07/20/2017 RFE response received by USCIS (a very long response with 30 pages of docs)
09/14/2017 I-140 NIW approved!!! 
11/28/2017 RFE for new medical issued (plus another request re Supp J for employment which is clearly issued in error)
12/04/2017 RFE received in mail
12/07/2017 repeated medical exam for I-485
12/08/2017 Attorney receives documents for responding to I-485 RFE
12/21/2017 Response to RFE received by USCIS 
02/09/2018 I-485 approval (text, email) :)
02/08/2018 I-485 approval notice issued (the "welcome letter") - I'm LPR now
02/16/2018 Green card received

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, randomstairs said:

Thank you all for responding. I'll drive to the test with a friend and in his car. I hope the DMV agrees. Regarding the foreign DL: I know I can't use it to drive as a resident but what if I'm using the Instruction Permit to drive (accompanied by an adult CA DL holder) and the foreign DL just to rent the car with (the rental company I spoke to was happy to do that but I'm not sure about the legality - it seems like a loophole to me). 

These are official CA requirements. Vehicle must be insured, but it doesn't have to be insured in your name. So, yes your friends vehicle should be fine. Remember to visibly look both ways (turn head) on ALL intersections even the ones with lights! Good luck!

image.thumb.png.e1745a3a5314c6909463f586cc6c6573.png

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, randomstairs said:

The car has to be in my name or I need a complicated legal agreement to borrow it from a friend - if I understand this correctly. I do have many friends who would take me to the DMV but they can't be in the car during the test (so I can't use their cars for it).  

 

I'm not sure if any driving schools in my area offer lending a car for the test...

Not sure how it is in CA but when my brother took his drivers test in PA he didn’t even have to go to the DMV. He hired a driving school where the instructor took him driving in an instruction vehicle and at the end of their lessons together the instructor was authorized to give him the DL test and pass/fail him for it. He did all of this in the driving school car. Maybe see if there are programs like that?


K-1 VISA

I129F Sent: 08/23/2017

NOA 1: 08/25/2017

NOA 2: 02/27/2018

NVC Received: 03/14/2018

NVC Case #: 03/15/2018

NVC Left: 03/24/2018

Embassy Received: 03/28/2018

Medical: 05/08/2018

Interview: 05/15/2018 

Visa issued: 05/18/2018

Visa received: 05/23/2018 

 

AOS

POE: 06/07/2018

SSN applied: 06/12/2018

SSN received: 06/28/2018

AOS Sent: 07/27/2018

Biometrics: 08/23/2018

Interview: 10/30/2018

Approval: 10/30/2018 

NOA2: 11/05/2018

Green card Received: 11/08/2018

 

 

NO MORE USCIS UNTIL ROC!!!!!😁

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, lummo said:

Not possible in CA.

Awh that’s too bad :( hopefully OP can find a friends car to use 


K-1 VISA

I129F Sent: 08/23/2017

NOA 1: 08/25/2017

NOA 2: 02/27/2018

NVC Received: 03/14/2018

NVC Case #: 03/15/2018

NVC Left: 03/24/2018

Embassy Received: 03/28/2018

Medical: 05/08/2018

Interview: 05/15/2018 

Visa issued: 05/18/2018

Visa received: 05/23/2018 

 

AOS

POE: 06/07/2018

SSN applied: 06/12/2018

SSN received: 06/28/2018

AOS Sent: 07/27/2018

Biometrics: 08/23/2018

Interview: 10/30/2018

Approval: 10/30/2018 

NOA2: 11/05/2018

Green card Received: 11/08/2018

 

 

NO MORE USCIS UNTIL ROC!!!!!😁

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×