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Unable to drive limbo period - Ohio

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So to cut a long story short, I moved in December on K1 and married 3 weeks ago. 

Its been deep winter in Ohio so I decided, now stupidly, to not attempt to take my test in snow and icy conditions. 

 

I contacted the BMW on Facebook though to ask about what I needed. This is what they said: 

 

“Since you have legal presence in the US, and if you are a resident of Ohio, you may apply for an Ohio driver license. You will need the following documents:

1. Valid, unexpired Passport
2. US VISA
3. USCIS Form I-94 (showing legal entry into the US).
4. Letter from your employer on letterhead and dated within the last 60 days.
5. Any other USCIS documents you may have
6. Social Security Card (if ever assigned). 
7. Proof of your Ohio resident street address.
8. Valid, unexpired Out of Country driver license (if ever obtained) and International Driving Permit (if license has not been translated into English).

Once you have the necessary documents you will want to visit a local Driver Exam Station where you will be required to complete and pass the vision, knowledge, driving, and maneuverability exams. You will then be directed to a Deputy Registrar Agency where you will be able to purchase an Ohio driver license.” 

 

So maybe I read this wrong but I have my I94 showing legal entry, it expires this week so this is why I went to do my test today with marriage licence in hand to show I had done what was required within that 90 days. (Also learned the hard way SSN need a valid i94 but within 2 weeks of expiry which isnt on the form so I’m without that too now) 

 

Basically they said, I could sit my test today, but it would only give me a valid driving licence to the end of the I94...so 2 days validity. Then I cant legally drive until the next i797 and even then it expires at the end date on that document all the way until green card. This seems logical on the one hand but totally insane on the other. If we are visitors we can drive on our UK licences when here on an ESTA but now I am here legally and done everything right so far I cannot drive on my UK licence past 30 days of your entry to the US. 

 

I know I’m ranting, I have cried today at this news as I am literally stranded with my partner working long hours and Uber is expensive. I almost bought a car last week but luckily we didnt. 

 

So can anyone help me with the I797 next estimates for being back in status and how long that status is to see if it is worth this stop start window to test bearing in mind insurance payments will be continuous. I will be posting AOS Monday having got my marriage licence yesterday but desperately need some wings. *sobs* 

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7 minutes ago, SpaceAge said:

Then I cant legally drive until the next i797 and even then it expires at the end date on that document all the way until green card

 

The I797 doesn’t have an expiration date. It’s proof that you’re in legal status by filing the I-485. Some states give driver licenses on that, some don’t. Then you have to wait until you have the EAD/AP, which another 6-7 months.

 

I’m sorry, I don’t know what else to say. That is the great disadvantage of the K1, and we see it every day.

 

It’s warming up and the snow is thawing, maybe get a bicycle? What about buses? Are there buses near you?

 

I lived my first two years in the US not having a car. First year in Iowa and second year in Florida. It was rough, but I lived through it. But I was also 18 and was a student, so maybe easier for me.

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You are not a visitor, thus you can not continue to drive with a UK license.  Personally, I think you will have to wait for your EAD........submitting your I-485 does not give you legal status.  It gives you authorized stay while it is pending.


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31 minutes ago, USS_Voyager said:

 

The I797 doesn’t have an expiration date. It’s proof that you’re in legal status by filing the I-485. Some states give driver licenses on that, some don’t. Then you have to wait until you have the EAD/AP, which another 6-7 months.

 

I’m sorry, I don’t know what else to say. That is the great disadvantage of the K1, and we see it every day.

 

It’s warming up and the snow is thawing, maybe get a bicycle? What about buses? Are there buses near you?

 

I lived my first two years in the US not having a car. First year in Iowa and second year in Florida. It was rough, but I lived through it. But I was also 18 and was a student, so maybe easier for me.

I am hoping that comes soon then as they asked for my next i797. 

 

I am not in the best neighbourhood to be getting buses, I am very streetwise but even I am scared to ride the buses here. Not just that, our location also means to get where you’re going you need 2-3 changes and a lot of time. 

 

I have a bike, but much like the walking situation, theres nowhere nearby to ride to safely. I have to cross a freeway to the nearest supermarket and there is no paths. 

 

I am so p*ssed at the fact that they cant even give you a temporary licence based on your Uk licence in the gap but it sounds like other states must do this too. I mean trying to find the positives, and struggling, I could be paying insurance for a car I couldnt drive between i94 expiry and the next NOA

 

Sigh

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On 3/13/2019 at 12:20 PM, SpaceAge said:

So to cut a long story short, I moved in December on K1 and married 3 weeks ago. 

Its been deep winter in Ohio so I decided, now stupidly, to not attempt to take my test in snow and icy conditions. 

 

I contacted the BMW on Facebook though to ask about what I needed. This is what they said: 

 

“Since you have legal presence in the US, and if you are a resident of Ohio, you may apply for an Ohio driver license. You will need the following documents:

1. Valid, unexpired Passport
2. US VISA
3. USCIS Form I-94 (showing legal entry into the US).
4. Letter from your employer on letterhead and dated within the last 60 days.
5. Any other USCIS documents you may have
6. Social Security Card (if ever assigned). 
7. Proof of your Ohio resident street address.
8. Valid, unexpired Out of Country driver license (if ever obtained) and International Driving Permit (if license has not been translated into English).

Once you have the necessary documents you will want to visit a local Driver Exam Station where you will be required to complete and pass the vision, knowledge, driving, and maneuverability exams. You will then be directed to a Deputy Registrar Agency where you will be able to purchase an Ohio driver license.” 

 

So maybe I read this wrong but I have my I94 showing legal entry, it expires this week so this is why I went to do my test today with marriage licence in hand to show I had done what was required within that 90 days. (Also learned the hard way SSN need a valid i94 but within 2 weeks of expiry which isnt on the form so I’m without that too now) 

 

Basically they said, I could sit my test today, but it would only give me a valid driving licence to the end of the I94...so 2 days validity. Then I cant legally drive until the next i797 and even then it expires at the end date on that document all the way until green card. This seems logical on the one hand but totally insane on the other. If we are visitors we can drive on our UK licences when here on an ESTA but now I am here legally and done everything right so far I cannot drive on my UK licence past 30 days of your entry to the US. 

 

I know I’m ranting, I have cried today at this news as I am literally stranded with my partner working long hours and Uber is expensive. I almost bought a car last week but luckily we didnt. 

 

So can anyone help me with the I797 next estimates for being back in status and how long that status is to see if it is worth this stop start window to test bearing in mind insurance payments will be continuous. I will be posting AOS Monday having got my marriage licence yesterday but desperately need some wings. *sobs* 

Personally, I'd say if you can go into the local DMV and talk to a person. Often the people responding to social media enquiries don't work in specifics so don't know any workarounds.  

If I was to believe the information on the WI DMV website, I shouldn't be able to get my license. 

Yesterday I left the local DMV with my "instruction permit"  after passing the vision test and theory tests (identifying signs and road rule tests). Booked in for a physical driving skills test next Thursday which will net me a probationary license.   

 

The lady there was very helpful and looked over the paperwork I had (marriage license, i-94, NOA1, Australian passport, Australian unrestricted drivers license) and got me to sign a form that says I'm "not eligible for a SSN" (which I'm not until my Combo card is issued) and then a phone call down to their head office to approve the over-ride - I was in and out in about an hour. 

So, yeah.  Head down to DMV with all the paperwork you have and just ask - worst they can say is no, but you might be lucky.

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In my State and I know others do as well there are licenses for illegals which someone in your situation could also apply for.

 

One of the issues of a K1.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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As others have said, it is worth going back to your BMV and seeing if you can get any further by speaking to someone. It took me 3 visits to get my temporary permit. I really sympathise because I have been in the same position over winter in Michigan. I delayed getting a licence too because the ice and snow scared me. 

 

The first visit at the DMV I did my theory test and had my documents checked. One clerk told me they had to do a Homeland Security check to check I am here legally, and that it could take up to 3 months. That was depressing to hear. They gave me a reference number to check online with SAVE if it had been processed. 10 days later there was a tick mark showing on the SAVE website and that it had been returned to the agency, so we went down to the DMV again only to be told it hadn't cleared. They had access to a different screen which gave more detail and it showed that my case was still under review. Again, that really was a depressing day. My husband called the Secretary of State office the next day to see what could be done. They took his number and called back 3 hours later. That clerk said I had absolutely got clearance and to go back to the DMV. We were prepared to battle and speak to the supervisor by this point but it was absolutely fine and I was issued a temporary permit straight away. I was told that if I wanted to use my UK license I could take the road test ASAP but I want to get more confident driving on the opposite side of the road, and in snow and ice, etc. I know every state has different regulations and requirements but it is worth trying again in person to see if you can get any further. I don't have EAD yet either and the state website said that was a requirement but my other documents sufficed. 

 

Here's the official Ohio list of documents: https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/bmv2424.pdf

 

And some previous threads: 

 

 

 

I took everything I could think of: birth certificate, marriage licence, I94, passport, bank statement, SSN, tax return, letters from USCIS. 

 

As noted elsewhere if you have no luck with your local BMV you could try one that is used to dealing with international residents, like a university town. 

 

I hope you can get this sorted because it's a horrible feeling. I feel so much better since I've at least made a start on getting independent. 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

As others have said, it is worth going back to your BMV and seeing if you can get any further by speaking to someone. It took me 3 visits to get my temporary permit. I really sympathise because I have been in the same position over winter in Michigan. I delayed getting a licence too because the ice and snow scared me. 

 

The first visit at the DMV I did my theory test and had my documents checked. One clerk told me they had to do a Homeland Security check to check I am here legally, and that it could take up to 3 months. That was depressing to hear. They gave me a reference number to check online with SAVE if it had been processed. 10 days later there was a tick mark showing on the SAVE website and that it had been returned to the agency, so we went down to the DMV again only to be told it hadn't cleared. They had access to a different screen which gave more detail and it showed that my case was still under review. Again, that really was a depressing day. My husband called the Secretary of State office the next day to see what could be done. They took his number and called back 3 hours later. That clerk said I had absolutely got clearance and to go back to the DMV. We were prepared to battle and speak to the supervisor by this point but it was absolutely fine and I was issued a temporary permit straight away. I was told that if I wanted to use my UK license I could take the road test ASAP but I want to get more confident driving on the opposite side of the road, and in snow and ice, etc. I know every state has different regulations and requirements but it is worth trying again in person to see if you can get any further. I don't have EAD yet either and the state website said that was a requirement but my other documents sufficed. 

 

Here's the official Ohio list of documents: https://publicsafety.ohio.gov/links/bmv2424.pdf

 

And some previous threads: 

 

 

 

I took everything I could think of: birth certificate, marriage licence, I94, passport, bank statement, SSN, tax return, letters from USCIS. 

 

As noted elsewhere if you have no luck with your local BMV you could try one that is used to dealing with international residents, like a university town. 

 

I hope you can get this sorted because it's a horrible feeling. I feel so much better since I've at least made a start on getting independent. 

 

 

 

Thank you for this, I took absolutely everything up in person and it seems the NOA is what I’m missing as we are just finalising the AOS pack to send. I don’t think NOA1 is what they want either as I understand it, I think it’s NOA2 which is due around EAD

 

The ridiculous part is they said even if I did this pre marriage in December on entry my licence would only have been valid to day 90 (expiry of i94) then I’d have had to go back with the NOA to show my AOS was in processing. 

 

They would have let me take my theory but it would have only have been valid a day and I, like yourself, haven't practised on the roads to have been able to do my test right there and then for the practical. Ohio say the law is a bit grey but after 30 days of entry is the guide that you shouldn't drive on your UK licence without having got your US licence. 

 

Im posting AOS next week so will see what NOA1 says and go back again with that as it acknowledges I am in process of doing it. They were keen to see the end date of my legal presence and the I94 was the latest document and as nothing superceeded it they were having none of it. 

 

Ive emailed ohio BMV again to ask for proper clarification as they said in the first place that what I took was adequate and only mentioned I94 valid entry and nothing about an expiry date. 

 

Hopefully you’re enjoying Michigan, we get over to Detroit pretty often. 

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5 minutes ago, SpaceAge said:

Ive emailed ohio BMV again to ask for proper clarification as they said in the first place that what I took was adequate and only mentioned I94 valid entry and nothing about an expiry date. 

That's good. There were quite a few "if's in their initial reply. I don't understand why there is an issue if you can prove legal presence and Ohio residency, and they will probably do a Homeland Security check anyway. Surely when you get proof of filing for AOS they can accept that. 

 

The thought of having to wait for the GC until I could drive was almost unbearable. Like your situation, it's been almost impossible to even go out for a walk at times, especially when it was in the minus twenties. This winter has really tested me and has made integrating difficult. 

 

My husband is from Ohio and we're about 50 miles from Detroit now. 

 

If you're ever feeling lonely you can DM me. Once I've done the housework every morning (🙄) I'm struggling to occupy myself until my son comes home from school. 

 

Spring will soon be here. 😊 ☀️

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The issue is that you can not prove legal presence, EAD would be the next thing.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Just in case, try calling your U.S. Congressman's office to see if anyone can help or knows a workaround.


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On 3/15/2019 at 11:04 AM, dentsflogged said:

Personally, I'd say if you can go into the local DMV and talk to a person. Often the people responding to social media enquiries don't work in specifics so don't know any workarounds.  

If I was to believe the information on the WI DMV website, I shouldn't be able to get my license. 

Yesterday I left the local DMV with my "instruction permit"  after passing the vision test and theory tests (identifying signs and road rule tests). Booked in for a physical driving skills test next Thursday which will net me a probationary license.   

 

The lady there was very helpful and looked over the paperwork I had (marriage license, i-94, NOA1, Australian passport, Australian unrestricted drivers license) and got me to sign a form that says I'm "not eligible for a SSN" (which I'm not until my Combo card is issued) and then a phone call down to their head office to approve the over-ride - I was in and out in about an hour. 

So, yeah.  Head down to DMV with all the paperwork you have and just ask - worst they can say is no, but you might be lucky.

I did go in person. I just took the paperwork they advised by social media before i went. This was in the local DMV office.

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On 3/13/2019 at 1:54 PM, missileman said:

submitting your I-485 does not give you legal status.  It gives you authorized stay while it is pending.

Not sure how you define "legal status".  A pending AOS does give you "lawful status", though, according to the Real ID act:

https://www.dhs.gov/xlibrary/assets/real-id-act-text.pdf

 

That means that unless a state has different, stricter requirements, a pending AOS should allow you to get a drivers license or state ID.

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