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laws around driving with out of state license?

Discussion in 'California' started by gnychis, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Nov 3, 2013
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    Location:
    Boston, MA
    I recently moved to the Bay Area and still have to get a CA license. The DMVs out here are stupid busy... the next available appointment to avoid waits isn't until March? Good lord. Does anyone have any tips on that?

    What I was wondering is what the laws around here are about driving with an out of state license. I purchased the Tesla in CA, so it has CA plates. I understand that out-of-state plates are a big deal here, so that isn't my issue. I tried looking at a couple DMV websites (like here and here and here) about out-of-state license and couldn't really find anything.

    Is an out-of-state license a non-issue as long as it's not expired? Additionally, I'm concerned about applying for the Clean Air Vehicle stickers without a CA license. I'm trying to get the CA license, it's just taking time...
     
  2. Klaus

    Klaus Member

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2013
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    From the DMV website Driver License and Identification 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 become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.

    To apply for an original driver license if you are over 18, you will need to do the following:

    Visit a DMV office (make an Appointment(s) for faster service)
    Complete application form DL 44 (An original DL 44 form must be submitted. Copies will not be accepted.)
    Give a thumb print
    Have your picture taken
    Provide your social security number. It will be verified with the Social Security Administration while you are in the office.
    Verify your birth date and legal presence If your current name no longer matches the name on your birth data/legal presence document, see “True Full Name” and “How to Change Your Name” for more information.
    Provide your true full name
    Pay the application fee
    Pass a vision exam
    Pass a traffic laws and sign test. There are 36 questions on the test. You have three chances to pass.(Sample Test)
     
  3. Crispix

    Crispix Member

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    Location:
    San Diego
    If it were me, I'd make the appointment for March, print out the appointment receipt and put it in the glove box. That way if I got pulled over I could show it's in process. I'd expect a cop to be reasonable about it.
     
  4. gnychis

    gnychis Member

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    Boston, MA
    Thanks for finding that info, Klaus! Good idea Crispix. I made an appointment for it and printed out my appointment itinerary. I'll toss it in the glove box :)
     
  5. Oski

    Oski Member

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    El Macero, CA
    Keep in mind that "faster" is relative. I made an appointment to basically walk in and swap the plates that came with my car with the vanity plates that I ordered. Took me an hour with an appointment.
     
  6. astrotoy

    astrotoy Member

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    SF Bay Area
    It used to be that many AAA offices were authorized to perform many, but not all DMV functions. I remember doing license plates and change of vehicle registration, but not driver's license tests. Not sure what the current situation is. If they can do what you want (or some part of what you want) it should be much faster and in a more commodious setting. You have to be a member to use the services.
     
  7. NoMoGas

    NoMoGas Member

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    It's a fix-it ticket. No need to worry. Just make the appointment
     
  8. Uncle Paul

    Uncle Paul Member

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    Location:
    San Diego
    In California they are more worried about having your car properly registered and insured withing 10 days than having a local drivers license. Your DMV appointment date should satisfy their interest. They are well aware that the DMV is backed up, and if you are making a good faith effort, you should be good to go.

    On the other hand, if you are driving in a dangerous manner, and attract their attention for that, they well may cite you for no license, just to have something easy for them to write up.

    Same thing with front license plate. In some areas they don't care, but in others (especially with photo radar) they will inforce it in the regular course of business.
     
  9. Oski

    Oski Member

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    Location:
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    I concur with the good faith effort. I once had a car that was out of service, that I paid the reg fees on, but registration wasn't finalized because it needed a smog check (darn ICE cars). Once I fixed it, I needed to get it to the smog check station. Got pulled over on the way there for expired tags. I told them what happened, told them that I was on my way to get a smog check, and showed them my parts receipts and the smog coupon and reg notice that I had on the passenger seat. They were cool with that. However, they told me that a lot of people use that as an excuse. Because I had the documentation, they believed me.
     

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