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Old 16-06-2016, 15:15   #16
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Originally Posted by nauticalnomad View Post
I have been travelling for 15 yrs now on my Australian license and i always when stopped say im leaving the country next week... Never had any issues and been stopped heaps. They cant even take it off you in a foreign country as its a legal document from another country. I was only ever going to get an exchange license when/if i decide to go home for good then id always be on vacation there..International license is a money scam by non govt motoring schemes. Its a piece of paper that costs you money to show alongside your DL. As long as your license is not in chinese or arabic and is readable then you are permitted whilst on holidays to drive on it. You are obviously on holidays as you are not in your home country... Arent you......!
Gee that's generous over there.

We wouldn't let anyone do it here. Not for any time.

And given how easy and cheap it is to buy a drivers license in Bali and Thailand.
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Old 16-06-2016, 15:49   #17
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

I feel like some things like this could be difficult when they keep asking for at least 2 items to prove residency, like utility bills, mortgage statement, rental agreement, etc., in order to obtain/renew a drivers license. I've wondered how much of a headache it is for people who go sailing full time or RVing when there is no other ties to conventional housing.

Another way to keep you tied down so they can tax you as much as they can, it seems.
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Old 16-06-2016, 19:24   #18
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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I'm pretty sure you would need to have a Texas address. The license is good for 6 years, but you need to renew in person every other time.

Ralph
You do need a Texas address, but you can renew online. Left the USA in 2004 and still have a Texas lic.
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Old 16-06-2016, 19:29   #19
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Originally Posted by nauticalnomad View Post
I have been travelling for 15 yrs now on my Australian license and i always when stopped say im leaving the country next week... Never had any issues and been stopped heaps. They cant even take it off you in a foreign country as its a legal document from another country. ...
Tell that to cops in Nicaragua...they will hold your liscence for traffic ticket payment. Much to my surprise, I actually got mine back upon payment of fine. Louisiana, USA used to do the same.
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Old 17-06-2016, 08:31   #20
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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You do need a Texas address, but you can renew online. Left the USA in 2004 and still have a Texas lic.
Nope....had to renew in person last time.

Have renewed your DL in person the last time. - Texas Drivers License Renewal Guide | DMV.org
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Old 17-06-2016, 09:17   #21
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Get a licence from where you live in Europe and get an international licence (if needed) for when you return to the US
No, get a European AND a US licence: Many years ago we had a good friend who was both British and American, after passing his driving test in the USA he came to England and on the strength of the US licence, he obtained a British one too. He spent about six months of the year in both UK/USA but if stopped by the police in either country, he would produce his licence from the other, speak with his most pronounced English or Alabama accent to match it and invariably drive off with just a warning rather than a ticket.
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Old 17-06-2016, 22:09   #22
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Nope....had to renew in person last time.

Have renewed your DL in person the last time. - Texas Drivers License Renewal Guide | DMV.org
Oh well, maybe they changed policies since I renewed online. Mine is still good for a few years and I have a Panamanian licence now so not a problem.
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Old 17-06-2016, 23:03   #23
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Originally Posted by bobnlesley View Post
No, get a European AND a US licence: Many years ago we had a good friend who was both British and American, after passing his driving test in the USA he came to England and on the strength of the US licence, he obtained a British one too. He spent about six months of the year in both UK/USA but if stopped by the police in either country, he would produce his licence from the other, speak with his most pronounced English or Alabama accent to match it and invariably drive off with just a warning rather than a ticket.
The problem for very many cruisers is that to get a European license, you ALSO need to be a resident of that country. Why does anyone think that the Europeans are looser than the Americans? And most Europeans define residency much more strictly than American states do -- you have to be registered with the police, pay taxes, have their SS number, etc. -- something no cruiser is likely to ever achieve even after decades.

So if you are really a nomad, you are screwed! You are not legally entitled to a U.S. license, and you'll never get a European one if you're just cruising from country to country.

Some people (not naming any names here) keep their U.S. licenses for even decades after leaving the country. Many states will let you renew by mail and will even mail the license to an address out of state. It is ILLEGAL to obtain or (probably) renew a U.S. driver's license if you are not an actual resident of the state, and I believe there are serious penalties involved, so do this at your own risk. But very many "nomad" cruisers do exactly that.
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Old 18-06-2016, 04:14   #24
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
.....
Some people (not naming any names here) keep their U.S. licenses for even decades after leaving the country. Many states will let you renew by mail and will even mail the license to an address out of state. It is ILLEGAL to obtain or (probably) renew a U.S. driver's license if you are not an actual resident of the state, and I believe there are serious penalties involved, so do this at your own risk. But very many "nomad" cruisers do exactly that.
Not sure what you mean by this. Leaving on sailboat to spend significant time out side the country does not mean you loose your residency status in your prior state, even if you no longer have a home in that state. I'm sure the rules vary a bit from state to state. In Washington there are some fairly clear statements.
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If you are a United States citizen living abroad, you may use your last Washington address
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Old 18-06-2016, 04:24   #25
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
The problem for very many cruisers is that to get a European license, you ALSO need to be a resident of that country. Why does anyone think that the Europeans are looser than the Americans? And most Europeans define residency much more strictly than American states do -- you have to be registered with the police, pay taxes, have their SS number, etc. -- something no cruiser is likely to ever achieve even after decades.

So if you are really a nomad, you are screwed! You are not legally entitled to a U.S. license, and you'll never get a European one if you're just cruising from country to country.

Some people (not naming any names here) keep their U.S. licenses for even decades after leaving the country. Many states will let you renew by mail and will even mail the license to an address out of state. It is ILLEGAL to obtain or (probably) renew a U.S. driver's license if you are not an actual resident of the state, and I believe there are serious penalties involved, so do this at your own risk. But very many "nomad" cruisers do exactly that.
Australia is pretty much the same.

In our little state you now must appear in person to renew your license and have your photo taken, or they won't renew it. And you do need to give a residential address.
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Old 19-06-2016, 12:00   #26
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

I have considered this, but where I am the license process seems ludicrous and I don't speak the language. Plus, I don't drive here I will probably only drive in the states when visiting or if we ever move back there.

Thanks though,

Seb

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Get a licence from where you live in Europe and get an international licence (if needed) for when you return to the US
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Old 19-06-2016, 12:02   #27
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

Thanks, I won't contribute much, but I am learning.

Seb

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Old 19-06-2016, 12:05   #28
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

Yes, they seem to know there business well.

Do they help you with your drivers license?

Last time I talked to them there more hoops to jump through than there were before, but it seems they know what to do.

And yes, I am only considering states with no Income Tax.

Seb


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we are from Fla and use St Brendan's Isle -- I have to reup next year so will see as I am over 70 by then and they may want a test - but St Brendan's has been great - tell them SoulMates sent you


OH and don't forget Fla is no income tax state.
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Old 19-06-2016, 12:10   #29
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

It just seems to be the best and easiest route to go in the long run since I don't drive here in Europe. I really only want the license for trips to the states or if we ever move back there. Plus, I don't know what I would have to do if it expires to get it back. It just seems the easiest to keep one active.

Before I left the states I renewed my WY license so I would have the full 5 years.

Seb

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This. An international license will be recognized in the United States.

Or, if you have any other reasons for wanting to have an "official" address in the United States, then St. Brendan's Isle has been in business for a long time, and has a great reputation among cruisers. Yes, there are a few hoops to jump through, but really nothing serious.

Good luck.
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Old 19-06-2016, 12:13   #30
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Re: U.S. Drivers license

Yup, and those are the hoops that need to be addressed -- what is needed to satisfy them.

There is and address service in Houston that we have used, but, weather that is enough is doubtful.

Sometimes if you have a bank statement to the Texas address or something like that it is enough. I just want to know what to do before actually going back to get the license -- ducks in a row and all

Seb

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I'm pretty sure you would need to have a Texas address. The license is good for 6 years, but you need to renew in person every other time.

Ralph
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