Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

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PNGMK
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Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

Post by PNGMK » Tue, 15 Mar 2022 11:50 am

This comes up every time we plan to head back to the US. My wife inadvertently let her TX drivers license lapse and now we do not have anyone in our family with an American drives license. This isn't too much of a problem if you're renting a car and just visiting but as we were thinking of buying a car this trip for our eventual return (basically an ex hertz rental car and just keeping it) it turns out that having a US license is pretty important.

I've managed to keep my Aussie license (which includes difficult classes such as semi-trailers) going - even through Covid 19 as it is valid for 5 years and registered at my mothers address and they allow renewal via post but I understand from my wife that the main issue was that she did not move the registered address from a rental apartment and hence never got a renewal notice.

To re-instate her license is hugely difficult now because of the post 9-11 ID regulations. Fortunately- before her TX license expired - she managed to convert it to a Singapore license.

So, move your registered address to one where you will be able to get the renewal notice and secondly put into your calendar a reminder to renew it as least one month before it expires!

Note that technically an Australia can only hold a drivers license in the state he/she is legally resident but it's never really been raised as a point of concern. I do use my Singapore driver's license when I drive in my home state as a work around...
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Re: Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

Post by bro75 » Tue, 15 Mar 2022 3:29 pm

I always try to renew my Philippine drivers license but I will let it expire this year as I am not yet able to go back for renewal which has to be done in person. Fortunately, if you renew it within a few months of expiration (i am not sure how long is the grace period), you can still renew it by just paying an extra penalty.

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Re: Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

Post by malcontent » Tue, 15 Mar 2022 5:31 pm

PNGMK wrote:
Tue, 15 Mar 2022 11:50 am
This comes up every time we plan to head back to the US. My wife inadvertently let her TX drivers license lapse and now we do not have anyone in our family with an American drives license. This isn't too much of a problem if you're renting a car and just visiting but as we were thinking of buying a car this trip for our eventual return (basically an ex hertz rental car and just keeping it) it turns out that having a US license is pretty important.

I've managed to keep my Aussie license (which includes difficult classes such as semi-trailers) going - even through Covid 19 as it is valid for 5 years and registered at my mothers address and they allow renewal via post but I understand from my wife that the main issue was that she did not move the registered address from a rental apartment and hence never got a renewal notice.

To re-instate her license is hugely difficult now because of the post 9-11 ID regulations. Fortunately- before her TX license expired - she managed to convert it to a Singapore license.

So, move your registered address to one where you will be able to get the renewal notice and secondly put into your calendar a reminder to renew it as least one month before it expires!

Note that technically an Australia can only hold a drivers license in the state he/she is legally resident but it's never really been raised as a point of concern. I do use my Singapore driver's license when I drive in my home state as a work around...
Sage advice. It’s even harder if you are no longer a citizen or resident of that country. I have managed to keep renewing my wife’s Michigan DL since we left in 1996 up to now. We changed her address to my parent’s address long ago, so that hasn’t changed. The last time she had to renew in person they just asked for her SSN, which fortunately she remembers from when we lived there. As long as she keeps renewing it, the 9-11 ID stuff can be waived in the state of Michigan.

As for myself I thought it wouldn’t matter and let my DL expire. Big mistake. The last time we went back in 2019, I tried to renew and they treated me like a new driver. Under Michigan law, a Singapore DL is not good enough for direct conversion, so I had to do a 45 minute on-the-road driving test with a driving instructor, and pass a written test before they would renew my license. Had I not let it expire beyond 4 years, I could have avoided that. Each state is different though.

The other thing to keep up is credit history. I had done that myself but not for my wife. Over the past 8 years or so I embarked on a journey to reestablish her credit history. First I tried applying for a card that didn’t require good credit, but was denied. I then added her as a supplemental user on my card, let that incubate for 3 months… then reapplied under her name — that worked and she got a $500 credit limit. Within 12 months it was upped to $1,000. After 24 months, several thousand, and by 36 months it was a 5-figure limit. In the US they don’t verify your employer or income, it’s all based on making timely payments. Today, just one of her cards has a $35k limit and she has a credit score > 800. Each time before we go back I apply for at least one new card for each of us and get a nice sign up bonus, cutting around $1k off our trip cost.
It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters ~ Epictetus

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Re: Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 15 Mar 2022 7:40 pm

Suffice it to say, I made the same mistake when I came here. My US Louisiana Driver's license expired about 8 months in to my 2nd 12 month hitch here but by that time I'd remarried locally and had a bun in the oven so didn't bother to make a trip back home or renew it (in fact, I don't remember even getting a renewal notice as I never had a forwarding address from the US to here. I did manage to stay on the Louisiana Voter Rolls though. So, as noted by Mal, to go back and get a new license they don't care. You virtually have to start from scratch. I even had a year long course in driving while I was in High School prior to turning 16 in the state of MD. I had to chuckle at what Mal used for establish credit for his wife. I did much the same thing the 7th year after my bankruptcy back in the early 70's after Hurricane's Agnes and Cynthia (the 2nd hurricane was a redhead though). LOL.. Mal has seen the two CC I've been carrying since 1979 primarily because they show a member since date of that year as a reminder of Why you look after your credit and financial standings ALWAYS. That was the year I finally reestablished a viable credit rating after the bankruptcy in 1972~73.
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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Re: Don't let your overseas drivers license expire!

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 15 Mar 2022 9:07 pm

This is a very import time sensitive topic so I've made it a sticky as it shouldn't be lost to newcomers who, like us, didn't pay too much attention to it and the rule changes in our home countries. - mod
SOME PEOPLE TRY TO TURN BACK THEIR ODOMETERS. NOT ME. I WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW WHY I LOOK THIS WAY. I'VE TRAVELED A LONG WAY, AND SOME OF THE ROADS WEREN'T PAVED. ~ Will Rogers

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