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American driving license

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ksl
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Postby ksl » Thu, 06 Jan 2011 5:05 pm

Just curious, but how do tourists get car hire? Is an international licence which lasts 1 year not acceptable in all States? Are foreign licences transferable from Europe or Singapore providing theory test are taken for example?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 06 Jan 2011 5:25 pm

ksl wrote:Just curious, but how do tourists get car hire? Is an international licence which lasts 1 year not acceptable in all States? Are foreign licences transferable from Europe or Singapore providing theory test are taken for example?


Foreign license will do.

Yes, until you take up residence, then most will give up to 60 days only (some only 10 days)
Yes but different requirements for different states, much the same as getting a license in the EU would be although I understand it tests are longer and harder in Europe than in the US. Also depends on the age of the licensee as well.

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Postby JR8 » Thu, 06 Jan 2011 6:24 pm

I spent 2 years in the states... never had to get a US license... tho the insurers (State Farm) did get a pit pernickety at the end.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 2:09 am

noodlemama wrote:Thanks for this.

longstebe - good points, but I did look at the DOT website and can't find anything that applies to someone in my situation. I want a US license as I won't be living in Singapore my whole life and have to get one at some point anyway.

I have time this summer to take on this project. The state where I now vacation is not the same state where my previous license was from. I guess who I really need to ask is a tax person. From what I can gleam from the DOT website is that I need to be a resident. If I claim residency in order to obtain a driving license, then does that mean I have to pay state tax? I own property there so I could claim residency.

I also think that for my son, he would have to do the six-month wait. But I don’t know that for sure because he is not shifting state residency as he doesn’t have any right now. He would be establishing one for the first time…

All these things to deal with. Not easy when you are an American, but yet not...


With as much time as has gone by, it is a virtual certainty that every state in the union will have purged your license and you will need to retake a written and driving test. This happened to a Texas friend of mine.

The kicker for you is that every state will require proof of residency in that state in order to apply for a driver's license. You can choose your children's or parent's address or perhaps that of friends willing to let you use their address as your residence address, and that is the state in which you must get your drivers license.
Last edited by Strong Eagle on Fri, 07 Jan 2011 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 5:18 am

...Leading right back to the question of, why would you want a driver's license, if you don't even live there?

:???:

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 8:07 am

JR8 wrote:...Leading right back to the question of, why would you want a driver's license, if you don't even live there?

:???:

Me: I am back in my country typically once a year and then I drive for 2-3 weeks. Perhaps SG DL would do but just to avoid all stupid chitchats with police or car renting companies (if I need one) ... is it valid? maybe is not, Not valid here for sure, Singapore, where is it?

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Postby JR8 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 4:23 pm

Ah, I kinda see your thinking there, though do wonder how frequently you are pulled over by the police :wink:

Out of interest I thought I'd have a look at the website of Avis.com. In the FAQ there is a topic 'Do I need a US drivers license to rent from Avis?', to which the reply is:

'A valid driver's license is required for all operators of any Avis vehicle. The license must be valid at the time of rental, and remain valid throughout the rental period. All drivers must meet Avis' requirements. Driver's licenses accepted in the U.S. are:
•Any license issued by any U.S. state, territory or possession.
A license issued by a Canadian province.
•A license issued by a country that participated in the 1949 Geneva convention on Road Traffic or the 1943 Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automobile Traffic.
•A license issued by a country that has a reciprocal agreement with the U.S.

For more information, please call 800-331-1212. If you intend to rent outside your home country, you may also be required to present an International Driver's Permit. International Driver's Permits are valid only if presented with the original local license. An International Driver's Permit it not acceptable by itself. In addition, at the time of rental, the renter, authorized driver or additional driver may be subject to an electronic DMV check or may be required to sign a declaration attesting to the fact that they have a valid license that is not currently suspended, revoked, expired, cancelled or surrendered. A temporary driver's license is acceptable only if it has no restrictions and is valid for the entire period of the rental. Individuals with learner's permits may not operate Avis vehicles.'


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Con ... ng_Parties

So it all seemed pretty clear-cut until the second bit about IDP's!

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Postby x9200 » Fri, 07 Jan 2011 8:13 pm

JR8 wrote:Ah, I kinda see your thinking there, though do wonder how frequently you are pulled over by the police :wink:

Probably less than 10 times in 25 years. I didn't say it was rational :)

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Postby noodlemama » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 1:00 pm

JR8 - I want a US license as I have a feeling that I may be purchasing a car soon that will remain in the states. As you mentioned insurance companies (no - all companies) in the states can't look past their own backyard.

Do you think my 50% NCD for my good driving record here will make any difference in my insurance rates? I'm just saying that I feel that it would make purchasing and insuring a car a heckofa lot easier if I had a US license.

I did try emailing (in this case Wisconsin) DOT but it never went through.

My son is a US citizen and will be starting college in the states this fall. I use my Singapore license when renting in the states. I was told that so long as the international license is in English, then this is not a problem.

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Postby JR8 » Tue, 11 Jan 2011 6:25 pm

noodlemama wrote:JR8 - I want a US license as I have a feeling that I may be purchasing a car soon that will remain in the states. As you mentioned insurance companies (no - all companies) in the states can't look past their own backyard.

Do you think my 50% NCD for my good driving record here will make any difference in my insurance rates? I'm just saying that I feel that it would make purchasing and insuring a car a heckofa lot easier if I had a US license.

I did try emailing (in this case Wisconsin) DOT but it never went through.

My son is a US citizen and will be starting college in the states this fall. I use my Singapore license when renting in the states. I was told that so long as the international license is in English, then this is not a problem.


Is the plan that you buy a car for your son, have you as the owner, and him as a named driver? Just curious as that is something you read about being done in the UK. I'm no motoring expert I must say, though the one time I did need to buy a car was whilst in the US (elsewhere I have had use of others' cars, or lived in city centres where cars are more of a liability than useful tool).

When I got to the US I bought, registered and insured my car using a UK license, it was simple. I believe the insurer had a requirement that I take a local test after a set amount of time, but to be honest I don't recall now. For insurance purposes though I might as well have landed from another planet, 16 years no claims?, 'but you're an alien'. You might be able to make a stronger case if you have the physical paperwork as proof, though I imagine a clerk in an insurance office is going to go a bit cross-eyed reading 'alien' documentation.

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Postby I.Kelly » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 12:39 pm

while on the topic of US driver's license, i would like to find out how to convert my license to singapore license? i heard that you need to take a basic theory test, but when i checked, the soonest date is like March 7 already. is it possible to just walk in to the DMV any time any day n take the test (like in the US)? anyone knows how i can take the test sooner?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 1:28 pm

No need to worry or fret. You can drive on your US license for 12 months before having to get a local one. So take your time, make an appointment & buy a book on Singapore Driving Theory at any grocery store near the checkout counters.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Wed, 12 Jan 2011 3:45 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:No need to worry or fret. You can drive on your US license for 12 months before having to get a local one. So take your time, make an appointment & buy a book on Singapore Driving Theory at any grocery store near the checkout counters.


As a matter of fact, so long as you book before your 12 months are up, it doesn't matter if the test date is more than 12 months old... you'll still be able to convert.

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Postby I.Kelly » Tue, 18 Jan 2011 2:24 pm

thanks for the insights...

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Postby beenthere » Mon, 06 Jun 2011 5:09 pm

Rather than opening up a new thread, this seemed relevant enough.

One year on the dot. Almost.

We'll be going back home to the states this summer and I was wondering if anyone here has any experience with renting a car with a Singapore license? I'm particularly interested in the insurance bit - does anyone know a good insurer rather than signing up for the exorbitant rental company's rates?


ps. my California license just expired and I had almost forgotten to get my Singapore license. Thankfully I was able to find an open test date with one of the test centers just before my license expiration. (in CA - you need to renew your license every 5 years. You can do it online and they use the same picture they have on file from umpteen years ago)


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