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Driver's License Question

I got my Driver's License in PA, where I grew up. I have renewed it since moving abroad, I just did it when I was home visiting. But now, my parents are moving to NY. They have to convert their licenses to NY licenses, and so do I. So do I just basically pretend that I live at their new address? I mean I guess that's what I'm doing now with my PA address... 

But I guess my question is, do they need to know I'm living abroad or not?

Thanks!

ETA: I'm going to NY in August and will need to drive while there, so I'm going to convert it when I get there, it's just a question of how I handle the fact that I don't actually live there.

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Re: Driver's License Question

  • I never use my PA license for anything, so I would vote for no, you don't need to change anything until you go visit again.  Then I would change the license to a NY license.
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  • My license was GA for the whole time I was in the UAE, and I didn't live there (while I was abroad--it was just the last place I lived before moving out of the US) or know anyone who did. I would not bother changing it. Also if you pretend to live with your parents in NY you might have to show proof that you personally live there, and since you don't and never have that could be tricky.
  • To clarify - I am going to NY in August. Should've put that in the post, I'll edit it, haha. that would be good to know.

    But Marista - what should I do if I don't list their address as my own? Do I say I live here but I want a NY license anyway?

    Thanks!

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  • imageMrs.E.07:

    To clarify - I am going to NY in August. Should've put that in the post, I'll edit it, haha. that would be good to know.

    But Marista - what should I do if I don't list their address as my own? Do I say I live here but I want a NY license anyway?

    Thanks!

    I don't see why you need a NY license. Is your PA one about to expire? Could you just renew that one? My point was you don't need to actually live at the place where you got your license from, if you live abroad you can keep the one from where you lived last.
  • imagemarista99:
    imageMrs.E.07:

    To clarify - I am going to NY in August. Should've put that in the post, I'll edit it, haha. that would be good to know.

    But Marista - what should I do if I don't list their address as my own? Do I say I live here but I want a NY license anyway?

    Thanks!

    I don't see why you need a NY license. Is your PA one about to expire? Could you just renew that one? My point was you don't need to actually live at the place where you got your license from, if you live abroad you can keep the one from where you lived last.

    No, it's not about to expire, but from what I understand and have read, I won't be able to drive on my PA license after my parents move (so after the address on my license is no longer valid). It seems to vary from state to state, and unfortunately it seems like NY is strict in terms of this.

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  • I would call NY and PA DMV's and ask (or look online) how to do this if you live abroad. You can't be the only person having this problem! If nothing else I've heard FL is where a lot of expats are licensed because it's easy to get one there. I guess I'm not much help though because I never bothered to check, I just assumed I would keep my GA license until I was living in the States again. Maybe I wasn't allowed to do it, but no one ever called me on it.
  • Be careful how you approach this. My H had to renew his license in FL when we were back there last month. They've changed a lot of the laws and even for a renewal he had to have his social security card, two proofs that he lived at that address (we have several of our bills going to my parent's house so that wasn't a problem) and something else (I don't remember... birth certificate, passport, I don't recall). Technically, you have to be a permanent resident to get a driver's license for the place, and it's supposed to be done within a certain amount of time of the move. If you tell them that you are living abroad, then they probably won't give you the license. 

     

  • imagetraveling turtle:

    Be careful how you approach this. My H had to renew his license in FL when we were back there last month. They've changed a lot of the laws and even for a renewal he had to have his social security card, two proofs that he lived at that address (we have several of our bills going to my parent's house so that wasn't a problem) and something else (I don't remember... birth certificate, passport, I don't recall). Technically, you have to be a permanent resident to get a driver's license for the place, and it's supposed to be done within a certain amount of time of the move. If you tell them that you are living abroad, then they probably won't give you the license. 

     

    oooh, see this is exactly what I'm worried about! According to the NY DMV website, I have all the documentation I need, but you never know.

    But I mean, you must be able to keep your US DL even if you live abroad, right? Otherwise...you'd have to retake your drivers test if you moved back? That's totally ridiculous. So there must be a way to do this the "right" way, I just have to find it!

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  • I think there's an expectation that if you have a dl in the states and move abroad, you'll want/get one abroad. When you get one abroad you are supposed to (at least in Germany and in Denmark) give them your US license and then get the "abroad" license and when you go to the states, you give them the "abroad" license for the US one. (It gets complicated to the point where you can go back to where your US license is kept and ask for it back for when you are going to the states, but then you have to give them the german license) That doesn't work for us because we don't have a car here and if we wanted to get a license, because we're from FL, we'd have to take the test. We haven't done it. 

    I think the problem is in the states the DL is the goto identity/residency card. So, if you don't live there... I'd call them up and ask what they do in a situation like yours. They don't have to know it's you calling.  I don't think you'll have to retake the test. 

  • I've kept my drivers license address as wherever my mom lives ever since I was away for college. The trick is- if you do get pulled over, just say that you've just moved to the state 2 weeks ago (usually less than 60 days is the rule, or you'll get another ticket for failure to change address). Sometimes the cop won't even want to deal with the paperwork and will just let you go. If it's easier for you to change it though, just have a bill or bank statement go to their new address, so you can "prove residency". I've never run into a problem doing it this way, and I haven't lived with my mother in 10 years.
  • imageMrs.E.07:
    imagetraveling turtle:

    Be careful how you approach this. My H had to renew his license in FL when we were back there last month. They've changed a lot of the laws and even for a renewal he had to have his social security card, two proofs that he lived at that address (we have several of our bills going to my parent's house so that wasn't a problem) and something else (I don't remember... birth certificate, passport, I don't recall). Technically, you have to be a permanent resident to get a driver's license for the place, and it's supposed to be done within a certain amount of time of the move. If you tell them that you are living abroad, then they probably won't give you the license. 

     

    oooh, see this is exactly what I'm worried about! According to the NY DMV website, I have all the documentation I need, but you never know.

    But I mean, you must be able to keep your US DL even if you live abroad, right? Otherwise...you'd have to retake your drivers test if you moved back? That's totally ridiculous. So there must be a way to do this the "right" way, I just have to find it!

    When I moved to NY, I had to take the written portion of the drivers test to get my license switched from NJ anyway. Then, when I moved to IN, I had to take the written portion of the drivers test to switch from NY to IN. It seems like many states will ask you to retest no matter what.

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  • Unless you're dealing with auto insurance where you'd need to update your license for the state, I'd just keep PA.  It's less hassle for you and to be honest, how much will you really be driving?
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  • UPDATE: I called the NY DMV, and without identifying myself, explained my situation. They said there was no problem at all, and to just use my parents' new address. I was very clear, I even said "ok, so it's ok that I use their address even though I'm not actually living there right now?" and she said yes, that's fine.

    I don't know why I didn't just call earlier, for some reason it didn't occur to me to not say my name. lol! Thanks, Marista, for suggesting that.

    I'm sure it's different for every state, but it looks like I'll be ok for now!

    MintChoco - I would totally do that, except my parents were told that they had to convert their PA licenses to NY licenses within like 30 days or some really short period of time. And I'm going to be driving up to Maine and back in august, so I want to make sure I'm not gonna get into any trouble.

    Thanks everyone for all your help!

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    </br>TTC #1 since Sept 2011 </br> BFP#1 1/31/12. Empty sac discovered 3/5/12. MTX due to location in uterine horn.
    </br> BFP#2 2/27/13. Please be our rainbow!
    </br>
    </br>
    <a href="http://www.adventuresaboundabroad.blogspot.com">Blog</a>
  • imageMrs.E.07:

    UPDATE: I called the NY DMV, and without identifying myself, explained my situation. They said there was no problem at all, and to just use my parents' new address. I was very clear, I even said "ok, so it's ok that I use their address even though I'm not actually living there right now?" and she said yes, that's fine. 

    That's great to know, since I'm currently using my MIL's address in NY to maintain my NY license!

    Glad to hear you're not going to run into any problems. 

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    I always used my dad's address for my license during the 7 years I  lived abroad.
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  • I've only ever had to deal with a Colorado licence as so far my parents have never moved. For a Colorado licence I can actually renew online (never tried that) and to renew I only had to bring my old licence and tell them my SS number.

    No idea what'll happen if there's a change of address though. My parents bought this house right between me getting my permit and my licence, and after that never moved. They're looking at retiring overseas though, so I wonder what happens then...

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