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Topic: Drivers license - so what's the deal?  (Read 455 times)

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Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« on: April 25, 2019, 07:22:32 PM »
Hi all,

I'm jonesin' to drive again after 10 months of my husband driving me around Ms. Daisy style. What's the deal with getting your license here if you've been here for less than a year?

I know that I have to take classes and stuff as well as learn to drive manual.  :o but apart from that, I don't know whether my no-claims bonus I qualified for in America can be used here??

Any and all advice would be useful at this point!


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2019, 07:29:26 PM »
Hi all,

I'm jonesin' to drive again after 10 months of my husband driving me around Ms. Daisy style. What's the deal with getting your license here if you've been here for less than a year?

I know that I have to take classes and stuff as well as learn to drive manual.  :o but apart from that, I don't know whether my no-claims bonus I qualified for in America can be used here??

Any and all advice would be useful at this point!

You can drive on your US licence for up to one year after you arrived. After that, you must have a UK provisional and follow all the related restrictions.

Some companies will give you credit for your US no claims, others won't, you will have to ask your insurer, it may be worth shopping around.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2019, 07:42:06 PM »
You can drive on your US licence for up to one year after you arrived. After that, you must have a UK provisional and follow all the related restrictions.

Some companies will give you credit for your US no claims, others won't, you will have to ask your insurer, it may be worth shopping around.

https://www.gov.uk/apply-first-provisional-driving-licence

Thanks for that Larrabee. Definitely will shop around. Hoping it's possible to get my UK license within a month or so in order to skip the provisional!


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2019, 07:49:44 PM »
Thanks for that Larrabee. Definitely will shop around. Hoping it's possible to get my UK license within a month or so in order to skip the provisional!


You have to get the provisional first and it'll likely take some studying and some lessons to pass the tests. You will also probably have to wait a while for a date. It's not a quick process unfortunately.
March 28th 2013-Moved to UK, husband on spouse visa.Oct 20th 2015-Applied by mail for FLR(M).Feb 1st 2016 FLR(M).March 7th 2018 ILR. YAY! March 21st NCS&JCAP appointment.


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2019, 08:00:55 PM »
Apply for your provisional now to get the process started.  For the first 12 months since you entered, you can drive on your US license without restrictions, whether you hold the provisional or not.  After the 12 months have elapsed (in about 2 months' time?), if you haven't obtained your full UK driving license yet, you will have to adhere to the restrictions for learner drivers.  But if you're very *very* quick, and if test dates are available, it might be possible to get your full license in time to not be restricted.

This is the process:

1. Apply for your provisional license here
2. Start studying for the theory test (there are very good apps available for that published by TSO).
3. Book and pass your theory test: link
4. Once you have your theory pass certificate, you can book a practical driving test, however lessons are strongly encouraged to learn how to pass the test... it's hard.  Nothing like a US test.  They're very particular.  I had 6 hours of lessons over several days.
5.  When you/your instructor think you're ready, book your practical driving test.

Costs:
Provisional license: £34
Theory test: £23
Practical test:  £62

Lessons: Usually around £25/hour, I think?
9/1/2013 - "fiancée" (marriage) visa issued
4/6/2013 - married (certificate issued same-day)
5/6/2013 - FLR(M)#1 in person -- approved!
8/1/2016 - FLR(M)#2 by post -- approved!
8/5/2018 - ILR in person -- approved!
22/11/2018 - Citizenship (online, with NDRS+JCAP) -- approved!
14/12/2018 - I became a British citizen.  :)


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2019, 08:44:18 PM »
Be sure your US license is still valid - you're allowed to drive here for up to a year as a visitor with a valid license. If you're from one of those states where your license becomes invalid if you move out of state....

You can also do the actual drive test for automatic only, if you're not comfortable with a standard (manual) transmission. Of course, you then would only be licensed to drive automatic transmission cars in the UK. But once you were comfortable with driving here, you could go take the manual test.  The theory and hazard perception tests are the same for both varieties of license. ;)


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Re: Drivers license - so what's the deal?
« Reply #6 on: April 26, 2019, 11:05:56 AM »
Be sure your US license is still valid - you're allowed to drive here for up to a year as a visitor with a valid license. If you're from one of those states where your license becomes invalid if you move out of state...

Nan brought this very good point up an another thread; your licence must still be valid.

"You can drive in Great Britain on your full, valid driving licence for 12 months from when you became resident"
https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence

Without a valid licence your insurance is invalid.

If the licence is invalid,  the courts deal wtih that and with the not having insurance too. Even  offences on a valid foreign licence can end up in court, which is why it is best to get a British licence asap as some of the driving offences can be dealt with at the side of the road by the police.  Found guilty in court of this offence/s, will prevent ILR or British citizenship for 2 years from that court date, as long as the person is honest on future applications to UKVI. 

« Last Edit: April 26, 2019, 11:16:11 AM by Sirius »


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