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  1. #1
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Expired Driver License while waiting for Work Visa Extension

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? California

    My Insurance and Registration are up to date. I am here in USA on a work visa (H1B). My DL expired, but I cannot renew it, as I am waiting for my H1B visa extension to get approved. The driver license can only be renewed when I show a valid I-94 document (on visa extension approval). I have applied for the H1B extension, but it is being processed and may take another month or two.

    My status to stay in USA is still valid.

    To keep my job, I need to drive. I do have my country's valid DL, and California allows visitors to use their country's DL to drive.

    My question is, Can I drive with my Country's DL for a couple of months? What should I do if a police officer asks to see my DL? Do I show him Expired DL + my country's DL + my Visa application and explain? Will that be ok? Or will it still be illegal?

    I have never had any tickets, and do not wish to mess up.

    Please advice.

    Thank you!
    Valz
  2. #2
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    While waiting for the experts here to provide an answer to your question, I might also contact your local DMV as well as your police department and ask them these same questions to see what they may have to say.
  3. #3
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Occultist View Post
    While waiting for the experts here to provide an answer to your question, I might also contact your local DMV as well as your police department and ask them these same questions to see what they may have to say.
    I did not want anyone punching a hole in my driver's license.
    It happened earlier when I had an expired NJ license, and I was trying to get a CA license. (I was out of the country, and it had expired).

    I could call and ask, but wanted to try here first. I have been going thru the web looking for similar situations, but could not find any.
  4. #4
    The Occultist is offline Senior Member
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    I'm sure when you call them you can remain anonymous and not identify yourself, that way you don't have to worry about anybody coming for your license
  5. #5
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    We don't tend to punch licenses in CA, we seize them.

    And if you are working here, you will need a valid CA driver's license with some very few exceptions (none of which appear to be present here).

    If stopped and you do not have a valid license, then you could be issued a misdemeanor criminal citation, arrested (possible, but not likely) for the violation, and have your vehicle towed.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  6. #6
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Question

    Quote Originally Posted by CdwJava View Post
    We don't tend to punch licenses in CA, we seize them.

    And if you are working here, you will need a valid CA driver's license with some very few exceptions (none of which appear to be present here).

    If stopped and you do not have a valid license, then you could be issued a misdemeanor criminal citation, arrested (possible, but not likely) for the violation, and have your vehicle towed.
    I agree I cannot drive with an expired license. My question is, if I can drive with my Country's DL till I can renew my US driving license.

    California DMV states the following:

    International Driving Permits

    The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident.
    So, would my country's DL be considered valid, even though I have been in USA for the past 3 years?
  7. #7
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valz View Post
    I agree I cannot drive with an expired license. My question is, if I can drive with my Country's DL till I can renew my US driving license.

    California DMV states the following:
    International Driving Permits

    The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident.
    That's for residents of those foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) who are in CA as non-residents!

    Quote Originally Posted by Valz View Post
    So, would my country's DL be considered valid, even though I have been in USA for the past 3 years?
    With you living and working in California (for 3 years, no less), you are by definition, considered a "resident" as defined under 12505(a)(1)(D)


    .....
    Prima facie evidence of residency for driver's licensing purposes includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    .....
    (D) Other acts, occurrences, or events that indicate presence in the state is more than temporary or transient.
    .....

    ... and as such, you are required to have a CA DL to drive...

    http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d06/vc12505.htm
  8. #8
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Ditto.

    You can try to take a chance on not getting stopped, but that's your call. And understand that your insurance may not cover you or your vehicle if you are not validly licensed to drive in CA.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  9. #9
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Thank you for the answers.

    Though not the answer I was hoping for, thank you very much for clearing my doubts.

    I did call my Insurance and explained the facts to them, and they said I was covered. I asked them to put my conversation on record, and also gave them the details of my Country DL. This was a few days back - and caused me to hope that it was OK to drive with my Country's DL.

    But obviously not!
  10. #10
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valz View Post
    Though not the answer I was hoping for, thank you very much for clearing my doubts.

    I did call my Insurance and explained the facts to them, and they said I was covered. I asked them to put my conversation on record, and also gave them the details of my Country DL. This was a few days back - and caused me to hope that it was OK to drive with my Country's DL.

    But obviously not!
    This maybe a stretch (and someone can correct me if I'm missing something)... but maybe you can contact the DMV and ask them if they would issue you a temporary DL under VC 12506 while your Visa app is pending:

    12506. The department may issue a temporary driver's license to any person applying for a driver's license, to any person applying for renewal of a driver's license, or to any licensee whose license is required to be changed, added to, or modified. Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 12805, the department may issue a temporary driver's license to an applicant who has previously been licensed in this state or in any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Dominion of Canada, notwithstanding that the applicant has failed the written examination on the person's first attempt.
    A temporary license permits the operation of a motor vehicle upon the highways for a period of 60 days, if the licensee has the temporary license in his or her immediate possession, and while the department is completing its investigation and determination of all facts relative to the applicant's right to receive a license. The temporary license is invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or refused.
  11. #11
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    This maybe a stretch (and someone can correct me if I'm missing something)... but maybe you can contact the DMV and ask them if they would issue you a temporary DL under VC 12506 while your Visa app is pending:

    12506. The department may issue a temporary driver's license to any person applying for a driver's license, to any person applying for renewal of a driver's license, or to any licensee whose license is required to be changed, added to, or modified. Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 12805, the department may issue a temporary driver's license to an applicant who has previously been licensed in this state or in any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Dominion of Canada, notwithstanding that the applicant has failed the written examination on the person's first attempt.
    A temporary license permits the operation of a motor vehicle upon the highways for a period of 60 days, if the licensee has the temporary license in his or her immediate possession, and while the department is completing its investigation and determination of all facts relative to the applicant's right to receive a license. The temporary license is invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or refused.
    This sounds like a hopeful lead. I will look into it.

    The trick of course is to see if I can manage to explain myself over the phone. I am not sure I want to go in person and risk having my license seized. I know it is expired, but at least it works as an ID in most situations. Otherwise I would have to carry my passport around.

    Thank you!
  12. #12
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    This maybe a stretch (and someone can correct me if I'm missing something)... but maybe you can contact the DMV and ask them if they would issue you a temporary DL under VC 12506 while your Visa app is pending:

    12506. The department may issue a temporary driver's license to any person applying for a driver's license, to any person applying for renewal of a driver's license, or to any licensee whose license is required to be changed, added to, or modified. Notwithstanding subdivision (b) of Section 12805, the department may issue a temporary driver's license to an applicant who has previously been licensed in this state or in any other state, territory, or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the Dominion of Canada, notwithstanding that the applicant has failed the written examination on the person's first attempt.
    A temporary license permits the operation of a motor vehicle upon the highways for a period of 60 days, if the licensee has the temporary license in his or her immediate possession, and while the department is completing its investigation and determination of all facts relative to the applicant's right to receive a license. The temporary license is invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or refused.
    I went to the DMV today, and asked them about the temporary license. The lady there said, it doesn't apply to my case.
  13. #13
    I_Got_Banned is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valz View Post
    I went to the DMV today, and asked them about the temporary license. The lady there said, it doesn't apply to my case.
    Sorry it didn't work out for you.... Like I suggested, it was a shot in the dark and in my opinion, well worth the try.
  14. #14
    Valz is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by I_Got_Banned View Post
    Sorry it didn't work out for you.... Like I suggested, it was a shot in the dark and in my opinion, well worth the try.
    Yes - I agree it was definitely worth a try. And I thank you for thinking of different options for me.

    Everyone was very helpful. Thank you!
  15. #15
    sahil is offline Junior Member
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    Expired Driver License while waiting for Work Visa Extension

    Hi Valz,

    I am in a situation similar to yours although there is still a month to go in my case. Can you let me know what you finally ended up doing and is there a way to work around this situation?

    Thanks

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