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  1. #1
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    Default Can I (foreigner) buy, register & drive a car in the US ?

    I am coming to Miami for six months and I would like to drive a car while here.
    I was thinking about going to a car auction and getting myself a car.

    But does anyone know if somebody from abroad can do that AND get the car registered?

    I will only rent a vacation home in SoBe, so officially I won't be living in the USA at all, nor will I work.

  2. #2
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    After 9/11, there was a change in the law regarding this. If I remember correctly, you have to have a legal, permanent status to be able to get a driver's license.

    I found this at the DMV website:

    What do I need to bring to obtain a Florida Driver License or Identification Card?

    Age 18 or Older

    * United States Citizen proof of identity.
    * Non-United States Citizen proof of identity.
    * Proof of Social Security number, if issued Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to collect social security numbers for the issuance of driver license and identification cards.
    * Proof of residential address
    * Proof of completion of a Traffic Law & Substance Abuse Education Course or license from another state, country, or jurisdiction.
    Non-citizen proof of identity includes:

    Non-United States Citizens
    Original Driver License or Identification Card Florida law requires identification, proof of date of birth, proof of residential address, and proof of social security number (if issued, Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to collect social security numbers for the issuance of driver license and identification cards) from all customers before a driver license or identification card can be issued. The name assigned to the social security number must match the name that will appear on the Florida driver license or identification card. If you have recently changed your name, update your records with the Social Security Administration before you apply for your license or identification card.

    Immigrants

    I. Proof of Residential Address

    II. Proof of Social Security Number (social security card or any of the following documents showing your social security number: tax return, W-2 form, pay check, DD-214, school record)

    III.Each immigrant who applies for an original driver license or identification card must submit:

    1. Valid Alien Registration receipt card, (Green card, Form I-551); or

    2. I-551 stamp in passport or on I-94; or

    3. Immigration Judges Order, with the customer's A-number, granting asylum; or

    4. I-797, with the customer's A-number, stating the customer has been granted asylum; or

    5. I-797 or another form from the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services, with the customer's A-number, stating the customer's application for Refugee status is approved

    IV. And a secondary document, which substantiates the primary document, is required.

    Non-Immigrants


    I. Proof of Residential Address

    II. Proof of Social Security Number (social security card or any of the following documents showing your social security number: tax return, W-2 form, pay check, DD-214, school record)

    III. Each non-immigrant who applies for an original driver license or identification card must submit:

    1. Employment authorization card issued by the United States Department of Justice (Form I688B or I-766); or

    2. Proof of nonimmigrant classification provided by United States Department of Justice (Form I-94, not expired, with required supporting attachment(s). If in doubt regarding required documents, please bring all of your US BCIS documentation with you.). I-94s must be accompanied by a Passport. Certain classifications require additional documentation. Some examples are:

    * F-1 and M-1 classification must also be accompanied by an I-20.
    * I J-1 or J-2 designation must be accompanied by an IAP-66.
    * Refugee, asylee and parolee classifications must be accompanied by additional documentation.

    The following documents will only be accepted with a supporting document, including but not limited to a Passport, Florida Driver License or Identification Card, Driver License from any other state, Employment Authorization Card, Employer Identification, Identification from home country, Identification from school or college, Social Security Card (Chapter 322, Florida Statutes, requires the Department to collect social security numbers for the issuance of driver license and identification cards) or other US BCIS document.

    3. I-571 Travel Document/Refugee Travel Permit
    4. I-512 Parole Letter Accepted
    5. IJO- Asylum or Cancellation of Removal - Immigration Judges Order granting Asylum or Cancellation of Removal.
    * All required and supporting documents MUST be original or certified.
    * Documents must be valid for more than 30 days from the date of issuance.
    * Non-U.S. citizens applying for an original driver license will be issued a 30-day, no photo, paper temporary permit and a receipt. Non-U.S. citizens applying for an identification card will be issued a receipt.
    * All records are transmitted to our database in Tallahassee, where the information will be examined and run against FDLE, FBI and US BCIS databases.
    * Upon identity and legal status verification, a driver license or identification card will be issued within 30 days from Tallahassee, mailed to the address on the driver record. The license or identification card will be issued for the period of time specified on the US BCIS document, up to a maximum of one year.
    * If a problem is detected, a denial of issuance letter will be mailed to the customer.

    IV. And a secondary document, which substantiates the primary document, is required.

    That's a lot to chew on! Read it carefully - it looks like you might be able to obtain a temporary permit...

  3. #3
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    Thanks a lot for your help Tere.
    I have done some more research and what I understand is this: although obtaining a US DL will make registering and insuring a car much easier, the process of GETTING that DL means a lot of red tape. Something I prefer to avoid.

    I have checked out the DMV website and noticed that I do NOT need a US DL in order to buy a car and drive it. In my case (Western European), a foreign DL or an international DL will be sufficient. However, a foreign DL will make insurance quiet expensive: $2000-3000 for 6 months apparently.
    AIG seems to have a car insurance especially for foreign tourists.

    The problem that remains is the actual car registration as a foreigner. This seems only possible in a few states. I haven't read anything about Florida yet.

    Maybe it's a better idea to find a Floridian who will register the car in his/her name and let me drive it....

    or just rent a car for the weekends...

    or get a bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Doug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvel
    Maybe it's a better idea to find a Floridian who will register the car in his/her name and let me drive it....
    That would be risky for them, because if you got in a wreck, the other party could sue the registered owner of the vehicle for damages.

  5. #5
    Gus
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvel
    Maybe it's a better idea to find a Floridian who will register the car in his/her name and let me drive it...
    Not a bad idea, but you'd probably have to propose marriage first.

    In Miami, it is not uncommon for a foreigner to pay an American to get married for a greed card. It's easy. Learn how.

    Getting married for vehicle registration doesn't seem so far fetched, and probably cheaper and less hassle than the Green Card scam.

    I'm sure you're only kidding about finding a Floridan.

    Your idea about getting a bike and renting a car makes a lot of sense...that's what many residents in South Beach do.

  6. #6
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    Getting married in order to register my own car....
    WHY didn't I think about that earlier ?!

    By the way, I don't need a green card, but I like the idea of 2 passports.
    A second passport from a small caribbean state (with a lenient tax code) would be my holy grail of international paperwork.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marvel
    Thanks a lot for your help Tere.
    I have done some more research and what I understand is this: although obtaining a US DL will make registering and insuring a car much easier, the process of GETTING that DL means a lot of red tape. Something I prefer to avoid.

    If somebody is a foreigner the person can make a driver license that will be valid for the period of time the entry visa I-94 is valid. If extending the stay, can extend the driver license as well. Must take the same tests as any local person. I have many Brazilian and Hungarian friends who did it in a half hour.

  8. #8
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    Can I get a drivers license with a tourist visa?

  9. #9
    Member Maria de los Angeles's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can I (foreigner) buy, register & drive a car in the US ?

    Quote Originally Posted by aa33030 View Post
    Can I get a drivers license with a tourist visa?
    The answer to this question is on this thread: http://forums.miamibeach411.com/relo...ist-visas.html

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