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Old 02-19-2007, 07:32 PM   #1
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In the U.S. I think it is the standard amoung most if not all states, for a drivers license to be issued for 4 years. From my knowledge the renewal window of oppurtunity, varies from some time before it expires, to, (in some states) a short grace period after it expires, without retesting. In order to renew a drivers license, one must apply at specific locations in person, and have a current photo taken. One can not do this by mail. You need to be there.

How do you deal with that?

What prompts my question is:

1) I love to drive.

2) I want to retain that privilage.

3) My drivers license qualifications are not unique, but extensive (more than most, less than some), Auto, Motorcycle, Tractor Trailer, Air Brakes, Multiple Trailers and Tankers. Retesting to obtain those would be very expensive and difficult. Difficult does not mean in the mental sense, (knowing the test answers) or proving minimum adequate driving skills; rather, in a logistical sense (obtaining the use of multiple, expensive, and specific vehicles) to test with. Obtaining a tractor-trailer is nearly impossible, unless connected to the trucking industry, and even that is very difficult.

4) my girlfriend's (future sailing mate) license and mine are way out of snyc, two years off from each other. I should investigate the possibility of getting them in snyc before we depart.

Give up the right to drive, fly home, sail home, plan the cruise around it, transfer and newew the licensing privilage to another county that will accept US qualifications? It would seem transfering that back to the states could be a major obstacle or impossible.
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Old 02-20-2007, 01:37 AM   #2
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My experience is with Florida and Massachusetts. In Massachusetts 30 years ago Peter found that they would renew his license even though he had let it lapse many years earlier. But they probably have changed this rule by now.

In Florida, our licenses are good for 7 years.

Otherwise, I think it would be wise to just return back to your state to renew your license. I believe that most countries require that you have a resident's visa before they would issue you a driver's license, so that's really not an option under most circumstances.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:19 AM   #3
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To get the most accurate information for you particular state would it not be prudent to enquire with thats state liciencing authority.
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Old 02-20-2007, 12:33 PM   #4
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Some states will renew a DL in the mail without a new pic. Check your state. There are international drivers licenses available although I have no idea how to get one. Additionally, my family from the Caribbean all drive in the US and Europe when vacationing. Too many people are doing this for it to be a big deal. RT
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Old 02-20-2007, 03:55 PM   #5
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Jeanne,

I was not aware of that Florida's renewal period was 7 years.

I do know that several years ago the US Dept of Transportation became most stringent with the trucking industry, the regulations concerning a CDL - Commercial Drivers License, and imposed those regulations on all states. All states now enforce those uniformly. The state offices are electronically inter-connected, with access to the same data, e.g. driverís records.

Giving it more thought, there perhaps will come a time, when retaining a CDL becomes less important to having no real reason to attempt to retain it.

Bedouin,

QUOTE: "To get the most accurate information for a particular state would it not be prudent to enquire with that states' licensing authority."

Yes. Later on, closer to the time of casting off.

rwthomas1:

Through the mail option would be a good solution if available, though I am not aware of which or any states allow that. But the laws do vary greatly from state to state and change over time. I may have to research that further. The information should be available on line.

INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT and

INTER-AMERICAN DRIVING PERMIT

I had researched the topic.

Some countries will simply accept another countries driverís license. For example US and Canadian citizens, if licensed in their own country, have the same privilege in the other. Having other documentation is a non-issue.

In order to obtain an international driving permit (IDP) one must posses a valid driverís license in some country.

The IDP:

Must be applied for.

Must be accompanied with 2 valid passport type photos, signed on back

Will be issued with the same qualifications as your regular license.

Expires in one year.

There is a processing fee. On the American Automobile Association web site that fee is $15. USD. It could be something different, elsewhere. I don't know that.

Valid in over 150 countries, the permit contains your name, photo and driver information translated into ten languages.

The web site for American Automobile Association is:

www.AAA.com

On the left, click on < TRAVEL >

Scroll down to Travel Requirements

Click on: < International Driving Permits >

OR

The Direct Link is:

http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpc.html?asso...&clb_id=006

From that page there are links to the application, the requirements for the photos, and FAQ - frequently ask questions.

On the application, scroll down to see which countries accept the IDP. Some do not.

Some countries require an INTER-AMERICAN DRIVING PERMIT. See the foot notes.
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