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					DRIVING IN THE U.S. SEMINAR

Slutzker Center for International Services

OBTAINING A New York State DRIVER'S LICENSE/LEARNER PERMIT

Note: Individuals with an immigration designation of ―D/S― (duration of status) need to have an immigration document (i.e. I-20 or DS-2019) that is valid at least 6 months into the future as one of their forms of identification. Look at the expiration date of your I-20 or DS-2019 – must have 6 more months remaining!

OBTAINING A New York State DRIVER'S LICENSE

Do I need a US Driver’s license to drive in the US?
•You may drive legally in New York if you have a valid foreign driver’s license and a certified translation of the license or a current International Driving Permit (issued for one year only)

• International Driving Permit: is not a driver’s license
Need to have Foreign DL and international driving permit to rent a car •You do not need to apply for a NYS driver’s license if your foreign driver’s license is valid and you have no intention to reside permanently in New York State.

OBTAINING A New York State DRIVER'S LICENSE/ PERMIT/STATE ID
It is advisable to consider obtaining a New York State driver’s license: •help to avoid problems if you are stopped for a traffic violation •many car insurance companies will not insure your vehicle

New Driver – obtain NYS Learner’s Permit
1. Apply

for a learner permit. Pay the application fee and the driver’s
One application form/ fee: 18½ to 21 - $47.50 - $50.00 21 and older - $42.50 - $47.50

license

fee and fill out Form MV 44:

How to get a NYS Learner’s Permit

2. Pass the vision test
Take a vision test at the DMV office, or bring a valid form MV-619 (Eye Test Report) completed by an eye-care professional. The form can be downloaded from the following site: http://www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv619.pdf

3. Pass the written test
No appointment is needed. You can prepare for the written test by studying the Driver’s Manual and Study Guide: http://www.nysdmv.com/dmanual/default.html. There is no limit on the number of times you can attempt to pass the test at no additional fees. Exception: You are not required to take the written test if you have form MV-285 (Driver Education Student Certificate of Completion)

4. Receive your permit and practice for your road test

How to get a NYS Learner’s Permit

Note: If you have a learner permit but do not have a valid foreign driver’s license – you must have a supervising driver while you are operating the vehicle
• The supervising driver must be age 21 or over and must have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle that you drive.

How to get a NYS Driver’s license

5. Take a driver education course or DMV-approved 5-hour pre-licensing course.
You can look in the telephone directory under "Driving Instruction."

6. Use your driver education certificate or pre-licensing course certificate to make an appointment for your road test by phone or on-line: http://www.nysdmv.com/rtphone.htm.
You must also show the certificate to the road test examiner on the day of your road test.

7. Pass your road test and receive your NYS driver’s license. 8. Don’t show up to the test alone!
If you did not pass, you can schedule another road test. If you do not pass the second road test, you must pay a $10 fee to take two more road tests.

If you have a driver’s license from any nation except Canada: •follow the steps for new drivers (Part I – Learner Permit)

•surrender your foreign driver’s license to the DMV road test examiner
•The local DMV office will destroy your foreign driver’s license the next day – need a request in writing

If you have a valid driver’s license from Canada or Puerto Rico: •you don’t need to take a driving course or a road test •your licenses are transferable

Identification Documents to Obtain New York State DRIVER'S LICENSE/ PERMIT/STATE ID

Note: Individuals with an immigration designation of ―D/S― (duration of status)
need to have an immigration document (i.e. I-20 or DS-2019) that is valid at least 6 months into the future as one of their forms of identification.
Look at the expiration date of your I-20 or DS-2019 – must have 6 more months remaining! In addition, the document must have been issued for a period of at least 12 months. Present documents that: •count for 4 points and your Social Security card (a total of 6 points) •Or documents that count for 6 points and the SSA letter if you cannot obtain a Social Security card

Acceptable documents for proof of identity

A foreign passport with your visa and form I-94 with status code F1 or F2 and form I-20. You must show your original entry document and any extension document stamped by INS with form I-20. A foreign passport with your visa and form I-94 with status code J1 or J2 and with form DS-2019 (Former form IAP-66). You must show your original entry document and any extension document stamped by INS with form DS-2019. A US college photo ID card and an academic transcript.

3

3

2
These items must be issued by a US financial institution: a bank statement a cancelled check an ATM card or a debit card a valid major US credit card You can use 2 cards from separate institutions to collect 2 points A health insurance card or a medical prescription card issued in the US. A utility bill issued in the US. 1

1

1

Acceptable documents for proof of identity

A photo driver’s license issued more than 6 months ago by another state, jurisdiction or possession of the US, or issued by a province or territory of Canada. The driver’s license must be valid or expired less than one year.

2

A W-2 Form that shows your Social Security Number. 1

A supermarket check-cashing card issued in the US. 1

If you do not have a Social Security Number – see handout p.5 •Go to the Social Security Administration to request a letter for the DMV

•Bring the letter to the DMV within 30 days of issuance

Acceptable documents for proof of identity: OPT/Academic Training

• Present a new I-20 reflecting the OPT approval to the DMV officer. If you apply before the completion of your studies, DMV will consider your application based on the OPT end date on your I-20. •However, if you apply while on OPT, the DMV will not consider your application unless you present a valid EAD card. • The visitor status expiration date placed on your driver’s license will then reflect the end date on your EAD card. •Students in J-1 status undertaking academic training will need to present an updated DS-2019 indicating a period of approved academic training.

OWNING A CAR IN THE U.S.

A NEW OR USED CAR?

BUYING A USED CAR
•Review the latest auto issues of Consumer Reports •The Kelly Blue Book •www.cars.com

LEASING A CAR

SEVERAL ADDITIONAL SUGGESTIONS

•When buying from an individual, pay no cash until you have obtained a title. •Try to find a car that has had a special rubberized undercoating treatment, available in this part of the United States. During the winter, salt is put on the roads to melt the snow, and cars that are not treated tend to have major rusting problems. •Check the guarantee; make sure you know what is and what is not covered and compare dealers' guarantees. •Bargain; don't assume the listed price is the one you must pay.

•Once you have found one or more cars that interest you and are in your price range, call the Better Business Bureau and ask them for information about the dependability of the automobile dealerships.

RENTING A CAR

In order to rent a car as a foreign visitor, you will:
•Need an international driver's license or a country license and an international permit; •Be asked to pay in advance a portion, if not all, of the anticipated costs; •Be required to pay with cash, with a check from a United States bank, or with a major credit card. Most companies will require a major credit card. •A modest additional charge will cover your insurance. •Need to be 25 years or older (21 for some dealers). •Prices vary across different companies.

RENTING A CAR

Listing of several car rental companies: Enterprisewww.enterprise.com Budgetwww.budget.com Aviswww.avis.com Dollarwww.dollar.com Thriftywww.thrifty.com Nationalwww.nationalcar.com

Hertzwww.hertz.com

STEPS TO FOLLOW AFTER BUYING A CAR

Step 1: OBTAIN A CAR TITLE
When you purchase a vehicle, make sure to obtain a proof of ownership.
If you purchase a car from an automobile dealer, they have to provide you with a proof of ownership. Most NYS automobile dealers send the application for your vehicle registration and title certificate to the DMV (they may charge a fee for this service). If you purchase a used car from an individual, the proof of ownership is the TITLE certificate.

•Obtain the signed copy of the title from the owner

•Make sure the owner does not have a lien on the car (owe money).
The front of the title will specify if there is a lien or if the lien has been satisfied.

•Pay no money before the title is signed. •Obtain a receipt for the purchase.

Step 2 : OBTAIN INSURANCE IN NEW YORK STATE

Every motor vehicle registered in New York State (NYS) must have at least liability insurance - for accident-related payments to someone other than yourself.

Auto insurance can be costly:
•male and under 25 years of age •―new‖ driver (holding your license for less than 3 years) must pay a 20% surcharge on your base insurance rate.

While contacting a particular insurance company, inquire if it is authorized to do business in New York State.

NECESSARY DOCUMENTS TO OBTAIN INSURANCE

•Driver’s license - for everyone you want listed on your car insurance documents. •Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
A car’s vehicle identification number is the identifying 17-digit code for your SPECIFIC automobile. You can find the VIN on your vehicle registration card and on current car insurance documents. You can also find the VIN on the driver’s side dashboard inside the car.

•Payment information/ Deposit
In general, car insurance companies require you to present a valid American driver’s license - savings on your auto insurance premiums.

Social Security number is required by credit-based companies in order to verify the information you provide on your auto insurance policy application.

INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION

This is in no way a recommendation for the company.

PROGRESSIVE: 1-800-776-4737
(New York state policy) •No Social Security Number is needed

<http://www.progressive.com/>

•US Driver’s license: you need to have had a DL for at least a year to apply

GEICO: 1-800-861-8380
•VIN# or car registration •US Driver’s license

<http://www.geico.com/>

•No Social Security Number is needed
•Geico does not insure vehicles in the states of Massachusetts and New Jersey

STATE FARM: Syracuse agent - (315) 475-1226, (315) 446-0111 • US Driver’s license
•Vehicle title or registration •Social Security Number is required

<http://www.statefarm.com/>

INSURANCE COMPANY INFORMATION

GMAC: Syracuse agent (315) 468-4931
•US Driver’s license •Social Security Number is required

<http://www.gmacinsurance.com/>

AMICA: Rochester office 1-800-24-Amica

<http://www.amica.com/>

•International driver’s license may be accepted (proof of driving record required) •Social Security Number is preferred, but this requirement may be waived

ALLSTATE: Syracuse agent (315) 474-1081

<http://www.allstate.com/>

•US driver’s license •Either Social Security Number OR New York state ID are required

TYPES OF INSURANCE COVERAGE REQUIRED Insurance Coverage
•Bodily Injury Liability by NYS law requires the minimum coverage of:

$25,000 per person, $50,000 for bodily injury to all persons.
•Property Liability by NYS law requires the minimum coverage of: $10,000 per accident. •Personal Injury Protection (called No-Fault).
It refers to medical insurance for yourself and passengers in your own car, but it also includes coverage for loss of wages and services. The minimum protection is $50,000 per person. Your insurance company will pay for this.

OPTIONAL Insurance Coverage Collision--any accident that occurs to your auto (i.e., while parked, collision, etc.)

Comprehensive--any loss other than collision (i.e., fire, theft, vandalism, etc.)

TYPES OF INSURANCE COVERAGE

•IMPORTANT NOTICE: In New York State, your liability insurance coverage must remain in effect while the registration is valid, even if the vehicle is not used (except motorcycles). •Your registration will be suspended if you have a lapse of insurance.

•If the lapse in the insurance coverage exceeds 90 days, your driver’s license will also be suspended.

Step 3: REGISTER YOUR CAR WITH NEW YORK STATE

Things to bring to the DMV office:

•proof of ownership (car TITLE) •proof of your identity and date of birth
Follow the 6-point procedure for obtaining a driver’s license.
DMV office will accept both a driver’s license issued by NYS and/or a foreign passport with a US visa and a valid form I-94 attached

•Form MV-82 (Vehicle Registration / Title Application).
This form can be obtained at the DMV office and online at: http://www.nysdmv.com/forms/mv82.pdf

•verification of insurance (Form FS-20, NYS Insurance Identification Card)
You must obtain this card from the insurance agent

•purchase receipt

•payment method

Step 3: REGISTER YOUR CAR WITH NEW YORK STATE

The Department of Motor Vehicles will:

•charge you 8% sales tax on your purchase
•give you a car registration certificate •registration fee varies by the weight of the car:

http://www.nysdmv.com/regfee.htm
Department of Motor Vehicles 620 Erie Blvd. West (six blocks from Salina Street) 1-800-CALL-DMV (1-800-225-5368) http://www.nysdmv.com

Important Reminders About Driving in NYS

•Driving while intoxicated (―DWI‖) is a very serious crime in New York State.
•In New York State, you must have a ―hands-free device‖ to use your cell phone in the car.

•You must always wear your seat belt—it's the Law!
•Know what to do if you get pulled over by the police. For more information, visit: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/enforce/WhatHa ppensEnglish.pdf

QUESTIONS?


				
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