A Driving License Is a MUST in the U.S.!

Once I helped an international friend study for her U.S. driving license. She passed both the written and driving portions her first time! I was so proud of her. But do you know what scared the dickens out of me? That this friend had been driving here for over 10 years on her original country’s license because she was so afraid of the test! That is a HUGE no-no in the U.S. and can cause large penalties if caught. If you drive in the U.S., you MUST get your license!

For my friend, much of her fear was based on a language barrier. She didn’t feel comfortable taking the test in English and was afraid of trying. However, with one call to the licensing office, we found out that she could take the test in her native language. Problem solved!

For another friend who struggled with the test, the questions themselves were a problem. Thankfully, free online testing tools (sometimes in your own language) can help if you need support reviewing the information for the test.

Before you feel like the licensing office is “out to get you,” you need to know that even those of us who are native born must get a new license if we move from one state to another. When we move, we normally have 30 days to register and license our vehicle in the new state. If we do not do this in a timely manner, they charge us a fee. (Yes, I speak from personal experience here. We paid $250 for not immediately doing this when we moved to a different state.) After paying the fee, we still need to pay the cost of car inspections, registration, and licensing in that state! The penalty fee doesn’t cover these costs.

As you can see, owning a motor vehicle in the U.S., carries a lot of responsibility. And in case you don’t know, the U.S. takes its paperwork seriously. So, please make sure that you get a driving license and file all the needed paperwork when you own and drive a car. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, expense, and hassle by taking care of these requirements right away!

P.S. As a side note, police officers in the U.S. CANNOT be bribed. In fact, they will put you in jail for trying to bribe an officer. Please don’t offer a bribe hoping that you’ll avoid a penalty. It doesn’t work!
Photo by Loren Javier