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Drivers license as a tourist in Arizona AZ

Discussion in 'Issues Related to Obtaining Driver's License from ' started by chmac, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. chmac

    chmac Registered Users (C)


    I'm visiting the US as a tourist on the visa waiver program. I have a British driving license which allows me to drive here. I'm in Arizona and Monday / Tuesday I'm completing a motorcycle training course.

    I have spoken to the DMV here in Arizona and I believe I can take my British passport (with I-94), my UK driving license, a credit card and my motorcycle certificate and be issued with a full AZ driving license including motorcycle endorsement.

    However, a friend in Arizona has just told me the license will only be valid for as long as I'm allowed to stay in the US. Can anyone confirm if this is true?

    I'm pretty sure I checked with the DMV and they told me it would be a full license valid until I'm 65 (I need to update the picture & eye test every 12 years).

    I want to take the bike up to Canada and then down to Argentina and probably back, so I really need a license which will be valid beyond just my time in the US. I'm not planning to stay in the US.

    Any advice / feedback would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully it all works out when I get to the DMV on Wednesday. :)
  2. TheRealCanadian

    TheRealCanadian Volunteer Moderator

    That's correct.

    Then you don't need a US license.
  3. chmac

    chmac Registered Users (C)

    Agreed, I don't need a US license, but I need some sort of motorcycle license. Getting one in the US seemed like the easiest option and considerably less expensive than flying home and getting it there (around $1'000 just for the license).
  4. chmac

    chmac Registered Users (C)

    I went to the Arizona MVD today, with motorcycle course completion certificate in hand, and was told that they cannot issue a driving license. Not a license for the duration of my stay in the United States, no license at all.

    I would need a visa other than as a tourist they told me because my I-94 form is marked WT. They said neither WT nor WB are eligible. I called the MVD twice beforehand and both times I was told it would be ok. :(

    Is there a state which does not require a social security number to obtain a driving license? I understand that not all states have started requiring them yet, but I'm not sure which states.
  5. kabkaba

    kabkaba Registered Users (C)

    SSN is not required in any state, you just have to get a letter from SSA stating that you are not eligible to get one. But, that is not your problem. They are probably correct about the WB thing, you cannot get a US license.
  6. chmac

    chmac Registered Users (C)

    For anyone else in a similar situation I'd encourage you to check out the national law immigration center, they have a page on drivers licenses. Specifically check out the Overview of States' Driver's License Requirements. According to that document, there are 5 states that don't have lawful presence requirement. They are HI, MD, NM, UT, and WA. It seems that Utah does require proof of legal presence and most likely won't issue driving licenses to tourists.

    My shortlist is New Mexico, Maryland and Washington. I'll try to post back if I'm successful in obtaining a motorcycle license. :)

  7. chmac

    chmac Registered Users (C)

    Looks like Washington is the best option for me. I'm flying up to Seattle tomorrow. It is necessary to prove residency (one utility bill will do) so that will take some time. Otherwise I can use the Arizona state id card and my British driving license to get a driving license in Washington (after passing written & driving test) then get a motorcycle endorsement (another written & riding test). Here's hoping...

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