Can i drive in CA using foreign country DL

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can i drive in CA using foreign country DL

I arrived in CA a month ago on L1 visa work visa.
Can i use DL issued in my country to drive in CA till i get CA DL?

Asked on September 22, 2018 under General Practice, California


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If you will be in the U.S. for a maximum of 3 months you must have a valid driver's license from your own country, additionally some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals. That having been said, driving in the U.S. with just your foreign issued driver's license can be problematic since the authorities might be unable to read it if it is written in a language other than English, so getting an IDP is recommended. If you will be staying in the U.S. for more than 3 months, then once you attain residency in the state in which you are living, you must apply for a driver's license there.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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