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Author Topic: Validity of Russian/Ukrainian Driving Licences in Europe, Oz, UK & the US.  (Read 47247 times)

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Offline Manny

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A valid topic we have not covered.

A Russian driving licence is valid as a full licence in the UK, but only for up to one year from the point she becomes resident, after which she must have a UK licence to continue driving. They are not exchangeable as an EU one is so that means she should take a test within the first year.

With our visitor/fiance/FLR visa system, the actual date she becomes resident is open to debate of course. Whether it be from when she arrives on a fiance visa, when she was married, when her first post marital residence visa started is unclear. Nobody seems to check.

Right to residence and actually being physically resident are quite different. If one flits in and out if the UK, one could legitimately claim to to be here visiting but not yet resident as such prior to the last entry, for example - "Oh yes I was entitled to be resident from last year but I actually was resident from when I arrived last month."

Based on this, a Russian licence could be stretched out at least to two years in the UK with a country hopping travelling woman.

What is the situation with FSU licences in other countries?
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In the Netherlands:

A drivers license is valid until 6 months after you physically entered the country. After that you have to take the drivers exam any dutch citizen should, when they want to drive around legally.

Please note: The 6 months start counting as soon as your dutch MVV is approved AND you land in the Netherlands. Leaving the country after that does not stop the timer. Graduating the drivers exam is pretty hard actually, because virtually nobody passes the exam first time. count on at least $800+ for a new license including lessons, examination and government fees.
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Online B.B.

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What is the situation with FSU licences in other countries?

Here, it's done on a state-by-state basis.  NY, for example, recognizes any license from anywhere in the world.  Easier that way, I guess.  IIRC, Connecticut went through a period where they would not issue a CT DL or ID to any foreign national, period, permanent resident or not.  I think that has since been sorted out.

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Offline Jet

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Here, it's done on a state-by-state basis.

Yep, in Florida an RU D/L is absolutely worthless, and you need either an EAD (work permit) or a greencard to get a license. It's only valid as long as your immigration paperwork is, plus you must take 4 hrs of drug-alcohol class / written test / driving test.

What's worse is that you get no insurance credit for years of driving experience acquired outside the US, so in our case, the wife pays $1000 every 6 months for insurance, just like if she were a 16 year old  :o
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Offline Voyageur

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Jet,

My wife also has a minimal amount of driving experience. But we don't pay nearly that much now in Pennsylvania. If you have an insurance friend "in the business", he can help out (I know not everyone has an access to this benefit - but - if he knows your situation - he can ask for information on your wife when applying in a "clever" way).

We are moving out of state and have gotten quotes from new, completely independent insurance companies and - since we are now on a policy - no questions are asked. FWIW.

Offline MND

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This solved our problem for 2 years at least.

On September 19, 1949, the United Nations established an International Document to facilitate the travel of motorists in foreign countries where language barriers create difficulties for both motorists and the police. This document establishes the right for a person to drive in another country when accompanied by an original and valid driver’s license


In Aus Rus/Ukranian drivers license is valid for 3 months then you need to sit a test but there is a way around it and i would say the same goes for most of your countries as well in Aus you may drive on an international driving license untill you are a permanent resident or citizen. we used the below company to do this for us and had the licence shipped out in a week. This licence covers 200 countries.

http://www.international-license.com/index.php

Offline dwfunk

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In Aus Rus/Ukranian drivers license is valid for 3 months then you need to sit a test but there is a way around it and i would say the same goes for most of your countries as well in Aus you may drive on an international driving license untill you are a permanent resident or citizen. we used the below company to do this for us and had the licence shipped out in a week. This licence covers 200 countries.

http://www.international-license.com/index.php


This outfit is illegal in the US, even though it is a Florida company.  The only entity legally allowed to issue International drivers license in the USA is through the American Automobile Association. (AAA) and the fee is $10.  Contrary to popular belief, a current valid drivers license issued by the country of residence is required along with the international driving permit which is really only a translation.  In the US, the state in which one resides is the entity to issue the original drivers license.






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Offline Brasscasing

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Quote from: Manchester
What is the situation with FSU licences in other countries?

Canada:
(Source Canadian Automobile Association)
Visitors (6 months or less) - Valid DL issued in country of residency, passport and/or International DL issued in country of residency.  This and a valid recognized credit card will allow a visitor (RW) to rent a vehicle.
Visa holder (over 6 months) and/or claiming residency in Canada - 90 days to switch to DL in province of residency.  A valid DL from former country of residency, written general knowledge exam and road test will be required.  In provinces with graduated licensing programs, the applicant (RW) must hold a current driver's licence in their former country of residency for more than two years or will end up with the equivalent Provincial DL (in otherwords a DL with learner/novice restrictions) and have to graduate the program as anyone else would.
This is important...Should an applicant fail a Road Test, their DL will be pulled (confescated) until such time as they pass (this means unable to drive at all and loss of a piece of personal identification). Failure of the written exam means a re-write but not loss of DL.
International DLs on their own are not valid.

Hope this helps.

Brass
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Offline bobjf

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oz rules can change from state to state so i would think it prudent to contact your states traffic authority.
the  cross country federal licence is for interstate truck drivers only,all others are individual state licences.

normaly even a resident is allowed just 3 months to change over once you have become a resident of that state but you can get around that if you have a valid postal address in your home state.
not wise & you will get greif if you mess with our gestapo highway patrol,i think any sence of humour is bred out of them
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Offline MATTYBOY

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With our visitor/fiance/FLR visa system, the actual date she becomes resident is open to debate of course. Whether it be from when she arrives on a fiance visa, when she was married, when her first post marital residence visa started is unclear. Nobody seems to check.

The 12 month UK rule starts from the first day of the initial 2-year residency visa.  That is, she has 12 months in which to pass her UK driving test.

In these 12 months, she can drive without Learner plates.  But on the 366th day, if she still has not passed the UK test, she must display L-plates and hold a provisional UK driving license.
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Offline ECR844

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For info on Mass's take on this here is a link: http://www.mass.gov/rmv/forms/21317.pdf

Offline shane71

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oz rules can change from state to state so i would think it prudent to contact your states traffic authority.
the  cross country federal licence is for interstate truck drivers only,all others are individual state licences.

normaly even a resident is allowed just 3 months to change over once you have become a resident of that state but you can get around that if you have a valid postal address in your home state.
not wise & you will get greif if you mess with our gestapo highway patrol,i think any sence of humour is bred out of them


I have a cousin who is a police officer, and even he calls the traffic police the traffic nazi's. I have found on a number of occasions in the past (why do they pick on me?) that they are polite but will give no leeway on what you were doing wrong. Even had one pull a mate over and told him he was doing 80 in a 60 zone (km/hr) well we did not argue as he had actually been doing 140.

Regina drove when she was here last time, a little scary for me actually, she has an international license so should be ok when she is here next, we will use until she is here permamanently. We can always use Manny's excuse and claim ignorance, for all but the traffic cops that will normally work.

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Offline Chris

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My Fiance has just started taking driving lessons as it is much easier and cheaper to take her test in Ukraine than it is in the UK. When she gets here she can drive on her Ukrainian Licence for 12 months before she has to take her test here.

The need a Provisional Licence in the UK to drive for the initial twelve month period, legally if they do not pass their test within twelve months they are classed as a Provisional driver and Provisional Rules Apply.

However, as Manny states, sometimes the 12 month period can be strung out for up to 2 years.


Offline dwfunk

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In the United States, it's done on a State by State basis:

Texas:
Generally, a person 18 to 75 years of age with a valid out-of-country driver license in their possession may drive a private, non-commercial motor vehicle in the State of Texas for up to one year from date of entry into the United States, if their home country has reciprocity with the U.S.

There is a grey area here in Texas as the list of reciprocity countries that is used are the ones listed in the 1949 World Convention on International Road Traffic.  Amazing enough, Russia is NOT listed, nor Ukraine, nor any other FSU country, nor the Balkens, etc., BUT the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics IS listed . . . .  Anyway, doesn't appear to be a problem, UNLESS one gets stopped and cited . . . .

Then to get a license:
A person who is not a citizen of the United States must present to the Texas Department of Public Safety documentation (usually an I-94) issued by the United States agency responsible for citizenship and immigration authorizing the person to be in the United States before the person may be issued a driver's license.   The DPS further requires that a non-citizen have a minimum of 6 months remaining on the authorization to be in the United States and that authorization has to have been issued for a minimum of one year, before the DPS will issue a license or State ID.

This means K-1's have to wait for AOS, K-3's can apply as soon as they have a SSN.



-david



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Offline jlogajan

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Just to clarify for the USA, visitors who have drivers licenses issued in a foreign country that is signatory to the UN treaty in that regard can drive in the USA for a certain amount of time.  Just as we Americans can drive in Russia on our American licences if we are visiting there.

It is either recommended or mandatory (can't find out for sure) to also get an international drivers permit which is merely an officially sanction translation of the actual foreign driver's license.

After some time (I've seen 6 months and a year) the person must obtain a state driver's license which requires passing the knowledge and skills test -- plus required ID.

Offline Wild Orchid

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In Aus Rus/Ukranian drivers license is valid for 3 months then you need to sit a test but there is a way around it and i would say the same goes for most of your countries as well in Aus you may drive on an international driving license untill you are a permanent resident or citizen. we used the below company to do this for us and had the licence shipped out in a week. This licence covers 200 countries.

http://www.international-license.com/index.php

If person fails to have a  driving test during first initial 3 months and get Au license, his/her Russian license won't be valid any more and (s)he will have to start from the scratch and get a learners permit first, wait 6-12 month and  go for drivers license

Offline BCKev

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My wife is getting her Ukrainian driving license now. However, to be able to drive when she arrives in Canada, I believe she will need an International Driving Permit.

Where can an International Driving Permit be obtained in Ukraine?

Offline Manny

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Quote from: Manchester
What is the situation with FSU licences in other countries?

Canada:
(Source Canadian Automobile Association)
Visitors (6 months or less) - Valid DL issued in country of residency, passport and/or International DL issued in country of residency.  This and a valid recognized credit card will allow a visitor (RW) to rent a vehicle.
Visa holder (over 6 months) and/or claiming residency in Canada - 90 days to switch to DL in province of residency.  A valid DL from former country of residency, written general knowledge exam and road test will be required.  In provinces with graduated licensing programs, the applicant (RW) must hold a current driver's licence in their former country of residency for more than two years or will end up with the equivalent Provincial DL (in otherwords a DL with learner/novice restrictions) and have to graduate the program as anyone else would.
This is important...Should an applicant fail a Road Test, their DL will be pulled (confescated) until such time as they pass (this means unable to drive at all and loss of a piece of personal identification). Failure of the written exam means a re-write but not loss of DL.
International DLs on their own are not valid.

Hope this helps.

Brass


Brass didnt mention that BC, do you have more up to date info?
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Offline blucatz

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Just as we Americans can drive in Russia on our American licences if we are visiting there.

Really?  How sure are you on this?  I'm going to Omsk in Sept. and my GF wants to see if I can fit in her little car and drive it around. 
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Offline BCKev

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[Brass didnt mention that BC, do you have more up to date info?

Nope, no new info. According to Brass's post, my wife would be able to drive in Canada for three months on a Ukrainian driver's license, and I assumed that an International Driver's Permit would also be necessary.

The usual procedure seems to be that the International Driver's Permit must be obtained in the same country that has issued the driver's license. Ukraine, in this case. So back to my question:

Where can an International Driving Permit be obtained in Ukraine?
 


Offline Chris

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Where can an International Driving Permit be obtained in Ukraine?
 



Kevin

As far as I am aware, all NEW Ukrainian Driving Licences are International now, the new ones have a picture ID card with them that is written in both Ukrainian and English. I just looked at my wifes gathering dust since she came over here  ;) and it looks to me like you can use it as an International DL, in fact it is very similar to the UK Photo Driving Licence cards we now have here. 

Chris

Offline Voyager

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In fact the IDL is not actually a "licence" or "permit" at all, it just translates the existing lic. that you have. So your original lic. has to be shown to the police along with the IDL, and if your original lic. is suspended or expired the IDL is no longer valid. So the original Ukrainian lic. should be valid to use in Canada as it's written in English too as Chris says

Offline BCKev

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As far as I am aware, all NEW Ukrainian Driving Licences are International now, the new ones have a picture ID card with them that is written in both Ukrainian and English. I just looked at my wife's gathering dust since she came over here  ;) and it looks to me like you can use it as an International DL, in fact it is very similar to the UK Photo Driving Licence cards we now have here. 

Chris

Arina tells me that her new license will also be valid in Europe, so perhaps you are correct about it being accepted as an international license in Canada.


So the original Ukrainian lic. should be valid to use in Canada as it's written in English too as Chris says
Could be!! I always get myself in trouble when I start applying logic to to bureaucracy.


This is from the Alberta Operator Licensing and Vehicle Control Regulation:

International licence
4(1)  A person who is not resident in Canada and who holds a valid international driver’s licence issued outside Canada that permits the person to drive a particular class or type of motor vehicle is not required to hold a subsisting operator’s licence if the person drives the same type or class of motor vehicle in Alberta.

(2)  Subsection (1) does not apply if the person has been in Alberta for more than 12 consecutive months.

(3)  Notwithstanding subsections (1) and (2), if the person has become a resident of Alberta, he or she must obtain an operator’s licence within 90 days of the date of the person’s move to take up residence in Alberta, irrespective of whether the person travels outside Alberta during the 90‑day period.

http://www.qp.gov.ab.ca/documents/Regs/2002_320.cfm?frm_isbn=0779722019

I'll keep on poking around, see if I can come up with a definitive answer to my question.

Offline dwfunk

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Just to clarify for the USA, visitors who have drivers licenses issued in a foreign country that is signatory to the UN treaty in that regard can drive in the USA for a certain amount of time. 


This varies State by State.  One must check the State they intend to reside in, or the States they intend to travel in.



Quote
After some time (I've seen 6 months and a year) the person must obtain a state driver's license which requires passing the knowledge and skills test -- plus required ID.


Again, this varies State by State.  Some do not require a skills test.  One must check the State they intend to reside in to be sure of the current requirements.



-david


Offline Soils4Peace

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For British Columbia, check out the ICBC website:
http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/moving-bc/licence-othercountry

From most countries including FSU you have 90 days with your existing licence. After that you must write and exam and do a road test. you can take the exam in Russian.

BC has a graduated learning program, requiring at least one year as a Learner (driving with a supervisor), followed by two years as a New Driver (only one passenger, or family only, or with a supervisor). If you want a full privilege driver's licence sooner, you will need to prove prior experience. The procedure for translation of your evidence looks more onerous that that required by CIC. Contact ICBC for the details.

Kevin (BCKev) has found a Russian language study manual for Washington State. PM one of us and we will email it to you.

My wife Natasha is taking driving lessons in Ukraine now, while we wait for CIC to issue a resident card. I presume that if she passes the tests and gets her licence, she will be deemed to have started as a New Driver on the date of issue.