View Full Version : Advice on driving for UK nationals

hannah :)
05-11-2010, 09:17 AM
Hi, im planning a trip from New York to LA next year but car. I currently hold a full UK driving liscence, but the freind im going with doesnt. I have two questions -
1. What procedures do i have to take before im allowed to drive in the US?
2. Will it be possible for my friend to obtain a lisence and when he gets there? And what tests would he have to take? - we're thinking it might be easier than taking the test in the UK, as ive heard the American one is easier, but im finding all the different states' laws very confusing!

Thankyou to anyone who can help :)

05-11-2010, 09:30 AM
You can drive in the US on your UK license. Your friend needs to get a UK license, because getting a US license is not possible if you are here on just the visa waiver program. Residency with verification is required. Note that if you are under 25 years old, there will be a substantial surcharge to rent a car, and rental will be almost impossible if you are under 21.

Southwest Dave
05-11-2010, 09:33 AM
Hello and welcome to the RTA forums !

If you have a full UK driving license you can drive in the US without any further "procedures".

I am not sure of the regulations but if your friend is just visiting the US, I am not sure he could take a test in the US, and if so I am sure it would take some time as in the UK, and you would have problems without a registered address or citizenship. Even so, to do a road trip I don't think it a good idea to consider travelling out there, hope to obtain a license and then embark on a cross country road trip. I would get him to pass a test and get some "on the road" experience prior to leaving, but even then you could face surcharges for having less than 1 years experience [not sure though] and definitely a premium for any drivers under the age of 25 years.

hannah :)
05-11-2010, 12:00 PM
aah thankyou both :) i cant believe i wont have to take a test in America.. Not complaining though :)

Southwest Dave
05-11-2010, 12:16 PM
Happy days !

Be sure to look around the forums and other RTA pages where you will find thousands of suggestions and route ideas for your trip !

Once you have started the planning and you have other questions regarding your trip, you know where we are.

05-11-2010, 08:54 PM
Tourists in the US can drive with their home country license as long as it's in English and it's not expired. If it's not in English, you have to get an international driving permit before you leave your home country. This is simply a translation of your license into several languages and is generally available from your local auto club.

05-12-2010, 04:40 AM

This page gives some beginners tips for new drivers from the UK going to the USA (http://www.uk-2-usa.com/absolutebeginners/roads.html)