How to get rights in the US - ForumDaily
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How to get rights in the US

In the US, a car is not a luxury, but a necessary means of transportation. By UN data75% of Americans have a car. In addition, in America, law is the main ID. So, even visitors who never drove behind the wheel in their homeland will have to learn how to drive a car in the United States. The “Forum” tells you how to prepare for exams and get American law.

Residents of the state, unlike tourists, cannot use their own national (Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, etc.) driver's licenses in the United States. Therefore, if you plan to drive a car, in the case of moving to a permanent place of residence in America or a long-term stay (on a working, student visa, visa under exchange programs, etc.), you need to get local driver licenses. Different states have different deadlines for this. In Florida, for example, you need to get rights within thirty days from the date of arrival, in California - ten days, in New Jersey - sixty days. Otherwise, fine or prison. For example, in Florida for driving without local rights can be put in jail for sixty days and fined for five hundred dollars.

All the necessary information on obtaining the rights is available on the websites of the Department of Motor Vehicles of the respective states. They can be found on the link - DMV.

However, the procedure for obtaining rights in the United States is quite simple: just like at home, the exam consists of a test on a computer and driving directly. Even experienced motorists with driving experience and national rights must pass the tests - the procedure is the same for all immigrants.

1 step. Learn the rules of the road

Beginners who have never sat behind the wheel in some states should begin with a special online course. They have different names, abbreviations. So, in Florida it is: DATA (drugs, alcohol, traffic, awareness), DATE (drugs, alcohol, traffic education), TLSAE (traffic law substance abuse). In other states, course names may vary, but they are all easily found on the Internet. In Florida, for example, such courses can be taken on sites HighSchoolDriver.com и 123Driving.comin California - on californiadriveredcourse.comin texas texasdrivingschool.com.

In the program: information materials about traffic safety, bans, fines, traffic accident statistics. After each section, there is a small test for the quality of learning material. At the end of the course - also a test.

In different states, the number of hours varies, but without a certificate of passing the course for the exam will not be allowed. Courses are paid (within thirty dollars).

To exclude cases of substitution of a student for another person, a special system of control questions works. Read all faster than set by the program, the system also does not allow. After successfully passing the test a certificate is issued. It is sent in electronic form or by mail. With the received certificate you go and pass a computer test at the DMV office.

In some states, such as, for example, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, North and South Dakota, such courses do not need to take place.

Before the test itself, you should thoroughly learn the rules of the road. They can be downloaded from the state-specific DMV website. Need to search for "Driver's Handbook". The rules of the road are in different languages, including Russian. For example, traffic rules in Russian published on the California DMV website. In any local office of the Department of Traffic, you can also take a traffic book for free, and in some states they are also in Russian.

In addition, translated traffic rules are also sold in “Russian” stores and cost around ten dollars.

Before the exam it is useful to pass test tests at home. They can be found both on the local DMV site itself and on a variety of training sites (for example, driving-tests.org or driversprep.com) and mobile applications. Basically, they are in English. However, you can find samples of tests in Russian (for example, Californian tests).

2 step. Collect the necessary documents

An application for a driver's license is submitted with the following set of documents (it may vary slightly in different states):

1) residence permit (green card), certificate of naturalization or a national passport, if you come for a long time on a working, student and even tourist visa;

2) national driver's license (of course, if you had it before);

3) form I-94, confirming the legal arrival in the country on a visa (the form can be obtained at Online Department of Homeland Security and print at home). I-94 should not expire within two months after the application for a driver's license;

4) two documents confirming the address of residence (letter from the bank, utility bill, etc.). Another confirmation of the address can be a letter from social insurance (see p. 5);

5) social security number card or social security letter stating that you are not entitled to a SSN. It can be taken at any social service office. To do this, you need to show a passport and, for example, a letter from the bank with your address, and the social insurance worker will enter it in his form. And here you already have a second document in confirmation of your residential address;

6) any form that confirms that you are in the process of immigration - for example, I-797. It is worth noting that not all local DMV units can receive documents from people who have not yet received a green card, but employees will prompt the address of the desired office.

Documents need to go to your local DMV office. You can make an appointment in advance on the site and not stand in the general queue.

Ksenia Semenova from Florida for the first time decided to take on the rights in the United States. In Moscow, she lived near the subway, and she just did not need a car. In the States, I realized: here without a car - as without hands. DATA courses for beginners Xenia went “online” and paid for them 23,95 $. The certificate was sent to an e-mail, but its number was already in the DMV system when Xenia arrived at the office to take a computer test.

“A few months before that, I had already made an ID (an identity card that also gives out the DMV, but this document does not give me the right to drive a car), so I didn’t have to present documents confirming the address and immigration status, they were already in the system. I just showed the ID and the work permit, because the DMV requires any second document with a photo. A Russian passport will be suitable for this purpose too, ”says Ksenia.

After checking the documents, simple procedures follow - photo, height measurement and visual acuity test, which is done on site. And then already - directly test the knowledge of the theory.

3 step. Pass the computer test

The test consists of forty to fifty questions (depending on the state), you must correctly answer eighty percent of them.

Questions consist of two groups: road signs and road rules, including the size of fines and other penalties for violations. There are simple questions, but there are tangled, which are not easy to answer, especially if there are problems with the English language.


TIP: The program provides a very useful feature - “Skip”. If you doubt the answer, click this button and the question will go to the end of the test. You can return to it later. Thus, the most difficult questions will remain for later. And maybe you don’t have to think about them - if you correctly complete the required percentage of tasks, the system will immediately give a positive result without requiring you to answer the remaining questions.


It is important - in what language tests are taken. Different states have their own characteristics. For example, in Florida, you can only take in English and Spanish, but you are allowed to come with your translator. But in California, you can take in Russian. And in the state of New York can be in advance order translation services - during the test, he will translate the questions. Do not forget to ask the local DMV office what opportunities there are in your state.

Get a hint or look at the cheat sheet during the test does not work, everything is in sight, and the camera is everywhere. If they see that someone is cheating, the police on duty at the request of the staff will immediately escort the violator to the street, and the exam will be over for that day for him.

In Florida, for example, a paid service is distributed to immigrants - “we will help you pass the exam for law”. The technology is simple: under the guise of a translator, a person who knows the rules comes and prompts answers during the test. However, for those who ventured to cheat can all end in tears: the DMV staff closely monitor the person who passes the exam with a translator.

So, Ksenia Semenova witnessed a similar incident: “When I passed the test, I saw how the immigrants from Eastern Europe gave up with a translator and fell for the fact that he suggested the answer. They were immediately taken out, accompanied by a policeman, and told that they would not take the exam anymore in this office. ”

Ksenia herself did not pass the exam from the first time: “Three answers were not enough for forty correct ones, I will continue to teach. Although I would not say that it was difficult, a little let down the English, namely the lack of knowledge of special terms. ”

In the case of successful passing the test, you get a “Learner's Permit” - a training permit for driving, which allows you to get behind the wheel if there is another person in the car who has local rights. “Study rights” are valid until you pass the driving test and receive this driving license. The holder of national rights can take the drive on the same day when he successfully passed the computer test.

4 step. Learn to drive

Now you need to decide whether you will study on your own, with the help of friends, spouse, relatives, or go to a driving school. By typing in the search query “driver school” and specifying your area, you can find driving schools with different prices and approaches. For driving instruction, you can contact an instructor from a certified public or private secondary school, and from a professional driving school. It is important to ensure that the driving school is licensed by the state to study. In addition, you can ask the instructor to show a professional ID.

In the states where the Russian-speaking diaspora lives, there are usually driving instructors who speak Russian. Their prices are almost the same. Miami eight hour driving course worth four hundred dollars, and in Brooklyn (New York) can pay 265 dollars for ten hours.

5 step. Driving pass

You will pass the exam on the car you came to - it could be your car, you can rent it or borrow it for a while from friends or relatives. Before the exam, you must show the registration documents for the car and the insurance policy.

As written above, for “study rights” you can drive and drive only if there is a person in the car with an American driver's license. Therefore, to pass the driving test, even in his own car, the beginner does not have the right to come alone. The holder of national rights in some states may come to the exam independently.

The car must be in good technical condition. If it turns out that it does not work, for example, a turn signal, the exam will not be accepted. At the beginning of the exam, you may be asked to show how turn indicators, low and high beams, windshield wipers are turned on, how to adjust the rear-view mirrors, etc.

The exam is passed quite democratically, no one sets out to “overwhelm” you, so that you come again and pay for the re-take.

The main thing is to follow the rules of the road and perform specific maneuvers:

1) turn around in three steps on the roadway of standard width;

2) put the car in the parking lot as evenly as possible and in the center of the parking lot;

3) when driving at a speed of 20 miles / hour (about 30 km / hour) at the examiner's command to stop as quickly as possible, but neatly;

4) drive back about fifteen meters. It is important to turn your head back and look into the rear window. If you go, using only mirrors, the test will not pass.

5) drive through the intersection as carefully as possible, observing the requirements of the “Stop” sign and using turn signals;

6) change lanes by turning on the turn signals no later than thirty meters before the lane starts (it is important to turn your head in the direction you plan to change to check the “blind zones”);

7) move in the right lane as carefully as possible.

That's all the wisdom driving test. In this case, the exam can take place both on public roads and on a specially equipped site.

In case you did not pass the driving, the next exam will not be taken immediately - as a rule, in two weeks (the period may vary depending on the state). If you do not pass three times, you will have to undergo a new driving school, at your own expense, of course.

Ekaterina Markova, originally from St. Petersburg, has been living in Miami for more than four years. Despite the fact that she had rights in Russia, she drove there for a bit. After moving to Florida, I decided to get American rights, because it was difficult to move around the city without a car. “All my friends, and my husband too, were intimidated in earnest - they say, even experienced drivers don’t give up the first time,” she recalls.

Therefore, to start, Catherine decided to get an ID. However, when she passed her ID documents, she was offered a test. "I did not prepare at all, but was confused and went to take it on the “automatic machine”. And passed it! Only three mistakes made. Knowledge of Russian rules, a good level of English, and, probably, intuition, helped, ”says Ekaterina. Immediately after that, she ventured to pass and driving. “First, I passed a parking lot on the site, and then drove to the city. I had to pass on a minivan a friend of my husband, who brought me, and I never went by such cars. But somehow everything turned out, her husband did not even believe when I called him and said that I got the rights, ”she laughs. However, the most “terrible” began for her later: “During the first few months, when I left the highway, I was covered with sweat and beyond the right lane did not get stuck. When a number of trucks appeared, they squeezed into the seat and tried to get away from them, it was so scary. And now you can't turn me out of the left, the fastest lane. ”

How much does it cost to get right

When applying for a driver's license, you pay a fixed fee. Driver license fee is in every state. For example, in Florida - 48 $ (retake test - 10 $, driving - 20 $), in California lower prices - 33 $ (retake driving - 7 $, test for free). Moreover, in California for this money it is allowed to pass a computer test three times during the year, but not in Florida. AT state of new york in general, everything is complicated and expensive: payment depends on both age and place of residence. An adult (from 21 year) driver will pay from 91 $ to 107 $.

What else is important to know

The rules of the road in each state are slightly different. For example, in California or New Jersey it is allowed to turn right to a red light if it is safe, and in New York you can get a decent fine for the same maneuver.

Boris Kuznetsov lives in New Jersey and drives a car for almost eight years. On business he often has to travel to New York. “At first, I always became a violator: at home I can turn right at the intersection, and in Manhattan it is a violation. Although a reminder in the car hang up: “I do not turn on the red in New York,” - he admits.

However, with the rights obtained in one of the states, you can safely ride across America. They should be changed to local only in case of moving to another state for permanent residence. You do not need to pass any exams, you just need to confirm the new home address. In some states, additional documents may be required to verify identity.

All violations and penalties received anywhere in the United States are recorded in a single database and tied to a driver's license or car number. Therefore, if you are deprived of a license for drunk driving in Miami, do not try to get a new one in Las Vegas - everything has long been known about you.

Age limits

Young people in the United States begin to drive cars almost from childhood. The minimum age of a driver varies from fourteen years of three months in North Dakota to seventeen years in New Jersey. However, it should be noted that young people have limited driving rights. They are issued “temporary licenses” with the prohibition of night driving without adults (after 23: 00 in Pennsylvania or at 1 am in Wisconsin) and with restriction on the number and age of passengers (in California, in the first year of driving, passengers under twenty years old cannot be transported, except for relatives ).

Many states provide so-called “forced” licenses for youth between the ages of fourteen and eighteen. They are issued when it is necessary to go to school or work, and no adult, for objective reasons, can get behind the wheel. This practice also applies in cases of illness or disability of the parents, as well as if the child is an orphan.

See also:

What if a policeman stopped you

The story of a Russian policeman nicknamed "Crazy Russian" in New York

How to buy a car in the USA

USA New York right Florida California documents car exam test the world Educational program learning driver's license ID Editor's Choice
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