I need a driver's license very fast; my old US one has expired; I live in the U.K. but am moving to South Africa.
July 6, 2004 1:15 AM   Subscribe

Driver's License problem: Need one fast. Old license expired. (more inside)

I live abroad. NY license expired 5 years ago. Suddenly I need one, but in the UK where I live now, and in South Africa where I'm moving next, there are months of waiting. The company wants me to have one before moving. Going back to the States is not an attractive option. I can't google anything useful amongst the offers for fake licenses.
posted by Goofyy to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
You used to be able to queue jump in the UK by paying an extra fee. Don't know how this will have been affected by the introduction of the theory test but if you haven't checked it out it might be worth looking into.
posted by biffa at 1:39 AM on July 6, 2004

So you were hoping to get a fake license and exchange it for a GB/ZA one? GB is quite picky about which licenses they'll exchange, and AFAIK, ZA does not offer exchanges.
If you are going to have to do the theory and practical tests, do it in GB, ZA can take many many months and dealing with their government departments is far more painful. It really might be easier and cheaper to fly back to NY to sort it out. Pity it's summertime and ticket prices are so high. :(
posted by quiet at 5:10 AM on July 6, 2004

Can't you renew your NY license on-line or via FedEx documents, or something equally "modern?" Good luck.
posted by davidmsc at 5:21 AM on July 6, 2004

Hmm... not sure if New York can help you. See this:

You can renew a driver license no more than one year before the expiration date, or no more than two years after the expiration date.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:36 AM on July 6, 2004

According to the link that PrinceValium supplied: "If your driver license or your learner permit is expired for two years or more, you cannot renew your driver license. There are no exceptions. You must apply for an original license. You must pass the vision test, the written test, and the road test, and complete a pre-licensing course."
posted by muckybob at 5:44 AM on July 6, 2004

In other words, your options are limited:
  • Go back to New York and start your license all over again. Maybe they don't need the same 8 to 12 weeks of processing that they do in my state.
  • Do whatever driving you need to do, unlicensed and illegally. This would be dumb, since I doubt your host country is kindly disposed towards unlicensed drivers.
  • Apply for a license locally.
  • Not drive.

posted by majick at 7:15 AM on July 6, 2004

Response by poster: I already knew I couldn't renew the NY license. I'm not trying to fake anything. The issues are about waiting lists. Personaly, I get along fine without driving. Management seems to view this as a security issue. Perhaps they're concerned I might get mugged (or worse) riding my bike to the grocery.

I was hoping someone could name country X, where I could exchange my expired license for one of theirs, then convert theirs, if necessary. The expiration of a license is totally arbitrary, given that in Europe, most don't expire 'til you are so old they want to make sure you're still capable of handling a car.
posted by Goofyy at 7:21 AM on July 6, 2004

Do South Africa offer the possibility of a temporary licence/permit while you (as a foreigner) get sorted out there? Just a thought. Calling the embassy would be best way to find out.
posted by carter at 7:32 AM on July 6, 2004

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