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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully this will help somebody...

I posted a while back about having to take a driving test to get a PA drivers license. I am originally from the UK and after 90 days, needed the PA license as required by state law. In PA I could have driven off an international drivers permit for a year, but I forgot to apply for it before I left. NB This year's grace does not apply in some other states

We had bought a car once my wife and I had our learner permits, prior to sitting the practical, although one can buy a car with a state ID.

We got insurance on the basis of our UK licenses. We paid dearly (compared to our insurance in the UK with a 7 year no claims bonus) as we were insured on the basis that we were new drivers (this would have been the same had we used our learner permits). $2000 per year for a midsized SUV with State Farm.

As soon as we passed our tests, we contacted State Farm for a discount. They offered us one after a year's driving but not before. I spoke with AAA who offered us BETTER cover and $1000 premium straight away. Geico and others didn't offer anything like this rate.

Take home message: no different to any other form of insurance, you can get a discount somewhere if you ask around, even if your situation is different from the norm. In fact it may be especially true if your case is atypical. I also understand credit history is a differentiator and I was glad that we managed to open an account in the US with a british bank who helped us establish a credit history in the US on the basis of our good history in the UK.

Another point. Before you leave your home country, do two things
1. get a letter reporting your insurance history with your home auto insurance co (assuming it's clean!)
2. If you think you might be returning, ensure your home drivers license is as new as possible. Consider renewing it early. Renewing when you are out of the country is a real challenge as I learned to my cost! Even getting compliant photos for photo ID is a challenge when the dimensions are metric...

Hope this helps somebody else.
 

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With what kind of visa is your international license valid for one year in PA. Would you mind to give an official link? Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
With what kind of visa is your international license valid for one year in PA. Would you mind to give an official link? Thank you.
Here is a link to the PENNDOT advice on IDPs. The IDP is a permit, not a license so it must be accompanied by your home country license.

By visa, I assume you mean immigration visa? I believe that is independant of the use of an IDP. If you are in the country illegally, that is a separate problem!

PA is one of only a few states which recognize the IDP.

There is the matter of interpretation on residency. If you have a residence in PA, the 90 day rule applies, but if you also have a residence or documented address outside the state, on your home drivers license, that would count as an out of state license and you are ok to use the licence/IDP combination for a year after arrival.
 

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Here is a link to the PENNDOT advice on IDPs. The IDP is a permit, not a license so it must be accompanied by your home country license.

By visa, I assume you mean immigration visa? I believe that is independant of the use of an IDP. If you are in the country illegally, that is a separate problem!

PA is one of only a few states which recognize the IDP.

There is the matter of interpretation on residency. If you have a residence in PA, the 90 day rule applies, but if you also have a residence or documented address outside the state, on your home drivers license, that would count as an out of state license and you are ok to use the licence/IDP combination for a year after arrival.
Thank you - you answered my next question:>)
You may want to look into bundling insurance such as automobile/home/renter/life.
 
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