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Author Topic: Driving with an international driving license  (Read 7114 times)

Joyce

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Driving with an international driving license
« on: March 31, 2009, 02:25:38 AM »
Hi,

We are in Nevada looking to buy a 31' 5th wheel and to spend 6 months touring the Western states, we are completely new to this and finding it a bit of a mine field.  Our attention was drawn to the fact that a Nevada general license only allows you to tow 10.000lb or less which got us thinking about our international license/UK license.  I have spoken to the DMV in Vegas who could not give us a firm ruling on the legality of towing the 5th wheel.  I know many others have done what we want to do and wondered if anyone could shed some light on this for us.  Our son lives in Vegas and we were intending to register both the 5th wheel and truck in his name as we will leave it for him to sell when we return home.

Hope that someone can give us some advice.

Joyce

Tom

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2009, 03:03:27 AM »
Joyce,

I haven't done what you're planning to do but, with that caveat ....

It is indeed a bit of a minefield, although generally I'd expect states to recognize your UK license if it covered the group of vehicle (car/pickup + trailer), provided you're not considered a resident of the respective state. I'm not sure what your Nevada driving license does to your residency status.

A link from the NV DMV site:

Classes of driving license. The note at the bottom of that page says:

Attention RV, Boat & Trailer Owners! You need a Class A or B license to drive vehicles 26,000 pounds or heavier. You also need additional license endorsements to tow multiple trailers or trailers in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Since you have a NV license, could you apply for the applicable endorsement?

FWIW here are a couple of links from the California DMV:

International driving permit and reciprocity of licenses from other jurisdictions.

Classes of non-commercial license.

In addition to the legality of driving, another consideration is validity of insurance. IIRC all our policies specifically state "licensed drivers". Additionally, newcomers to the U.S. (or folks without a driving record in the U.S.) find they face higher premiums.

Just noticed there was an earlier discussion on this subject here.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 03:19:10 AM by Tom »
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macmac

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2009, 06:17:45 AM »
Joyce,

I haven't done what you're planning to do but, with that caveat ....

It is indeed a bit of a minefield, although generally I'd expect states to recognize your UK license if it covered the group of vehicle (car/pickup + trailer), provided you're not considered a resident of the respective state. I'm not sure what your Nevada driving license does to your residency status.

A link from the NV DMV site:

Classes of driving license. The note at the bottom of that page says:

Attention RV, Boat & Trailer Owners! You need a Class A or B license to drive vehicles 26,000 pounds or heavier. You also need additional license endorsements to tow multiple trailers or trailers in excess of 10,000 pounds.

Since you have a NV license, could you apply for the applicable endorsement?

FWIW here are a couple of links from the California DMV:

International driving permit and reciprocity of licenses from other jurisdictions.

Classes of non-commercial license.

In addition to the legality of driving, another consideration is validity of insurance. IIRC all our policies specifically state "licensed drivers". Additionally, newcomers to the U.S. (or folks without a driving record in the U.S.) find they face higher premiums.

Just noticed there was an earlier discussion on this subject here.

Tom I'm under the impression that they don't have Nevada licences???   Just their regular UK licences plus the International Driving Permit which used to be issued by the RAC, AA etc in the UK when I got mine 5 years back - which was a waste of time and effort!

It appears they'll use their son's address for titling etc in Nevada.  On that score I'd guess they'd be OK but the DMV might want them to acquire a Nevada license beforehand??

As Nevada has a weight restriction on trailers without a license endorsement, I can't see what they could do to comply without acquiring a Nevada license to be endorsed....

Chances are they'll never have a license problem but I wouldn't want to drive like that.  Insurance, too, needs even more care.

Keith
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 06:19:36 AM by macmac »

Tom

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2009, 06:27:28 AM »
Quote
I'm under the impression that they don't have Nevada licences???

On re-reading Joyce's message, I think you're right Keith. That's what happens when I read and respond at 1.00am  :-[

Quote
It appears they'll use their son's address for titling etc in Nevada.  On that score I'd guess they'd be OK but the DMV might want them to acquire a Nevada license beforehand??

I don't see why, since Joyce said the titles will be in their son's name.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 06:30:16 AM by Tom »
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macmac

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2009, 06:53:50 AM »
On re-reading Joyce's message, I think you're right Keith. That's what happens when I read and respond at 1.00am  :-[

I don't see why, since Joyce said the titles will be in their son's name.


Yes, you're right on that last point, Tom.  I was approaching matters as if they were registering in their own names...whoops!  And it's only midday here - I can't blame the lateness of the hour! :D

Mind you, I have had a midday tipple ;) ;D

Joyce

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #5 on: March 31, 2009, 12:07:50 PM »
Hi Tom & Keith,

I posted in the early hours of the morning after spending all evening scanning the internet.  We only have UK licenses and an international license.  I am going to spend today contacting insurance companies, maybe they can cast light into the dark. Back in the UK we can tow a tt on our regular license.  There is now a company who makes a 5th wheel in Wales and I have emailed them to see what size & weight they are and if there is any endorsement we would need there.  As I understand it as a visitor if our license covers us at home to drive then it would here, that is more or less what the DMV in Vegas implied.

I feel I could do with a tipple to but the sun is not yet over the yard arm.

Joyce

Tom

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2009, 12:31:52 PM »
Quote
There is now a company who makes a 5th wheel in Wales and I have emailed them

Hopefully, they'll answer in English  ;D

(I'm an ex-pat Taff)
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Carl L

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2009, 12:51:10 PM »
The issue here is trailers and trailer gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).   That limit of a 10,000 lb GVWR weight rating is what counts, not the trailer type -- fifth wheel or TT.   The first thought that occurs does there have to be a problem?   After all there are a considerabler number of light weight fifth wheel trailers in the 30 foot category that are  10,000 lbs or lighter.   Just looking over the offerings of Forest River RV, a mfr with a good reputatiion, it is easy to find lightweight fivers in the 8500 lb GVWR  range.

Have actually bought the trailer yet?   If not, shop in the 30 foot lightweight offerings ---  an under-10,000 lb GVWR unit should be easy to find.  
Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

John From Detroit

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2009, 01:16:43 PM »
I can not give you info on Nevada at all, However I can tell you that when it comes to interperting the law. Well, Law is kind of like religion, you see there are Priests and High Priests (Those are called Lawyers) and there are the faithful (You and I) who have not the needed training to interpert the laws.

That is a fancy way of saying call al lawyer

I would HOPE, and I stress HOPE that you have at the very least the lessor of the privlidges you would have "At home" and the same class here

but in Michigan, I can drive 26,000 pounds on my basic license..   Perhaps more in some cases.. So long as it is "Personal use"

Laws, however vary, in this area, A LOT, from state to state
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macmac

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2009, 02:34:53 PM »
The issue here is trailers and trailer gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).   That limit of a 10,000 lb GVWR weight rating is what counts, not the trailer type -- fifth wheel or TT.   The first thought that occurs does there have to be a problem?   After all there are a considerabler number of light weight fifth wheel trailers in the 30 foot category that are  10,000 lbs or lighter.   Just looking over the offerings of Forest River RV, a mfr with a good reputatiion, it is easy to find lightweight fivers in the 8500 lb GVWR  range.

Have actually bought the trailer yet?   If not, shop in the 30 foot lightweight offerings ---  an under-10,000 lb GVWR unit should be easy to find.  

A smaller, lighter trailer would avoid the endorsement issue but the Breavingtons may not be happy with a smaller unit - depends on what they'll be doing and for how long.

The insurance issue needs care.  Unless there's certainty about the legality of towing on a UK licence/license - whatever the trailer weight - insurance cover might be compromised. 

macmac

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2009, 02:38:36 PM »
Hi Tom & Keith,

I posted in the early hours of the morning after spending all evening scanning the internet.  We only have UK licenses and an international license.  I am going to spend today contacting insurance companies, maybe they can cast light into the dark. Back in the UK we can tow a tt on our regular license.  There is now a company who makes a 5th wheel in Wales and I have emailed them to see what size & weight they are and if there is any endorsement we would need there.  As I understand it as a visitor if our license covers us at home to drive then it would here, that is more or less what the DMV in Vegas implied.

I feel I could do with a tipple to but the sun is not yet over the yard arm.

Joyce

What does it say on your counterpart licence, Joyce?  The weight limits might be there for the classes of vehicles you're licensed for...

Carl L

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2009, 10:10:13 PM »
A smaller, lighter trailer would avoid the endorsement issue but the Breavingtons may not be happy with a smaller unit - depends on what they'll be doing and for how long.

The insurance issue needs care.  Unless there's certainty about the legality of towing on a UK licence/license - whatever the trailer weight - insurance cover might be compromised. 

I recommended a lighter trailer, not a smaller trailer.   There are a fair number of lightweight 30-31 footers, I ran down the offerings of Forest River as an example.   Joyce specified that their use was for a six month holiday and then giving the thing to the son who would actually be the registered owner -- and who may even be the holder of the insurance.

Tho a lightweight will be lower in quality than a premium, heavyweight unit, it should hold up fine for such use.   My lightweight has lasted 15 years of vacation service.

Carl L/LA   [Forum Staff]  KI6SEZ

Prowler 23LV TT pulled by a '95 Ford Bronco

Joyce

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2009, 11:59:48 PM »
Thanks all for your advice and discussion, we have spoken to various 5thwheelers here who are driving there rigs on a regular Nevada license, most seem uaware of their 10000lb weight limit to towing on the reverse of their license.  I am still awaiting a response from the UK 5th wheel company.

The Jazz by Thor that we are seriously thinking about has 8985lb on the sticker inside the trailer and 10,500 on the plate outside, so I am working on the higher rating.  We have decided on a Ford 250 Lazeret diesel, it has been used for towing a much heavier trailer for the last 5 years without any problems.  It is a really nice truck, surprisingly quiet and comfortable for a diesel, and has been well looked after and maintained.

Is their anyone else driving on their UK license, it would be more reasuring if others are or have been doing so.

Joyce

Ian H

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2009, 02:10:32 PM »
Joyce
i think you will find the UK 5th wheel is no bigger than a caravan ( TT ) towed by our typical pick up ( F 150 ish )
I tow a 37ft Cedar Creek with a Dodge 3500 dually on my UK licence  but i have got HGV on mine aswell

Ian
Ian and Doreen
Dodge 3500 Dually   Cedar Creek 5th Wheel

Cornwall UK   when not touring USA

RVOA

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2009, 01:52:27 AM »
Hi Joyce

I agree 100% with Ian - the UK 5th Wheel is VERY small compared to US models - even when compared to UK caravans too.

Paul
Paul

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seilerbird

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Re: Driving with an international driving license
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2009, 08:45:25 AM »
The simplest way to do it would be to stop by South Dakota, get a mailbox, insurance and then get a license for $8 for 5 years. The license would be honored in every state. If you get a Nevada license then you would need to take the class B test, it is not an endorsement, it is a very hard written and driving test. If you have an accident and don't have the proper license you are really in a lot of trouble. Make sure you are properly licensed for the rig you are driving.

 

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