Can I drive legally in the US with an EU driver's license?

I just moved to New York from the EU. How long do I have to get a state license, what does that process look like, and can I drive legally in the meantime?

Answer
“If you’re moving to the US as a resident, you’ll need to get a US license from the state of New York (if that’s where you’ll be residing).
You’ll need to apply through the New York Department of Motor Vehicles, and provided you pass the tests and pay the processing fees, you should be able to receive your license within a couple of weeks.
New York does not require that you have a social security number in order to apply for a license.
In the meantime, you have up to three months of legal driving in the US. There is a caveat to this: if your license from your home country is not in English, you’ll also have to obtain what’s called an International Driver’s Permit (IDP), which you can obtain in your home country.
If you plan on purchasing or leasing a vehicle after you obtain your license, you’ll also need to acquire car insurance in the state of New York.
Car insurance can be pricey in New York, especially since you don’t have previous driving experience here in the US, but that doens’t mean it has to break the bank. Try using the free Jerry app to compare rates and get the best deals delivered to your phone in minutes.”
avatar
Sophie Newman
Answered on Aug 11, 2021
Sophie Newman is a writer from California. Her hobbies include brewing her own kombucha, riding horses, and taking long road trips.
thumb-up

Did this answer help you?

Ask us a question by email and we will respond within a few days.
thumb-up

Have a different question?

You can meet us at our office and discuss the details of your question.

Read advice from car experts at Jerry

Easiest way to compare and buy car insurance

√
No long forms
√
No spam or unwanted phone calls
√
Quotes from top insurance companies
Find insurance savings — it's 100% free