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Old 04-09-2012, 11:09 AM
Location: Dallas, Oregon & Sunsites Arizona
8,011 posts, read 13,302,816 times
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[mod interpose-- group of posts moved from a specific thread to this more general one]

Snowbirds (not employed) are given a break as they are part year residents. But working residents "Must" under Arizona law change their plates immediately and keep a current address at all times. Officers are trained to watch company parking lots for repeat out of state plates and run them to compare with tax databases for employed Arizona individuals. They then only need to wait for quitting time to snag the offenders.

Last edited by observer53; 04-16-2012 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:31 AM
Location: Ohio
229 posts, read 250,953 times
Reputation: 450
It's even tougher for people moving here from overseas. We thought we'd just be able to trade in our British licences for US ones - they are after all printed in English, the test we took is some factor of 10x harder than the US one, and we've been driving for over 20 years! - but AZ simply doesn't recognise any overseas ones and requires all incomers to take the full driving test, theory and practical. Technically this has to be done 'immediately'; in practice they seem to agree that within the first couple of weeks is reasonable and turn a blind eye until then.

I kind of agree with the theory part; I learnt some useful stuff about road signs, school buses, etc. And fortunately my examiner seemed to concur that the practical was a joke - we literally drove around the block, it took less than 5 mins, and only required me to do right hand turns!

But hey, we managed to move thousands of miles with small children, set up temporary camp in a hotel, recover from jet lag, and study for/retake our driving tests in a matter of days. So nope, not much sympathy here for people getting caught out moving from one state to another!

Glad the judge was reasonable and it turned out not too bad, OP.
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:07 AM
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the test we took is some factor of 10x harder than the US one
I'm curious where you got that info.
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Old 04-16-2012, 09:51 AM
Location: Ohio
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Originally Posted by ReadyFreddy View Post
I'm curious where you got that info.
From having taken both.

UK driving test:

- took about 45 mins
- involved driving around all sorts in streets in a busy town, with complicated junctions, multi-lane manoeuvres, multiple changes of speed zones, roundabouts, traffic lights
- involved car control demonstration of 3 point turn, reversing around a corner, emergency stop (plus the car had gears and a clutch; it's possible to use an automatic car but that'd severely restrict your UK car buying choices for ever)
- had long waiting lists and had to be booked some months in advance, so added pressure that if you failed it would be some more months before you could re-book and re-take

US driving test:

- took 4-5 mins
- involved driving out of test centre, turning right, right again, right again, back into the test centre, in a quiet residential area. Didn't once have to change lanes, turn left, pass any other cars, moving or parked, change speed, etc etc etc
- involved car control demonstration of reversing into a parallel parking test box on the left hand side of my car, ie, the 'wrong' side for realistic street parking and easy to do by simply leaning of the window and looking where the cones and lines were
- turned up with no appt, and could have re-taken it the next day for no extra fee if necessary. And the day after that.

This was Tempe test centre, just in case anyone's looking for an easy ride :-)
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Old 04-16-2012, 05:37 PM
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Having had a German road license as well as a US one, I'll agree that the European driving standards are tougher.

There are countries though, where no standards of which to speak regarding driver's licenses exist. To expect that Arizona recognize new immigrants driver's licenses from those countries as an equivalent, and willynilly hand out a US license without a test is a disservice to those of us already on the road.

I see your point, but the rules should be the same for all non US licenses .... and they are. No US license = full test.

America, as you found out, has certain driving rules unique to our shores. I remember that 4 way stops were one of the most memorable differences.

Wish we could learn to pass only on the left, and that slower traffic should keep to the right. Then we could have magic roundabouts too.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:25 PM
Location: Ohio
229 posts, read 250,953 times
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Originally Posted by ji603 View Post
No US license = full test.
We moved here from Switzerland, having already exchanged our UK licences for Swiss ones (no test required - Switzerland has a list of 'straight swap' countries and a list of 'you're joking, aren't you - here's a full test' countries).

The US rule above is at least simple - I wasn't looking forward to trying to explain how they should view the origins of one licence that was currently then registered in a different country!

And there's definitely a lot of value in making everyone new take the theory part, even if the practical is sometimes pointless. I learnt several new things whilst studying for the test, and that's got to be better than me driving around randomly guessing until I work out the rules. Plus I had the fun of playing with a couple of new AZ theory test study buddy iPhone apps, which were a very effective way of learning the material (I'm enough decades away from school age that going back to revising for a test is now fun!).
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