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Old 10-26-2009, 09:14 AM
2 posts, read 5,560 times
Reputation: 10


hi - I am moving to San Francisco at the beginning of December. I have a job and will temporarily be living with my gf and her roommates until we get our own place - so my name will not be on a lease initially. I have read that I'm supposed to transfer my out of state license within ten days of arrival but good luck getting an appointment at the SF DMV.

My questions:

since I will not be established as a resident in SF - i.e. I don't technically have housing that I can account for - does my job in SF count as being a resident or does DMV need to see that I have an address here?

If I am considered a resident but can't get an appt within ten days to change my license, how strict is the DMV about that? I am trying but I can't seem to get an appt online and gave up after being on hold for 90 minutes on the phone...

Also, my car will not be here until early January - if I don't transfer my CT license to CA prior to that - can I register the car with my out of state license or do I need the license to do that?

any and all help appreciated!
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:21 AM
52 posts, read 141,885 times
Reputation: 16
It's better to have a CA state license in case of emergency. I think you can provide your temporary address and get a license and later you can change address. In any case you will be living in CA so why not get it now itself?

I do not think DMV is very strict about 10 days rule since you just moved in and having problem with finding right place to live. But it's better to have a local license.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:25 AM
Location: 3814′45″N 12237′53″W
4,153 posts, read 8,097,642 times
Reputation: 3355
I drove around for quite sometime with CT. Plates and a CT. lic., months actually....I was unaware of the 10 day rule at the time...
I never had a cop pull me over and ask me how long me and my car had been here...
just deal with DMV when you have your car here and are able to walk in the door there and wait...
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:05 PM
Location: Seattle
1,329 posts, read 2,339,255 times
Reputation: 1307
The license and registration are separate documents. It's easier to change both at the same time just because you won't have to go to the DMV twice. You don't need to bring a lease to the DMV they aren't really strict about "proving" you want to register in CA. After all, they collect money from you registering so it's not really in their interest to be too strict about it. CA is a high tax state - no one registers in CA unless they have to.

Your job will make you a resident for tax purposes. You are technically a California resident. My experience is the DMV couldn't care less if you registered within 10 days. If you register your car more than x days (either 10 or 30) after its arrival then they will charge you late fees, but you have to tell them you registered the car late. I don't believe there is any kind of penalty for changing your license late. My advice would be to change your license when your car arrives and do it both in the same trip. My assumption is you won't be driving that much anyway if you don't even have a car here so I wouldn't worry about it. Just make sure you file as a CA resident for all of your income and don't correlate your date that you register your car with DMV and the date that you have to file as a CA taxpayer.
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Old 10-26-2009, 05:33 PM
2 posts, read 5,560 times
Reputation: 10
thanks for the replies - also, does anyone know if I have to have a CA license and CA plates to get a SF neighborhood parking sticker?
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:53 PM
12 posts, read 19,882 times
Reputation: 13
Sorry to thread-jack, but this is somewhat related.

Can I legally drive a car registered and insured under my parents name (from Texas), with me as an alternate driver, in San Francisco? I live and work in California, but they live in Texas.

Alternately, is it possible for me to claim residence in California and Texas? Then maybe I could keep the car under my name (in Texas) and pay the registration and insurance for that state?
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:17 AM
7 posts, read 36,006 times
Reputation: 23
you only have 20 days to register your car in CA, otherwise there will be late penalties:

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