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Old 03-06-2011, 09:55 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,014 times
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Hi everyone,

I just moved to Atlanta from Australia about a week ago. Loving it here so far I have a couple of questions regarding the purchase of a car.

I am a U.S citizen with a currrent U.S Passport but have lived in Australia since i was quite young and was never given a social security number, my application is being processed at the moment. I have a current and valid Australian drivers license. I need to know if i can buy a car and drive it? I guess i will need insurance too.

Once i get my social i can go and get my GA drivers license etc... but in the mean time im struggling without wheels so wanted to know if anyone knows if it can be done and how i might be able to do it.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:03 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,886 posts, read 16,001,184 times
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http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/DLdata...44173714&ty=dl and

http://www.dds.ga.gov/drivers/DLdata...47371440&ty=dl
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:14 AM
 
6 posts, read 8,014 times
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so, according to that i can drive on my australian licence for a while. What does this mean in terms of buying a car and getting insurance?
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Old 03-06-2011, 10:58 AM
 
Location: Marietta, GA
7,886 posts, read 16,001,184 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTags View Post
so, according to that i can drive on my australian licence for a while. What does this mean in terms of buying a car and getting insurance?
I think if you review the info, you must get a GA license within 30 days of establishing residence in the state. Same for your car registration. Otherwise you can drive on your foreign license for up to a year (if you don't become a resident).

Review the info and all your questions will be answered.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:39 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,452,325 times
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Having moved to this country as an adult (although unlike the OP, I was not a US citizen at the time) I have some experience to offer.

The US credit rating system is all based on SSN. If you don't have an SSN and history in the system, it's very difficult to get a bank account, credit card, car loan or insurance. Once you have your SSN you can apply for a bank account and store credit cards, and after a few months of using these things, the difficulty will clear up. (Even if under normal circumstances you wouldn't use a department store credit card, I recommend you apply for one to help build your credit rating).

Until you establish some credit history, while I expect car dealers are always happy to make a sale to a cash buyer, you might find it difficult to get financing, if you need it. And you might not be able to get insurance until you have your SSN.

Good luck! One day, these hassles will just be a distant memory.
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Old 03-06-2011, 11:52 AM
 
Location: East Cobb
2,206 posts, read 6,452,325 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neil0311 View Post
I think if you review the info, you must get a GA license within 30 days of establishing residence in the state. Same for your car registration. Otherwise you can drive on your foreign license for up to a year (if you don't become a resident).

Review the info and all your questions will be answered.
This is true, and when we moved from Canada we managed to comply with these requirements. However, it was a closely timed exercise that involved formally importing the vehicle at the border, then getting SSN, driver's license (a driving test was required), car insurance (we had Canadian insurance of course, but had to replace it with US insurance), emissions inspection, police inspection (required for first-time titling of a car moving from out of country) and finally title-and-tag.

All this within 30 days in along with moving into the house, starting work at the new job location, getting kid into school, figuring out where to shop, etc. I bet the legislators thought 30 days sounded like lots of time, and it probably is in most case, but international moves are more of a challenge. Since the OP is moving from Australia he gets to attempt vehicle purchasing rather than vehicle importing.
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