Foreign nationals visiting the U.S. must adhere to all American driving laws including the requirement that every driver needs to obtain a valid driver’s license. The most important aspects of American driving laws that foreign drivers need to know include the laws set forth at your state’s DMV, laws regarding international driving permits and the basic traffic laws of American roads. By following these guidelines, visitors to the U.S. can ensure they are driving legally.
Your State’s DMV
Each state has its own individual driving laws, so it’s crucial to know which states you will be driving through. It’s very important to research the state laws and regulations. Non-U.S. citizens that are eligible to apply for a driver’s license are required to do so in the state where they live. Your local Department of Motor Vehicles will help you determine your eligibility to apply. The DMV will provide a driver’s manual with the state’s driving rules. When you apply for a state license, you will need a valid passport, home country’s driver’s license, international driver’s license and a social security card. If you obtain a driver’s license in any U.S. state, then it gives you the ability to drive anywhere in the U.S.
International Driving Permits
Some states require an International Driving Permit and a valid license from your country of origin. An International Driving Permit is issued by the motor vehicle department that issued your original driver’s license and cannot be granted by a U.S. DMV. This means that it needs to be granted before you leave your home country. These international driving permits are typically valid for up to a year.
Basic Traffic Laws
Traffic laws are cluster of local, state and federal rules that dictate safety guidelines for the roadways. Your state’s local DMV is the best source of information for traffic laws. If you will be traveling through multiple states, then it may be prudent to call each state’s DMV and inquire about any unique regulations in the area. You can also use online resources to help you better understand American norms. Foreign nationals need to understand that the U.S. is a right-hand driving country, which means that traffic must keep to the right side of the road unless otherwise directed. The U.S. commonly uses road-side signs with symbols to indicate important information. A full list of all U.S. traffic signs can be found at the Federal Highway Administration. The horn is used less frequently in America than other countries. The horn is mainly used as an alert or warning system for other drivers. Residential areas typically maintain speed limits of 35 miles per hour or lower, whereas the interstate and highway speed limits are often 55 miles per hour.
The most important aspects of American driving laws that foreign drivers need to know include the laws set forth at your state’s DMV, laws regarding international driving permits and the basic traffic laws of American roads. By following these rules and regulations, foreign nationals will ensure they are driving safety and legally on American roads.