Driver's License Conundrum...?

First, as a driver...

I have over 30 years and well over a million miles of accident-free and ticket-free driving experience in all types of vehicles, in all types of weather and road conditions, in many different countries. At one point, I held a class A hazmat license with ALL endorsements and NO restrictions. Meaning, if it was legal to drive on a public road, I was licensed to drive it. Period.

I recently passed a driving physical, easily. My vision (uncorrected) is still 20/20, all my limbs are intact, I have no disabilities.

All that said, I have a driving situation that I have never faced before, and it might be an insurmountable challenge.

I have been living overseas for several years. By local laws, I can use my United States driver's license to drive. All is legal up to this point. However, my United States license is going to expire, probably several years before I set foot in the United States again. Now the problem.

1) Partially because of the "real ID" act, I can not renew my United States driver's license.

2) I do not qualify for a license where I am living, because I need to produce a "apostille" of my United States driver's license record.

3) The state will NOT issue an apostille of my driver's license record. No, they won't. I've asked many times and even consulted a lawyer for help. I can not get an apostille of my driver's license record.

4) I can not drive with an expired license.

5) I have to drive to work.

What is the solution?

11 Answers

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  • User
    Lv 7
    9 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Seems obvious.

    Travel to the US specifically to renew your license.

    Should be able to do it in a weekend.

    Alternative: use a taxi (which, in the long run, would probably be much more expensive than the U.S. trip).

  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    Your problem is a local one, not with the state that issued your license. Follow the local laws.

  • 9 months ago

    you can still get a non-Real license which expires in four years.

  • 9 months ago

    The solution to this depends on issues that you have not informed us about:

    What is your legal status in the country that you are in now ? If you are still legally a visitor, which would be strange, as I do not know of any country that issues a visitor the right to live and work for years, as opposed to just visit and NOT work for up to six months, then you should have a legal home address within the US.

    But, based on your post, I suspect that your legal status in the country you are in is either as more than a visitor, or you are living and working there ILLEGALLY. In which case, either apply as a proper immigrant to that country, which would get you the right to live, work, and use an address within that country as your legal address to use to get a local license.

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  • Anonymous
    9 months ago

    This is not rocket science. Buy an airline ticket and get yourass to the good old USA to renew your license with RealID.

  • 9 months ago

    The solution is to tell the truth.  You haven't done that.

    There is no such thing as a United States driver's licence.  (Forgive the spelling, my computer and I are Canadian.)  Driver's licenses are not issued by the federal government in the USA, they're issued by each sovereign state.  

    In order to be legally valid, you have to actually live in the state in which your licence is issued.  No exceptions allowed, no excuses accepted.  That's the law in every US state and territory.  If you can't legally renew your state licence, it's because you don't meet the qualifications.  

    So where do you actually live?  Figure that out, and you won't need to ask this question.

  • Bort
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    Don't they have some sort of 'guest' drivers license where you are? All countries I've been to have that option. 

    If you've found and gone to Bumfukt Island that doesn't offer a guest license I'm not going to argue the situation and what you said. Here are some suggestions:

    1. As long as you still have access to the address on your US license in the form of someone you know still living there or able to pick up your mail and send it to you just renew your US license as normal and have someone mail it to you where you are. If that's a plausable solution you might have to take public transportation (if it exists and/or can get you to where you have to go) until you receive it in the mail. 

    The problem may be the state your license is in which you didn't mention. I'm in PA and our Drivers License system allows us to change our address online for free (once every 4 years as PA licenses are good for 4 years, I'm aware some states expirations are different) and sends a new copy with the new address to the 'new' address we submit. Ask a friend or relative and use their address. 

    When you do it online they don't ask for proof they just do it. I only had to change my address once in the past 8 years so I don't remember if there is for sure but there may be an option to send the license to a different address than what you tell them to print on the card. Of course, though, they may not ship it out of the country. It may have to be an address inside the country. 

    When your US license expires you can do the same thing. Just renew it online if the state yours is from has that feature. It's 2020 now, most of them do. My photo on my license was taken 6 years ago. I've been renewing online and they haven't given me any grief about how old the photo is. 

    2. Another idea/suggestion that might be a solution for you that I can think of is call the DMV where your license is from and explain the situation about it expiring before you come back. Whether you are or not to spare yourself the possible headache and BS and tell them that when you do return to the states you're going back to the same address. 

    Sometimes you have to 'work the system' if the system isn't working with you. Sometimes we have no other choice than to be a little dirty because the systems were set up ignorantly and didn't think of everything and every situation. 

  • JetDoc
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    I don't know of ANY country that will allow a foreign worker to continue operating on a foreign drivers license FOREVER. Eventually, you're going to have to come back to the States to get a new license, OR find some way to qualify for a license in the country where you choose to work.

  • May
    Lv 6
    9 months ago

    You say that by local laws you can use your US license to drive......but.....does that mean to drive as a resident or just as a visitor?   I suspect only as a visitor.

    If you have been living "overseas" for several years, then it seems to me that your USA drivers license is not valid and has not been valid since you moved out of the U.S. state that issued the license.  Obviously a "invalid" license cannot be renewed.   Are you sure that your  US license is (still) valid?

    Could it be that the US state won't issue an "apostille"  (a certification)  of your license because you are no longer a resident of that state and not because of the "real I.D. act". ?I have never heard of being able to hold or obtain a drivers license from a jurisdiction where you do not reside.

    The solution?  If a lawyer couldn't help I doubt that anyone here can help.

    On the bright side......... "Walkin ain't crowded"

  • Bill
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    Find a job that doesn't require driving, or return to the US and get the documents necessary for a Real ID. Or you can move to Kentucky, where you can still get a non-Real license which expires in four years.

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