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Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 12:15PM
Before heading down to the DMV, I searched the board on what I needed to take to get a license. Apparently, the rules have changed again so I thought I would post my experience.

As long as you have a valid, US license that is not expired, you do not need to have either and eye exam or passport photos. I didn't even need my birth certificate or passport.

I filled out a very short one page form, paid the cashier $35.00, then went and had my photo taken. A new drivers license was printed and in my hand. The entire process took less than 40 minutes!


BTW- What prompted me to go get a VI license? I got a ticket for talking on a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle, a $50 fine. They do sometimes enforce that law.

Darrin
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 12:43PM
Hello.

It is my understanding that you also need a physical form filled out by your doctor. Is this no longer needed? I will be moving to STT in September, are the requirements inforced more so there?

Thanks


Pink
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 12:51PM
I can't speak for St. Thomas, although you would want to assume they would be the same.

No, I didn't not need a medical form. Just my stateside license.


Darrin
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 01:31PM
Thanks for posting your experience!
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 02:47PM
I am on STJ and just got my DL (3 weeks ago) and I did need a medical form filled out by a doctor - eye exam and blood type had to be done, and I needed to take 2 passport photos with me but I didn't have to take any exam - just surrender my Stateside license - so who knows what may be required on STT in September smiling
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 05:45PM
Oh boy, now I'm REALLY confused!
I too am re-locating to STT in September. Can anyone who has applied for a VI driver's license there please share their experiences?? And will I be required to SURRENDER my NY license??
Thanks for any light you can shed on this issue!
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 06:23PM
You definitely will have to give up your stateside license.
avatarRe: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 06:30PM
Hi Ann.

Yes, you are required to surrender your stateside license. Even most states do not permit folks to hold multiple licenses. If you do not admit to having a stateside license, or if your stateside license has expired, you will have to take the written and the driving test, which is not recommended. Unless something has changed in the last couple of days, here in STT you must still have a doctor sign-off on an eye exam and you must still provide two color passport photos with your application. The photos can be done at the Blazing Photos and the eye exam can be done at the Pearle Vision. Both are located in the Nisky Center which is a block from the "DMV." It's a hassle and can chew up an entire day but it's nothing to worry about.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 09:00PM
Thanks for the responses all! So what do folks that maintain dual residency do? And if one is pulled over by the police in STT and does not have a local driver's license, what's the penalty?
avatarRe: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 10:34PM
Ann,

Most people with multiple residences do not split their time precisely evenly between those residences and their license is from the place they spend the majority of their time, which is also the place where they're registered to vote, where they pay their taxes etc. Officially you can drive on STT with a license from the states for ninety days and if you're here longer you're technically required to have a USVI license. If you are pulled over , have a car registered in your name but a stateside license, you will encounter trouble. The amount of trouble will depend on the particular law enforcement individual who pulls you over. The procedure for obtaining a license is here: [www.vimovingcenter.com] If you need more specifics your best bet is to ask someone at the "DMV" when you get here.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 17, 2006 10:43PM
I did not surrender my stateside license. I was allowed to keep my stateside license by taking the road test (after the written test) - and was issued a VI license. I needed a med form (Myrah Keating Smith Clinic on STJ does these for $99) which included vision and blood typing, and the passport photos. When I finally got the license (the license making machine was broken for four months), I had to sit for more photos, and they threw the passport photos away! I had to take the written test three times. A couple of questions tripped me up:

Q: What critical item should you always have in your glove box?
A: A neck tie. You can put it on to greet the officer when he pulls you over, and you can use it as a tourniquet.

Q: How long is it okay to stop in the road and talk to your friends?
A: "Awhile"

These are actual questions (among others) that were on the test administered to me by Ralph Powell on St. John in 2002. (Ralph retired earlier this year!)

peace.... bert
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie
August 18, 2006 12:09PM
I have heard that some people who did not want to give up their stateside license temporarily misplaced their stateside license and had to apply for a replacement license from their home state. Once they obtained their duplicate license they were somehow able to find their original license, which they then surrendered when applying for their VI license.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 18, 2006 07:24PM
Hmmmmm....in all this moving madness, where DID I put my NY license?? Thank you!
avatarRe: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 18, 2006 08:37PM
The VI "DMV" separated somewhat from the government a few months ago, which is why so many folks have noticed changes when applying for a license. Part of the changes include the local "DMV" switching to the same software that states use to communicate with each other about licenses, driver citations, etc. Now when you turn your license in here, the state that issued the license is notified and your stateside license number becomes defunct. Should you try to use the defunct license number to apply for credit or as ID you will likely encounter difficulties. If you get pulled over in the states and provide your stateside license you will be charged with driving without a license. Of course you can then whip out your USVI license out and have the charge changed to fraud. Getting a USVI license isn't a big deal and getting a new stateside license when you leave the islands isn't hard either so I'm not sure why anyone would find lying about this matter especially appealing.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 18, 2006 10:25PM
My son moved to the States last year and applied for a NJ license. They would not accept his VI license - the state DMV did not have any information about the VI license or reciprocity - so he was required to get a temporary permit, then apply as a brand new driver, including the written and road tests. He was not a happy camper. It was a hassle, but eventually he did get his NJ driver's license.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 18, 2006 10:47PM
Thanks for all of the responses...wow, such differing information to such a seemingly simple question!

I will be working in STT for 9 months, at which time I will either make the island my home or return to the US. My permanent address will remain NY, I plan to absentee vote, and taxes, well...that'll be another bridge to cross! At this point, I am just trying to abide by the law as outlined under both flags, while creating the least amount of hassle for myself, either in STT or NY, in regards to a driver's license. Guess I'll just keep my NY license and hope that I don't get pulled over in STT.

dntw8up: I find lying an abominable quality and don't appreciate being admonished by you, but thanks for your constructive advice and for welcoming a soon-to-be-newbie with such kindness and understanding. I promise not to cheat on my taxes.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 02:20AM
Hello everyone.......

I am confused at this post, so please bear with me in my questioning.

If I were to live stateside for part of the year, and in the islands the rest of the year, where would I have my license?

What happens if I get a VI license and give up my stateside license and then go back to the states? Are you then driving illegally in the states?

I certainly wouldn't want to keep changing my license every 6 months or so between the two, so what would I do in this situation?

What happens if you have been in the VI's more than 90 days and you get pulled over? Do they take you to jail? Do you get a fine? How does this work?

How do they know you have been in the VI's for more than 90 days if you don't have a vehicle registered in your name?

Lastly, if you give up your stateside license, is it legal to drive while back in the states on a VI license?

I do not want to offend anyone by my questioning, and I am not trying to cheat the system I just don't understand how the dual residency works. It seems to me, there is a catch 22 here. Certainly people who have a home in two different places do not change their licenses every 6 months or so, therefore there must be some answer to my dilemma.

Thank you to anyone who can help with this.

Pink
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 06:47AM
I can answer some of your questions:

What happens if you have been in the VI's more than 90 days and you get pulled over? Do they take you to jail? Do you get a fine? How does this work?

When I was pulled over for talking on my cell phone, the officer asked how long I have been on the island. I told him the truth, about 60 days. He let me know that I had 90 days to get a local license if St. Croix was going to be my permanent address. I know there are many people who have been here for much longer than 90 days without getting a license, but it is the law. If you were to be pulled over, you could either lie, tell them this is not your permanent address, or just pay the fine. No jail time, I'm certain they would rather have the money.

What happens if I get a VI license and give up my stateside license and then go back to the states? Are you then driving illegally in the states?

Yes you can drive back in the states legally with a VI license. It varies by state, but each one has a time period they allow for you to get a license there if you permanently return to the states.

How do they know you have been in the VI's for more than 90 days if you don't have a vehicle registered in your name?

They have no way to tell, they simply ask you. Your answer is up to you.

Lastly, if you give up your stateside license, is it legal to drive while back in the states on a VI license?

Same answer as above. Totally legal to drive with a VI license in the states.


So I guess my summary would be, you should get a drivers license in the state or territory where you spend the majority of your time.

I wanted to get mine, but had been putting it off, after hearing what a pain it would be. It was so simple, I had to post to share the new process, at least for those of us on St. Croix. I would have done it even if I hadn't got my nice little traffic ticket smiling

Hope this is helpful.

Darrin
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 11:25AM
Pink - Thank you for your concise questioning!
Darrin - Thank you for your concise answering!
Both are much appreciated!
avatarRe: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 01:41PM
Gee Ann,

I don't believe I addressed you specifically when I remarked, "I'm not sure why anyone would find lying about this matter especially appealing." If your conscience led you to believe that "anyone" meant "Ann" you can't rightly blame me. Furthermore, thanking me in the same sentence as you falsely accuse me of directing a remark to you reeks of sarcasm. I have answered many of your posts over the past months with kindness, understanding and factual information but if you don't appreciate my assistance I will stop providing it for you.
avatarRe: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 01:42PM
Hi bert.

The DMV only recently became semi-autonomous and the changes I mentioned have only just begun. Were your son to try the same thing in NJ next year I have been told that the outcome would be very different.
Re: Got a drivers license in St. Croix today, easy as pie - I like the way you think JE
August 19, 2006 05:32PM
They have the same (nice) people in the DMV (except old Ralph), and the same "the VI is not part of the US" mentality in the states, so I'll remain skeptical until I see the changes - or until my old license expires - whichever comes first!

peace.... bert
avatarRe: Getting VI Driver's License
August 21, 2006 05:15PM
Hello,

We recently updated the driver's license information on the site, called the DMV on each island for the scoop. Its at the bottom of the section on shipping a car, here is the link [www.vimovingcenter.com].

Pink, on St. Thomas (and St. John) the medical form needs to be picked up, completed and returned. The DMV on St. Croix said no medical form. (As a sidenote, the VI driver's manual doesn't mention variations by island, it states the medical form with visual testing is necessary.)

In the past drivers with valid stateside licenses had to take the written part of the VI exam in addition to trading in their stateside license. Currently with a valid stateside license the the exam isn't necessary; you do still trade in the valid license for a VI license. If the stateside license is not valid (expired for example) you'd have to go through the whole process (apply, written & road exam).

AnnNYpisces, if you were stopped and had a stateside license you would be asked how long you had been on island and would be told about the 90 day timeframe. If the same officer stopped you again and remembered you, you might get a ticket.

Hope this helps.

--Islander
Re: Getting VI Driver's License - thank you Islander...
August 21, 2006 07:24PM
...and to the others who offered constructive information, yes, it helps a lot!
Re: Getting VI Driver's License
August 21, 2006 08:48PM
Islander,

Thanks a bunch! I think this sums things up!


Pink

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