|My early birthday present from Ben - I can now explore! |
Having studied the NC DMV handbook and signs documents at length, as well as doing practice test after practice test over the last 10 days on the I Drive Safely and Driver's Prep websites, this is obviously frustrating in terms of effort, and in terms of nerves built up at the thought of doing a driving test. Ben even got me an early birthday present of a Garmin (with lifetime maps! Very exciting if you've ever owned a sat' nav': the annual map updates can cost more than the unit itself if you're not careful), so I could explore with confidence. It is also annoying as it means I can't renew my NC ID card until the green card comes through, so it will have to have my maiden name on it until then.
As a more direct consequence of this, I am now in need of car insurance that is explicitly aware of and designed for international drivers with full foreign licenses, driving privately owned personal vehicles in the USA. This actually does exist, but it costs a lot.
|For six months' insurance. Yowser.|
So, I can do it, and it may even be a little cheaper if we go with Ben's current insurer, as long as they are able to insure people on foreign licenses (some places simply won't do it). Otherwise, I will have to get my own insurance as, although driving is not an "essential" right now per se, it's crucial to my (personal) ability to make Charlotte my home, as well as being able to apply for more wide-ranging jobs. My EAD (Employment Authorisation Document) may well arrive significantly ahead of my green card, so being able to drive will be an asset on my résumé, as and when I have permission to work.
The other complications are that I can't update my new name (as mentioned above), and address on my ID card. You're supposed to do this within 60 days of a move, which may be possible should my green card process be super-fast, but otherwise, I will have to let it lapse. I do hope this won't cause an issue, as it's really nothing I can help, and I've done all I can to make the relevant authorities aware of the situation.
Anyway, it isn't something I can do anything about by worrying any more, and there's some relief in not having to fret about the test for a few months now. We just need to sort out the insurance later today, so I know I am legally allowed to drive, and then we carry on as normal. Which I did when I got home, with milk and Hobnobs. Pip pip!
|You can take the biscuits out of the UK, and you can feed them to me.|