May 17, 2018
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Hi All,

Starting to prepare for the internship move. For those who have moved to California for internship or other reasons: did you have to change your driver’s license? I looked on the DMV website, but I wasn’t sure if this applied to students/temporary move situations. I confirmed with my current car insurance that I would still be covered in California.

Thanks!
 

Temperance

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May 27, 2015
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When I was in California, I remember reading that one must transfer one's out-of-state license within 10 days of becoming a resident of California, but that is not in the driver handbook and I'm having trouble finding a reliable source about that on the Internet. Call the DMV and check.
 
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Jun 20, 2018
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Hi All,

Starting to prepare for the internship move. For those who have moved to California for internship or other reasons: did you have to change your driver’s license? I looked on the DMV website, but I wasn’t sure if this applied to students/temporary move situations. I confirmed with my current car insurance that I would still be covered in California.

Thanks!
I’m not sure exactly how long before you need to transfer, but I know I definitely got a ticket for not registering my car in California about 6 months after moving here.
 
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PSYDR

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Some handsome psychologists might say that the laws about renting a P.O. Box in his parents home state using rv living people blogs is great way to avoid increased insurance premiums and income tax.

I heard that same guy sucks.
 
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DynamicDidactic

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I am 99.9% sure you technically have to in all states.

But I didn't when I went on internship (in a different state). Primarily b/c I was in a high-cost city for registration and insurance rates. I also knew that I wasn't likely to stay in that state for postdoc. Seemed like a lot of work. As long as you can find a way to renew your registration in your current state you should be fine. Its not like the police are actively monitoring all the cars to make sure all the out-of-state license plates don't actually live in CA. The only way you get caught is if your out-of-state registration is expired. Otherwise, you can always tell the officer that you are visiting.
 
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Jun 20, 2018
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I am 99.9% sure you technically have to in all states.

But I didn't when I went on internship (in a different state). Primarily b/c I was in a high-cost city for registration and insurance rates. I also knew that I wasn't likely to stay in that state for postdoc. Seemed like a lot of work. As long as you can find a way to renew your registration in your current state you should be fine. Its not like the police are actively monitoring all the cars to make sure all the out-of-state license plates don't actually live in CA. The only way you get caught is if your out-of-state registration is expired. Otherwise, you can always tell the officer that you are visiting.
I agree that it would be very difficult to get caught. But I offer this cautionary tale...if you drive a car in a bright, unique color with personalized plates, don’t tell the neighborhood police officer that you just moved there a couple weeks ago and didn’t have time to register the car yet. That’s what I tried when the cop pulled me over but he recognized my car and knew it had been there for about 6 months. One ticket coming right up!
 
Jul 18, 2018
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Hi All,

Starting to prepare for the internship move. For those who have moved to California for internship or other reasons: did you have to change your driver’s license? I looked on the DMV website, but I wasn’t sure if this applied to students/temporary move situations. I confirmed with my current car insurance that I would still be covered in California.

Thanks!
I had a similar situation down in Florida where I was only going to be there for a few months. Website says you need to change license after 10 days. I called up the state police and they basically told me its a formality that is almost never enforced. But Florida is a high transient state with the snowbirds and all. I didn't change my license, but never was pulled over to put that to the test.

If I were you, I'd call the dmv or state police to see what they say. Personally, California is a state that I avoid due to all the law craziness.
 
Dec 5, 2017
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I am also moving to California for internship, but I decided not to take my car because (luckily) public transit seems to be a viable option. The only reason I'm changing my driver's license is because my current one happens to expire soon after I will be moving.
 
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iliketohelppeople

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YMMV and not a lawyer, but I have kept my license and registration in my home state even though I went to grad school and internship out of state. I was told that as long as I was a student (which includes internship), the authorities would be even more lax on this issue. Indeed, when I was pulled over and they commented on registration, I mentioned I was a student, and it was fine. But now that I am going to post-doc (even though I likely won't stay) in CA, I may have to deal.
 

Chalupacabra

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Mar 9, 2015
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YMMV and not a lawyer, but I have kept my license and registration in my home state even though I went to grad school and internship out of state. I was told that as long as I was a student (which includes internship), the authorities would be even more lax on this issue. Indeed, when I was pulled over and they commented on registration, I mentioned I was a student, and it was fine. But now that I am going to post-doc (even though I likely won't stay) in CA, I may have to deal.
I've also always been told that this is generally handled differently if you're a student. I've done the same and worst I had happen was someone sideswiped me and the police officer on the scene wrote my local address on my out of state registration in pen. Which was...weird but had no real repercussions.
 
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AbnormalPsych

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I changed mine about 6 months in, and only because my current drivers license expired. Did the whole thing, DL, registration, had to communicate these changes for my insurance. It was a hassle. And expensive. Would avoid if you are only there for 1 year. (note: this was all not in CA). But if you are parking frequently on public property (street) and doing other things that would increase the chances of getting caught with an out of state plate, I would consider doing it.
 
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Spydra

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Aug 16, 2014
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Some states specify that students are an exception to the transferring vehicle registration deadline so you'd want to check with the office that handles that. I am out of state for grad school and am not required to change my car registration or drivers license to this state. For a number of reasons I chose to keep everything with my home state and just had to submit documentation of my school status to my car insurance company so I'm appropriately covered.