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Drivers License in the State You Attend College?

ahofficialahofficial Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Hello parents. I am going to moving to CA from NJ this fall for college. I was wondering, can I get a California drivers license since I will be residing on a California campus? Or will I have to stick with my New Jersey drivers license. Thank you
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Replies to: Drivers License in the State You Attend College?

  • cloudysmomcloudysmom Registered User Posts: 583 Member
    Interesting, we were just discussing this very thing! We live in SC but she won't be getting her dr lisc till school starts in VA.
  • kiddiekiddie Registered User Posts: 2,348 Senior Member
    It depends upon the state. Typically, driver's licenses are only for residents of that state (and you usually have to provide proof of residency like a lease or bill at an address in that state.) MY NJ daughter kept her NJ license while she attended college in Massachusetts. She could have voted and was even eligible for jury duty in that state but for tax and other purposes was still a NJ resident. Once she graduated, and was working and living in MA, she get her MA license and now considers herself a MA resident.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 21,266 Super Moderator
    It depends upon the state.
    Correct. As does residency for voting purposes and jury duty.
    MY NJ daughter kept her NJ license while she attended college in Massachusetts. She could have voted and was even eligible for jury duty in that state but for tax and other purposes was still a NJ resident.
    I'll assume that she did not claim MA residency for voting, since in MA you have to get MA DL within 30 days of registering to vote. Again, state rules vary.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 58,378 Senior Member
    Will your kiddo have a family car in college? If so...check your car insurance policies.

    Neither of ourmkids had driver's licenses in the college state....because their permanent residence was our state.
  • anomanderanomander Registered User Posts: 824 Member
    Interesting question for me since my D is attending UCLA as OOS. Reviewing the CA guidelines, it appears that if you're living on campus you don't need a CA DL. However if you have a car it will need to be registered in CA. Once you move off-campus it appears that a CA DL is required.

    But if the point of the question is that you want a CA DL, then I believe you can get one using your dorm address.
  • TooOld4SchoolTooOld4School Registered User Posts: 2,167 Senior Member
    Don't get one if you don't want to be summoned for jury duty. If you are local you cannot use the excuse of being out of town for school or work. In university towns OOS plates and DL's are expected.
  • cobratcobrat Registered User Posts: 11,124 Senior Member
    Don't get one if you don't want to be summoned for jury duty. If you are local you cannot use the excuse of being out of town for school or work. In university towns OOS plates and DL's are expected.

    This can be YMMV.

    Many friends/colleagues and I received jury summonses from both our college towns and home states even though I registered to vote in my college town for convenience and voted for the very first time there.

    However, back then it seemed to be much easier to get exempted by claiming college student status even in one's voting area than it is currently.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 57,839 Senior Member
    Jury summons commonly look in both voter registration and driver licensing. They are supposed to merge duplicates, so if you do both at your college address, make sure that all details of name and address match.

    Since a residential college student will be spending a majority of the next several years at the college address, it can make sense to have voting and driving residency there, even if tuition residency is subject to different rules.
  • ScipioScipio Super Moderator Posts: 8,283 Super Moderator
    D2 kept her CA license when she went to college on the east coast, and that turned out to be very lucky. Because when she came back to CA for grad school, UC Berkeley wanted to count her as a non-resident and charge her OOS tuition. Having maintained her CA license turned out to be an important part of the argument that she was still a CA resident despite living elsewhere for four years.
  • skieuropeskieurope Super Moderator Posts: 21,266 Super Moderator
    This can be YMMV.

    Many friends/colleagues and I received jury summonses from both our college towns and home states even though I registered to vote in my college town for convenience and voted for the very first time there.

    However, back then it seemed to be much easier to get exempted by claiming college student status even in one's voting area than it is currently.
    Gets back to my earlier post about every state seemingly is different. In MA, if you are a student, regardless if you have a MA DL, you can be called to jury duty, and you will not be exempted.

    I know the original post is about CA, but users really need to be careful about making blanket statements.
  • mominvamominva Registered User Posts: 2,689 Senior Member
    All of mine went to school OOS and all kept their home state licenses. Since they were >100 miles away, we even got reduced car insurance rates (until one had a car on campus for a co-op).
  • 1or2Musicians1or2Musicians Registered User Posts: 1,147 Senior Member
    In my state students are automatically excused from jury duty. It definitely varies.
  • MLMMLM Registered User Posts: 678 Member
    Interesting answers (and I'm still following discussion). Perhaps someone has advice for us :). Son (22) will be attending grad school out of state. I’d estimate he’ll be out of state for 5-7 years). I am the owner of the car he drives; he is on my insurance and listed as driving that particular vehicle 100% of the time. He is currently attending college in state 200 miles from home and has the car with him. His grad school will be on the east coast and I’m in California.

    What should we do? Leave everything as it is...the car registered to me but he’ll be driving it in Pennsylvania (and he will remain a resident of California)? Or change him as the legal car owner and have him get insurance in Pennsylvania (and become a resident of that state)? It is not necessary/required for him to be a resident of PA for grad school.
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,640 Senior Member
    The answer may be different for the student and for the car. This may not be true for every state, but typically a person who is a full-time student can retain his residency (and thus his driver's license) in his home state. On the other hand, at least some states require that a car that is being primarily driven in their state be registered in the state. At least technically they require this.
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