I have been living in the UK on a long-term basis (married to a Brit) but regularly return to Connecticut to visit family, etc. My license is up for renewal next month--I was told I could do this online or my mail but everything I've googled suggests I need to do it in person at the DMV/AAA location. A) Is this the case and B) I've seen elsewhere on this site that this may not be legal?? I still have an address in the States (the house I grew up in, stay in while visiting, and will inherit when my parents pass) and get bank statements for my US accounts sent to it. I NEED to be able to drive in the US since everything is so far apart and public transport non-existent where I'm from. Using a British license is not an option since I don't have one. I've always used public transport or walking since I arrived here, so have never needed a car or license. What are my options here?
If I understand your problem correctly it is to retain a valid license apon return to your home country and not to actually drive while in the UK.
As a general rule a driver's license is residence based.
When you move, often longer than 6 months (UK 12 months), you must convert your existing license to a local license if you want to drive there
- the converted license will contain the information about your original license
It would seem that US licenses cannot be converted and that a theory and practical tests are needed.
When returning from the UK, with a valid UK license, as a visitor to the US you can use that license and convert it back to the original license should you one day return permanently to the US.
I can't find a definition for "residence" or "resident" in Connecticut law that applies to driver licensing. I found a definition for purposes of Connecticut income tax:
You are a resident for the taxable year if:
- Connecticut was your domicile (permanent legal residence) for the entire taxable year; or
- You maintained a permanent place of abode in Connecticut during the entire taxable year and spent a total of more than 183 days in Connecticut during the taxable year.
So if you claim to be a resident for driving purposes, you might have a hard time claiming you are not a resident for income tax purposes. Maybe a CPA could offer suggestions.