My STEM OPT is expiring in June 30,2015 and hence my driver's license. I called the DMV legal presence department and they said they can't extend my DL for that period. I have applied for another university and waiting for acceptance which may take some time (probably in July or August) and hence I am stuck without License during that time period. The DMV people told me that their hands are tied by DHS(Department of Homeland Security) people and hence they can't extend.

My friend who is in similar situation has got his DL covered for those 60 days period. This is weird. They didn't do it for me. Looks like it depends upon location of DMV from where one is getting DL.

Is it possible for me to drive using my Indian Driving License till the time I get new I-20 and renew my California DL ? OR any other alternative like obtaining permission from DHS and showing that as a proof to DMV so that they can extend that?

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    So once your OPT expires, and until you're accepted to the new uni, what will be your immigration status? – littleadv Jun 15 '15 at 7:11
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    As per the USCIS website,I am legally authorized to stay in the US for those 60 days. – John Jun 15 '15 at 8:34
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    Well, as per the DMV website, they want an authorization that expires more than 60 days after your application for extension is submitted, so here you have it. Drive with your Indian driver license. – littleadv Jun 15 '15 at 15:03
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    @littleadv "Drive with your Indian Driver Licence", is that your personal advice or can you share any source which states that I can drive with my Indian Driver Licence during that time. – John Jun 16 '15 at 4:20
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    The California laws requires CA-issued licenses from California residents. Since you cannot prove your residency based on the DMV requirement, California obviously doesn't consider you a resident (for DMV purposes). According to the DMV (and you can look for it on the website, I posted that link here a while ago), if you're a non-resident you can drive with your foreign license as long as it positively identifies you and provides satisfactory explanations on what kinds of vehicles you're licensed to operate . – littleadv Jun 16 '15 at 4:56

No, you cannot drive on your Indian driver's license because you are a California resident, and someone who resides in California cannot drive on a foreign or out-of-state license after 10 days after moving to California. The definition of residency is complicated but the fact that you got a California driver's license means you have already definitely established California residency, because California residency was a requirement for you to have gotten a California driver's license in the first place.

One solution is you could get an AB60 driver's license which does not require legal presence documents, so that you won't be driving without a license in the interim.

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    That is entirely incorrect. He could have established residency for the period of his stay in school, but since he's no longer enrolled in a CA school (a requirement for residency), the previous situation no longer applies. – littleadv Jun 17 '15 at 4:19
  • @littleadv: Being a resident means he lives in CA. School is not required. Yes, he could move out of CA and not be a resident anymore. But he hasn't. – user102008 Jun 17 '15 at 8:46
  • Unfortunately, the DMV doesn't see it this way. He's a foreigner in a temporary status who has lost his direct link with California. Unless he declares that he's going to stay in the US illegally (i.e.: applies for AB60), he's no longer a CA resident. – littleadv Jun 17 '15 at 15:15
  • @littleadv: AB60 does not require that the person is in the US illegally. Residency has nothing to do with status (in fact, the OP is in status). Please read about what constitutes residency for driver's license purposes. – user102008 Jun 17 '15 at 18:35
  • I called the DMV legal presence department and that guy who was very rude in talking over phone, told me that wait for your license to expire and then apply for AB60 and once I get new I-20, apply for the license again. I am wondering why do I need to wait till it get expires and start the whole process again if I am ready and reacting well before my license is getting expired? – John Jun 17 '15 at 21:26

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