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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 101311
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello there, Im going to visit Los-Angeles as B1 visa holder.

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Hello there, I'm going to visit Los-Angeles as B1 visa holder. As my trip is going to last 6 months, I consider buying a car instead of renting one. Is it legally possible to register a car being a non-resident?
Hello, my name is Ely. Welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice; and (2) my function is to give you honest information and not necessarily to tell you what you wish to hear. There may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies as I reply.

The answer is yes. You do not have to be a resident to purchase a vehicle, or to register it in your name - plenty of people do this. So provided that you find one that you like and the dealer is willing to work with financing, this is totally possible.

However, note that California does not recognize an International Driving Permit. This means that to drive it, you would need to get a California license (which you can, even if only on a visa).

Good luck!

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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Just a two clarifications:


 


1. As far as I know I need a CA postal address to complete the registration and finally receive the plates. Is any address (e.g. aparment address) valid for this purpose?


 


2. From http://www.dmv.ca.gov/dl/dl_info.htm : "California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident."


I can understand it as my license is valid and it looks like a contradiction with non-recognition of IDP statement.


I've understood I could use my driving permits as far I'm not a CA resident, am I right?


 


Thanks!

Hello,

By all means, of course.

1. As far as I know I need a CA postal address to complete the registration and finally receive the plates. Is any address (e.g. aparment address) valid for this purpose?

Yes, indeed.

I've understood I could use my driving permits as far I'm not a CA resident, am I right?

No. You cannot drive in CA without what CA considers a valid license. A valid license may be its license, or one from any other US jurisdiction. So even if you are not a resident per se, you still need a valid license, i.e. a CA license. Your international permit is not enough. I am sorry.

Surely, you prefer that I tell the truth rather than what you wish to hear. Because it reflects very poorly on me unless you press one of the top three faces, keep this in mind when rating my and please do not punish me for being honest. I understand that this may not be easy to hear, and I empathize.

IMPORTANT: I hope this finds you well. Please use REPLY button to keep chatting, or RATE my answer when we are finished. Kindly rate my answer as one of the top three faces before submitting the rating, because this is how I get credit for my time with you. Rating my answer the bottom two faces does not give me credit and reflects negatively on me as an expert, even if my answer is correct. I work very hard to formulate an informative and honest answer for you; please reciprocate my good faith. Do not worry, you may always ask follow ups free after rating.
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