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    Speeding with intenational license in the US

    I was caught yesterday doing 95mph in the Audi S3, since I was driving with my intenational license and german plate on the car. I had to pay $2000 right on the spot
    according to the police, they can't check whether the intenational license were real or the paper work of the car...etc

    They then issued me 3 tickets, speeding, no license, no insurance and registration. If I didn't pay the amount at that time. I had to spend a night in Jail before I am able to see the judge. What kind of stupid system is that?? My license is totally valid, and car registeration is comply to Immgration law. For no reason, I had to pay for the extra ticket. The US traffic system is the most primitive system i ever encouter.

    I was basically force to pay off the court in order to get out of jail!! Its very unreasonable... !!

    Re: Speeding with intenational license in the US

    Waoh, sorry to hear that William,
    Yes, it is a bit ridiculous indeed.
    So what? You shouldn't drive in thte States if you have a foreign license then right???
    Fanch.
    PS: $2000

    Re: vary from places to places

    I have been caught many times with the intenational license and everything was ok. It just so happened that the police never seen a German plate car with a guy carrying an Hong Kong intenational license. I think the police got quite confused at one point.

    It would be much easier in some part of US where more foreigner visit frequently. The police have seen many intenational license, but Texas is the worst! They have no clue, i mean no clue whatsoever about intenational license. The only thing they know is where the closest donut shop is.


    Re: vary from places to places

    william,

    sorry to hear this!

    but, at least this is an interesting story which you can tell your grandchildren someday

    ...and it seems that the donut-loving US small town officers we all now from shows like simpsons and knight rider are not a TV tales legend, they are really OUT THERE!!

    cheers; zz

    Re: vary from places to places

    Sorry to hear that William. Where in Texas? If it is a small town I bet the officer put the money in his own pocket

    Houston is a very metropolitan city and I have seen a few cars around with Foreign Lic. plates. In the U.S. Texas is known to be its own country but this doesn't make it right.

    May be you should pursue this issue with an attorney. As we say here "sounds like the officer was a pure Red Neck "

    Re: Dallas..

    on highway 75. The first word he said to me when I give him the license. "What the hell is this? You expect me to believe this thing is real?" He then ask me to follow him to the station and plead guilty and pay the fine or spend the night in jail until tomorrow to see the judge.

    Technically, if I see the judge, the fine and citation will be waved (except the speeding ticket).

    His side of the story is, if he let me go, there will be no way to track me down or even to prove whether my license is real. What can I do? Thats the way the system work..

    Outrageous!

    This really is outrageous William.

    You've got money. You can afford to go after them. Get a lawyer and have them threaten them with malicious prosecution.

    Also, try to get the HKETO office in Washington involved. Also copy the Transport Department in Hongkong. They will try to resist getting involved (as they always do) but try to tell them that it is important to uphold the status of the Hongkong license. Ask them to at least write a letter voicing their concern.

    You might want to try the same with the Germans but less likelihood of success I think. Ditto the Chinese embassy.

    For the future, get a copy of the Texan law that states that international licenses are valid. Also, get the name of a good traffic lawyer so that you can call him in an emergency.

    FWIW, I too drive in the USA regularly with a Hongkong license. I had to file a police report on something a few days ago. The license turned up eye brows but nothing more. On other occasions I've used it (and my Belgian diplomatic ID) successfully to avoid tickets in the USA. They often aren't too smart and don't really want to deal with it. On the whole, I think a foreign license is an advantage.

    As for him not knowing if it was valid, well that's his problem. It is for him to prove his case. They ned a least a reasonable suspicion -- ignorance isn't enough. The fact that he told you it would be dismissed if you appeared (with what other proof? -- none!) tells you that he has no proof it isn't valid.

    I have to say though that it appears you blinked first. I suspect that had you been much more aggressive you might have been able to talk your way out. Personally, I would have allowed them to lock me up if I had to. It would have made your case a lot stronger.

    Are you really sure you aren't considered a resident of Texas for licensing purposes?

    What a bunch of Ya-Hoo's.

    Stephen


    Re: Outrageous!

    Quote:
    Are you really sure you aren't considered a resident of Texas for licensing purposes?



    No, I am not consider a resident in Texas or anywhere in the US. Simply because I come in with a Student Visa (I20) which is consider as visitor status. The law stated very clearly that visitor or I20 students allow to use Intenational license for transportation. Some people come to the state to do 3 month of studying in Harvard or Princeton. It doesn't make any sense to get a local license.

    In many cases, they argue that if you were in the US for more than 2 years, you should obtain a local state license. That is not true either, because whenever I leave the country for holiday. It should clear me from the visitor status and comming back for school is basically reset everything and start over again. There will be no way I consider staying in the US longer than 3 months.

    This paticular police bent the law just to get alittle cash out of my pocket. It happenes... really depend on your luck, i guess If you don't want to much trouble from them at that point.. much rather paid and walk away ASAP.

    Re: Outrageous!

    C'mon William, you must have a family lawyer or something in the US. Or just go to the police and talk to them. My experience with US police has been pretty good so far (well not in the beginning): at our first "encounter", I had a gun headed to my chest. But afterwards and after the situation calmed down (and after I learned that you're not supposed to get out of the car in the US when police stops you ), the highway patrol guy was actually pretty nice and I didn't have to pay anything ("we don't have any traffic law agreement with Germany..."). He issued a yellow ticket and asked me to show up in court in a period of one week but "if you have to catch your plane back home, that's it...we can't do anything about it." Unfortunately this was more than 12 years ago, I suppose things have changed a bit.

    Sorry to hear that.

    Re: Outrageous!

    Trouble is, when Honkies get a reputation for always taking the easy way out (pay and walk away) then they become easy targets. There is something to be said for not always doing the most sensible thing.

    If you are a student then most states will consider you non-resident. They do this because otherwise they would need to give you resident tuition rates and we wouldn't want to do that now would we?

    INS status is different to your status for purposes of a driver's license. The states usually are stricter. The student exemption is the big one.

    So far I've not had this conversation (though they always start asking questions). But for me it is clear that I'm not a resident.

    Stephen

    Re: A gun pointed at your chest??

    forturnely, my encouter was not as dramtic How did you react??

    Most of the experience i had with the police were ok, pretty good actually. But, this recent one got me thinking especially for the fact that they disregrad a valid driver license and regristation as a result i have to pay a fine for nothing. Its unfair, and maybe Stephen is right, maybe I should presue this case more aggressively.

    Re: Dallas..

    I still think you should follow it with the authorities.

    Re: Dallas..

    Quote:
    I still think you should follow it with the authorities.



    I agree.

    Police officers are not lawyers and they do not know the law very well. I think it is safe to assume a typical officer encounters VERY few incidents involving people with international licences so they don't know what to do and end up either totally ripping off the "offender", or basically throwing out the charge because there is no strong way to enforce it.

    As a side note, I have a very good friend from Indonesia who is in the US currently with a student visa and he was able to get a NY state local license, although I don't know how hard that was for him.

     
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