I am relocating to California from New Jersey and will be there for around 7 months. Do I have to surrender my NJ driving license and get a new one in CA?

  • I'm not sure whether this really qualifies as a travel question. It's more a "living in USA" question. But it's not an expatrates question either ... Commented Dec 13, 2013 at 3:21

1 Answer 1


If you are not planning to stay in California permanently, you can continue to use your New Jersey license.


If you are a visitor in California over 18 and have a valid driver license from your home state or country, you may drive in this state without getting a California driver license as long as your home state license remains valid.

If you become a California resident, you must get a California driver license within 10 days. Residency is established by voting in a California election, paying resident tuition, filing for a homeowner’s property tax exemption, or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents.

  • I am not sure if I will be a resident or not. I am an international student here at NJ and will join an internship in CA. Will I be a resident in CA?
    – ACC
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 21:32
  • The section I quoted tells you the things that will make you a resident of California.
    – choster
    Commented May 28, 2012 at 23:31
  • @AbhishekChanda There is some ambiguity in the definition above since it says "or any other privilege or benefit not ordinarily extended to nonresidents." If a driver's license is your main concern, you should be okay as long as you don't get too many moving violations in California and your current NJ license remains valid.
    – Tensigh
    Commented Mar 28, 2017 at 6:32

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