RV insurance for foreigners?
Q. I'm a foreigner who wants to tour the states in an RV I would purchase there. Clearly I need vehicle insurance for which I first need - correct me if any of the following is wrong - a US drivers license. To obtain a drivers license I need to declare a place of residence in the US, which I don't have. I don't know anyone in the states whose address I could use. Any suggestions to resolve this problem?
A. Drivers licences are only issued in the country (and state) where you live. You do not need a US drivers licence to drive or rent a vehicle (or RV) for a short term in the USA but I believe even a long-term rental would involve some red tape. And I think purchasing will definitely be difficult.
You are correct that insurance will be an issue and, without a permanent residence in the country, you will also have trouble registering any vehicle (to get a licence plate on it). Even if you knew someone in The States, you cannot legally use someone else's address to register a vehicle.
A reputable RV dealership in the USA (one who thinks they may be able to sell you an RV) may know a way around this. I would contact a few and see what response you get but be sure to double check their advice to be sure it's right.
Better still, contact US customs at http://www.cbp.gov/ to ask if there's a legal way around this. I'm sure business people or students who are in the country for years would qualify for a special visa that may allow it - but they would likely have an address while they're here - perhaps there's a tourist visa that would qualify.
You might also contact the RV Dealers Association at http://www.rvda.org/, or the RV Owners Association at http://rvoa.com/. One of these organizations may have an answer.
We often meet foreigners who have actually brought their RV with them from Europe - perhaps the red tape involved in buying here is part of the reason.
If any of my readers has dealt with this or have advice, I invite you to please respond.