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Los Angeles - Driving & Public Transport

Visitors to Los Angeles can drive using their home country's driver license for as long as that license remains valid; however, once you accept a job in Los Angeles or become a resident of the United States, you will need to obtain a California driver license to legally operate a vehicle in Los Angeles. This must be completed within 10 days of starting employment in Los Angeles, or becoming a resident of California.

To apply for a California driver license, you will need to visit your nearest Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) office. If you make an appointment online or via telephone, you will greatly reduce the time spent waiting in the DMV office. For a list of office locations, visit

You will need to complete the application (Form DL 44), submit to a thumb print, provide adequate identification, pay an application fee of $28, pass a vision test, and pass a traffic laws and signs test. You will have three chances to pass the written test.

Expats will also have to take a driving exam administered by the DMV. All driving tests are administered by appointment only. You can call 1-800-777-0133 to schedule your test.

In order to receive your license, you will also have to prove that you have purchased automobile liability insurance. This insurance is available through a wide variety of insurance carriers in Los Angeles, including AIG (, Allstate (, and State Farm ( If you have difficulty obtaining insurance through one of these companies, as your local insurance agent to help you find a "non-standard" insurance company that will insure new drivers in Los Angeles.

If you would rather not drive on the busy streets and freeways of Los Angeles, you can utilize the city's many other transportation options. Public Transportation is maintained by the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (LACMTA). It is the third largest public transportation authority in the United States, averaging 1.6 million trips each weekday.

The extensive bus system allows efficient access to many parts of the Los Angeles Metropolitan area. It offers Metro Local, Metro Rapid, and Metro Express bus lines which provide service to the downtown area, as well as the city's numerous suburbs.

An extensive rail system is also available for commutes from outlying areas of the city, as well as some of Los Angeles's more heavily populated suburban areas. It includes three above ground lines and two underground lines. Two additional lines, providing connections for Culver City and East Los Angeles, are currently under construction.

Residents of the city's urban areas often use bicycles to get around. Because of the city's mild climate, bicycle travel is possible throughout the year, without the need for heavy clothing. Also, most of the metro buses have bicycle racks, and bicycles are usually allowed on the commuter trains.

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