Will I need to drive my own vehicle to conduct my everyday life (work/school/shopping) at my destination?
Where you live will be one of the determining factors as to whether or not to operate your own vehicle. If you live in the Raleigh city center, there are several options available to you. The most flexible would be mass transit such as the Capital Area Transit (CAT) bus system which can be used to reach most areas. Another option is the taxi service---readily available if needed.
If you decide to live outside of the Raleigh city area, you will definitely need access to a car.Remember however, that rush hour in Raleigh can be very hectic and causes delays, so patience and extra time will need to be allotted to any route you choose in order to have a safe commute.
Expatriates should get an international driver's license (IDL) before leaving his/her country of origin. With this, an expatriate may drive in the U.S. for up to six (6) months. After this, he/she must obtain a North Carolina driver's license, (however, it is strongly advised that you obtain your North Carolina drivers licence as soon as possible after your arrival in Raleigh).
A North Carolina driver's license can be obtained at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Before going to the DMV, you should obtain a Social Security card and number from a local Social Security office. At the DMV you will be required to produce three forms of identification (i.e. a photo ID, and your birth certificate, plus proof of residence) and take a written test. If you are from a country or US state where your licence is recognized, you will not have to take a road test. If you're not from such a place, you will need to complete a road test with a driving instructor. Be sure to schedule a large block of time for this, because the DMV is notorious for having long lines and waiting times.
In the United States, we drive on the right hand side of the road.
The CAT system is the main form of public transportation in Raleigh. Taxis are also readily available and can either be hailed on the street or called for by phone. Though taxis are more expensive than buses, they offer much more flexibility. Most buses have stops that lead into the suburbs. However, the further away you move from central Raleigh, the fewer stops are made.
Could an expat also use public transportation to get out of the city—to surrounding towns, recreation areas or suburbs? If so, list options.
Yes, expatriates can use the bus system which has stops that lead into the suburbs. Note however, these stops only extend a limited distance from the city.
The public transportation system throughout Raleigh is considered very safe. However, do employ common sense: always know your route, don't make cash visible to strangers and keep an eye on your belongings at all times.
You can purchase tickets for public transportation at any ticket outlets located throughout the city. Alternatively, tickets can be purchased on buses when you board.
Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.