Foreign Service Officers from California would get driver's license extension under Wieckowski bill

Former U.S. ambassador to Germany supports SB 267

July 1, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Foreign Service Officers from California representing the United States abroad, and their spouses, would be able to get an extension for their driver’s license that would keep it in full effect for the duration of the time they are serving abroad, under Senate Bill 267 authored by Sen. Bob Wieckowski.  The bill was approved this afternoon by the Assembly Transportation Committee.

“Our Foreign Service Officers represent our country in more than 270 embassies, consulates and diplomatic missions all over the world,” said Wieckowski, a member of the Senate Transportation Committee.  “Some are assigned to “hardship” posts where living conditions are difficult due to a range of factors like crime, health care or pollution.  Given the lengthy tours and the need for a state license to obtain local and international driver’s licenses, SB 267 would keep their state license valid for 30 days upon their return to California.”

SB 267 would give Foreign Service Officers the same type of driver’s license extension given to our Armed Forces.   

“As the former U.S. ambassador to Germany, I know from experience that our Foreign Service Officers are truly remarkable public servants who play an important role in advancing our diplomatic interests around the world and responding to the needs of their fellow Americans,” said John Emerson, who served as ambassador from 2013 to 2017.  “Career Foreign Service Officers are typically overseas for two or three successive three-year tours and this bill will help them keep their license current and eliminate this problem.”

Senator Wieckowski introduced SB 267 after being contacted by a constituent who is a Foreign Service Officer currently serving abroad. The officer described the necessity of maintaining a valid license while serving and the difficulties of keeping it up-to-date.

SB 267 now goes to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration.

Senator Wieckowski represents the 10th District, which includes parts of Alameda and Santa Clara counties.