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Driver's license requirements for renting car

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Bristol, UK
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Driver's license requirements for renting car

Okay, this is a ridiculously complicated question, but I hope someone out there can give me some advice. I would like to rent a car for an upcoming trip to MA, but I can't get a straight answer from any of the rental car companies, and am terrified I'll show up and be refused.

Here's the situation: I'm an American citizen currently living abroad. I have a valid (non-expired) Illinois driver's license. However, the license does not have A. a photo and B. my current address (obviously, since I don't live in IL anymore).

I don't have a license for the country I currently live in (I don't drive here).

I can show my passport as photo id, and hopefully that will be good enough. But most of the car rental companies' requirements say a driver's license must be from the country of residence. Will they actually check that? Should I just lie and pretend I still live in IL (I'd really prefer not to do that). Or should I just resign myself that I won't be able to rent a car?

Thank you.

Boston
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1. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

I believe they're going to require a photo license, at least as far as I know. The passport will not work, as they look for a driver's license. Your Illinois license would be fine if it had a picture, I believe. However, you can call one of the major companies (Avis, etc.) and ask them what they require.

Bournemouth, United...
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2. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

if u reside in the uk and the companys require a licience from where u reside, u will need a uk driving licience, is there a problem in getting one, i have a uk driving licience and a have never driven once since i past my test 28 years ago, but it is still valid, just get a licience

Bournemouth, United...
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3. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

yes, i have just checked alamos website, it says licience from country of oragin, so your usa licience is good, but u have to have a photo licience.My husband had his licience stolen 2 weeks before our usa road trip , a new one could not be processed in time, but the british DVLA, the uk driving licience authority were willing to fax all the details of my husband to Alamo in Tenassee, but this was not acceptable, so our road trip became a Greyhound bus trip , fab time though.So yes, they will check everything

Easton...
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4. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

The passport should work. I ran into a similar situation where a friend from europe forgot her license. She had her license # stored in her phone and passport on hand. Hertz gave her the rental

Bournemouth, United...
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5. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

the usa is harder on security than europe, u wil not be given a rental car without a picture licience

Bournemouth, United...
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6. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

sorry financialwhizz, missread your post, youre friend was in the usa when she hired a car, appologies, she was lucky though

Bristol, UK
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7. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

Thanks for your thoughts, everyone. I've tried calling several of the rental car companies, but keep getting conflicting answers. And their stated requirements don't say anything about a photo being required on the driver's license, only a valid license with a current address (I'm actually more worried about the address than the photo!). Anyway, I think I'll probably just have to try it and see what happens... with the Greyhound schedule in my back pocket!

Fizzengland, it would be much easier if I could call the DVLA, but I've never registered for a driver's license in the UK!

Easton...
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8. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

Very sure, I was standing right next to her during the entire transaction. It was off Logan where agents try a little harder with customer service.

Massachusetts
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9. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

While honesty is the best policy, you don't really need to volunteer the fact that you're currently living overseas. If you make the reservation online using your Illiniois license number and present the license at the rental counter, the overworked desk clerk is probably not going to give it more than a moment's thought.

And while a non-photo license is a little strange, it's not unheard-of in the US and Hertz, for example, does not seem to require a photo license -- in fact their online FAQs state that a temporary license is OK. And you've obviously got a secondary photo ID to prove that you are the person listed on the license.

Perhaps I'm overly optimistic but I really don't think you'll have a problem.

As a backup, if you let us know where you are traveling in Massachusetts, perhaps we can find a non-car option for you to save you the trouble.

Bristol, UK
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10. Re: Driver's license requirements for renting car

I've had the same thought about not mentioning that I live in the UK... except my credit card address is not the same as my IL address. I wonder if that will be a problem.

Anyway, I appreciate one vote of optimism! ;)

I'm going to be traveling to Amherst. I know I can get there via Amtrak or Peter Pan Bus Lines (slow, but the shuttle services all look ridiculous expensive!). The bigger concern, though, is that I wanted to be able to travel around the area. I'm actually moving to western MA this summer, and wanted to get a sense of where to live. So if I can't get a car, I guess it's local bus service and taxis...