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Renting a car in the USA with a foreign license, no Intl Drv Lic


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My state driving license expired and I wasn't in the USA to renew it. I'm heading to the USA (California) in a month or so, and I am going to try to use my Thai driving license for the short rental.

 

I contacted Enterprise (my usual rental co.) and they recommended, but did not mandate, an International Drivers License...since this is just a translation of the country license, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble to go get the IDL. I've heard you have to go to the Transport office on route 36 to get one.

 

Has anyone used a foreign license to rent from a USA car rental company?

 

Even better, has anyone used a Thai drivers license to rent from a USA car rental company?

 

 

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The better question to ask the rental company. Will they rent you a car when you show up at the counter with a Thai license?

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My state driving license expired and I wasn't in the USA to renew it. I'm heading to the USA (California) in a month or so, and I am going to try to use my Thai driving license for the short rental.

 

I contacted Enterprise (my usual rental co.) and they recommended, but did not mandate, an International Drivers License...since this is just a translation of the country license, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble to go get the IDL. I've heard you have to go to the Transport office on route 36 to get one.

 

Has anyone used a foreign license to rent from a USA car rental company?

 

Even better, has anyone used a Thai drivers license to rent from a USA car rental company?

Yes to question 1 and no to question 2..

I never once had a USA licence and rented often based on my UK one. I used to carry the International one, but I don't think I was ever asked for it. (Kalifornia included).

Bear in mind the last time I did this is nearly 9 years ago.

But of course there is no 'special relationship' to rent a car!

Edited by jacko
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MM, be carefull, Enterprise has a reputation for making reservations, but not keeping reservations. It has happened to several people I know.

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MM, be carefull, Enterprise has a reputation for making reservations, but not keeping reservations. It has happened to several people I know.

I've used them for decades and it's never happened to me. You're probably thinking about the hillbilly branches where you are.

 

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I've used them for decades and it's never happened to me. You're probably thinking about the hillbilly branches where you are.

 

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I have never had that problem with them.

In the UK , as I was renting from them on a UK licence, they sure required a lot of proof of address items from me. Copies of bank statements/ utility bills etc. They said renting from the town offices this was standard, at the airport it was not required.

I am thinking the USA will be more liberal as they don't have the East Europeans stealing rental cars.

I know that insurance in the USA was different, apparently many people use their personal insurance as extra cover there which I did not have and I took supplementary from them.

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I also use Enterprise exclusively when I travel, but I will still get the IDL to be safe.

 

If you land in L.A. and have a Thai at the counter, they might let you pass, but ...

 

Yes, I know the Thai licenses are in English now, mine is, and it's still valid, believe it or not.

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He can only renew the CA license if his address is the same, or at least has a person at the "address on record" to pick up the license.

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My ex-wife (not Thai, but not from the U.S., either) had no problem renting cars from any rental company with her foreign license. Some wanted an IDL, some didn't care. She had one, so never a concern in practice.

 

But an IDL is very good idea, a necessity even, if you are stopped by a cop while driving on a foreign license. There's no cop in the U.S. that knows what a Thai or Swedish driver's license looks like and they consider an IDL to be "proof" the national license is genuine. I imagine they'd be very suspicious of a U.S. citizen who flashed them a foreign license, so an IDL might be a particularly good idea in your case, MM.

 

Back in the 1990's, my ex (was my wife at the time) was stopped by a traffic cop while driving by herself in a very small town in rural Pennsylvania. She had forgotten to take her IDL with her and the local cops were totally stumped by her license. They took her before a local magistrate for speeding and he wouldn't let her plead guilty and pay the fine until she produced the IDL to "verify" the national license. She used her one phone call to call me in tears. Luckily, we had been staying with my parents and I was able to borrow my dad's car to take her IDL to show the magistrate. She'd gone off on her own for the day to do some sightseeing and shopping while I visited with my parents. She'd been caught in a speed trap about an hour's drive from my parents' house.

 

The pompous assh*le of a magistrate lectured her sternly about following U.S. laws and regulations before fining her $75 for driving 53 mph in 45 mph zone. I asked what would have happened if she hadn't been able to get a hold of me immediately. He said she'd have been held in jail until the IDL could be produced or the foreign license could be verified by other means.

 

Evil

:devil

Edited by Evil Penevil
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Yeah, you might get into a tight spot with the local constabulary.

I'll be doing quite a bit of driving too, so evil's point is compelling.

 

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You want to keep your home license. I made the mistake of letting mine expire for more than 10 years. Now it's as if I've only been driving since 2010 and my insurance is not cheap. I'm paying the rates a teen would.

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My ex-wife (not Thai, but not from the U.S., either) had no problem renting cars from any rental company with her foreign license. Some wanted an IDL, some didn't care. She had one, so never a concern in practice.

 

But an IDL is very good idea, a necessity even, if you are stopped by a cop while driving on a foreign license. There's no cop in the U.S. that knows what a Thai or Swedish driver's license looks like and they consider an IDL to be "proof" the national license is genuine. I imagine they'd be very suspicious of a U.S. citizen who flashed them a foreign license, so an IDL might be a particularly good idea in your case, MM.

 

Back in the 1990's, my ex (was my wife at the time) was stopped by a traffic cop while driving by herself in a very small town in rural Pennsylvania. She had forgotten to take her IDL with her and the local cops were totally stumped by her license. They took her before a local magistrate for speeding and he wouldn't let her plead guilty and pay the fine until she produced the IDL to "verify" the national license. She used her one phone call to call me in tears. Luckily, we had been staying with my parents and I was able to borrow my dad's car to take her IDL to show the magistrate. She'd gone off on her own for the day to do some sightseeing and shopping while I visited with my parents. She'd been caught in a speed trap about an hour's drive from my parents' house.

 

The pompous assh*le of a magistrate lectured her sternly about following U.S. laws and regulations before fining her $75 for driving 53 mph in 45 mph zone. I asked what would have happened if she hadn't been able to get a hold of me immediately. He said she'd have been held in jail until the IDL could be produced or the foreign license could be verified by other means.

 

Evil

:devil

It is hardly surprising if your ex produced a non-English licence expecting that to fly in the USA!

( The cop had to radio in over my UK one for me in Mo...and as you say the rental people were unconcerned)

You seem to think the police did wrong but your wife was the one speeding....was she on the right?

Edited by jacko
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It is hardly surprising if your ex produced a non-English licence expecting that to fly in the USA!

( The cop had to radio in over my UK one for me in Mo...and as you say the rental people were unconcerned)

You seem to think the police did wrong but your wife was the one speeding....was she on the right?

8 miles an hour over the speed limit. The cop should get a life and go and arrest some real crims instead of wasting time resources and the taxpayers money.

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8 miles an hour over the speed limit. The cop should get a life and go and arrest some real crims instead of wasting time resources and the taxpayers money.

Do you apply similar loose numerical rules to other legal constraints?

The cop was catching people who drive dangerously and her fine may well reduce taxpayers contributions.

 

It is funny in the USA, silly limits like 60 mph used to be all over the interstates, yet 25 mph was posted in residential areas. Women with children used to wave at me to slow down even when I was doing under the speed limit, like self appointed traffic cops.

 

The cop was doing his job, why do you presume he needs to 'get a life?'

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Do you apply similar loose numerical rules to other legal constraints?

The cop was catching people who drive dangerously and her fine may well reduce taxpayers contributions.

 

It is funny in the USA, silly limits like 60 mph used to be all over the interstates, yet 25 mph was posted in residential areas. Women with children used to wave at me to slow down even when I was doing under the speed limit, like self appointed traffic cops.

 

The cop was doing his job, why do you presume he needs to 'get a life?'

Well i guess their is the letter of the law and the spirit of the law. To drag a guest to your country down to the cells and then put the lady before the beak for an 8 mile an hour speeding infringement seems a bit draconian to me.And scary for her in a foreign country. No wonder the place is going bankrupt what did the officers time the judges time etc cost. A hell of alot more than $75. i can only imagine what would happen if said copper saw mum dad and three kids on a scooter with no helmets. The children would be taken off them and put in to homes. The parents jailed for neglect and given parenting classes. Social services coming around for the next ten years to check on them. The policeman would have to have counseling. and then probably perf.

I can see why people move to less regulated countries for a Breath of Fresh Air.. ;)

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You can get fined for speeding in Thailand even when you were not.

You seem to be in drama queen mood this morning, still rattled from the earthquake? :D

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How to Perform California Drivers License Renewal In Person:

Drivers who wish to renew their California driver's license should adhere to the following steps:

  • Visit the California Drivers License Renewal Department at their local DMV Office. Drivers who call ahead for an appointment may expedite the process.
  • Fill out a California Drivers License Renewal Application Form (DL44). Drivers renewing a Commercial License will need to fill out a different form (DL44C).
  • Present originals documents. Copies will not be accepted. Alternatively, a driver can bring their California driver's license renewal notice that they have received in the mail.
  • Drivers may also be required to complete one of the following tasks: provide a thumb print, have a new photo taken, or pass a vision test.

 

I would have a family member back home do some advance work and see if I can get my license renewed quickly.

Edited by BigDUSA
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You can get fined for speeding in Thailand even when you were not.

You seem to be in drama queen mood this morning, still rattled from the earthquake? :D

lol no im in auckland. I told my stepson after the christchurch quake their would be a big one in wellington and the whole city would slide into the cook strait.

I may have to join Wack with my predictions.

Nothing to worry about the government has told the people that they are just normal tailing of quakes and its ok to go back to work. :unsure:

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Drivel, Big D. That applies to renewing a non-expired license. Got copy and paste for obtaining a license when the previous license has expired?

That might be useful.

 

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8 miles an hour over the speed limit. The cop should get a life and go and arrest some real crims instead of wasting time resources and the taxpayers money.

 

That's STANDARD bullshit by the cops in the U.S., especially in a smaller town, Speed Traps.

I got nailed once since I've been back in North America, but I was going a healthy 15mph over.

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