Unsurprisingly, you need a valid driver’s license to rent a car anywhere around the world. This is something that all top rental companies and state laws ask for before completing the entire process.
You’ll need a card to pay for costs when booking a car online. But when you arrive to pick up the vehicle, the company’s staff will ask to check if you have the essential documents.
The most important document of all is the driving license. But what happens if your license is expired? Can you still rent a car?
This article has information about things you should do if you have an expired driving license but want to rent a car. Read on to learn more.
Can You Get a Rental Car with an Expired Driver’s License?
No, you can rent a car if you don’t have a valid driving license. Note that invalid licenses include those revoked, expired, or given out of the country.
However, a few countries like the US driver’s license policy have a few exceptions regarding car rental. Any US Forces member on active duty can give an expired driver’s license when renting a car.
But this is on condition that they present an active military ID and should also comply with the policy of the state that gave the driving license.
The policies differ according to country. Thus, renters need to contact the appropriate departments that deal with motor vehicles for detailed information.
In addition, a disabled person with an invalid driving license can also rent a car. They won’t be asked to show a valid driver’s license, but the person standing for them must have one.
Things to Do If Your Driving License Expires While Booking a Rental Car
Sometimes, people book cars, and their driving licenses expire afterwards. If this happens to you, don’t stress yourself out because there are several things you can do.
Choose someone else to drive.
You can ask someone else to become the main driver; this can be your friend etc. However, this person must be of the right age and have a valid driving license and credit card. If the person meets all these requirements, they can hire and drive a car.
Change the Rental Date
If your trip is flexible, you can push the pickup date to when you’ll have a valid driving license. Changing the booking is easy with online platforms. However, note that the rental prices tend to increase for late bookings. So, it’s best to make changes as soon as possible.
Cancel Your Rental
If neither option works for you, canceling your booking will be wise. Each rental company has its cancelation policy; find this information on their Terms and Conditions page.
However, most companies allow free cancellation of booking up to 48 hours before the due time of picking up the car.
What are The Requirements to Rent a Car?
Rental companies have different requirements, but these are some of the standard requirements in most.
- Driver’s License
Your license must be updated and valid when renting the car and throughout the rental period. The licenses accepted in the United States are those issued in the US state or by a Canadian province.
Some car rental companies also accept a temporary driver’s license, but only if it has no restriction and is valid throughout the entire rental period.
- Great Driving Record
Your driving record is also one of the most critical requirements, and most rental companies consider it.
So, before a car is rented to you, the company might subject you to an electronic DMV check from the province or state that gave you the driver’s license. Or the company might ask you to fill and sign a declaration attesting that you have an excellent driving record.
- Credit Card
The popular rental companies will only hire out their cars to drivers who have credit cards with their names.
Why? There are times, though rare, when a rental car is involved in an accident, and the repairs cost more than the security deposit the renter gave when picking up the vehicle. If this happens, the rental company will sort the extra repair costs from the renter’s card.
They can also use it to pay fines that the renter gets while using their car, such as speeding tickets, parking tickets, etc.
When Is One Left with an Invalid License
If you’re looking to rent a car, the rental company won’t give you a car if you lack an updated and valid license. Several happenings can leave you with an invalid license, and they include;
Both state and federal laws in most countries state that anyone with a suspended license can’t drive. Therefore, no rental company will let you use their car if you have a suspended license.
Many issues can lead to the suspension of your license, such as unpaid traffic tickets, a conviction for a drug offense, etc.
It’s common for people to lose their license, and it happens when most unexpected. However, some car renters make exceptions for this particular situation.
You can ask the renters if the no-license policy applies to them. You might get lucky. But the company might also ask you to file a police report saying your license was lost or stolen.
Can You Hire a Car Using an International Driving Permit?
Yes, most rental companies accept international driving permits. But they’ll also want to find out where the permit was issued from. You can contact the rental company for more information about international driving permits.
Additionally, note that international driving permits only last a year, so you must renew them for your next trip. If you’re caught driving with an expired permit, you’ll be charged the same fines and penalties as someone caught with an expired driving license.
Renting a car is a highly comfortable and practical experience, especially if you’ve traveled to another country. With a rented car, you can get anywhere you want anytime. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to explore places more independently.
However, before renting a car, there are requirements that you must meet, and they include having a valid driving license, a credit card, and more.