What are your driver license requirements for renting in the US?


For some people experiencing renting a car for the first time, the process may be somewhat intimidating. The perfect storm of mileage policies, insurance options, and concealed surcharges can push people toward traveling by train or air instead. The process of signing the rental agreement and driving off in a premiere exotic car rental can be simplified and abridged if you know the driver’s license requirements and what to bring to the agent’s desk.

Driver’s License

You will need a state issued driver’s license to rent a car in the U.S. The license confirms you are legally permitted to drive and verifies your age. There is a common assumption that you must be 25 years old to rent a car, but that isn’t true. The minimum age to rent a car in the States is 21. But drivers who are 21 to 24 will be slapped with an additional fee from the rental company. Some smaller companies require the driver’s license be from the same state as the location of the rental.

Only one group is exempt from having a driver’s license that hasn’t expired: Members of the U.S. Armed Forces who are on active duty.

However, even active members of the military have conditions:

  • They must also present an active military ID and
  • They must be in compliance with the appropriate military extension policy

Individuals who are traveling to the U.S. from another country must present:

  • A valid driver’s license from their home country and
  • An International driver’s permit if the license from their home country is in a language other than English

International travelers are not permitted to rent a car, truck or SUV strictly with their International Driver’s Permit. The Permit is just a document that translates the traveler’s driver’s license. It is, by no means, considered valid identification or a driver’s license.

In some states like Arizona, Texas, California, New Mexico, and Nevada, a request may be made for additional government issued documentation.

Valid Credit Card

The probability is high that you won’t be permitted to rent a car if you do not have a valid credit card in your name. It’s important to note that the name on the credit card must match the name on driver’s license. Even if you have a valid driver’s license, without a credit card, you will not be able to hit the road. Large car rental companies only accept major credit cards and will not provide a vehicle if you only have a debit card even if that card is emblazoned with the Mastercard or Visa logo.

The essential reason a valid credit card must be in the name of the driver is because the car rental agency puts a hold on the card for insurance. Car rental companies will offer optional insurance to cover any damages, but it is commonly recommended you use your own personal auto insurance policy.

If you do not have a credit card that matches your driver’s license and you are with a secondary driver whose name does match, strongly consider making the secondary driver the primary to resolve this problem.

In order to experience a premiere exotic car rental like a Miami baller, all drivers must present the appropriate documentation showing they are legally eligible to drive in the United States.


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