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Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

Last post 05-02-2012 10:26 PM by Mike Leco. 14 replies.
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  • 06-08-2007 6:46 PM

    Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    The following was originally posted to our old Forum:

     

    Author Message
    Mike Leco
    USATourist Administrator


    Joined: 14 Jun 2004
    Posts: 101
    Location: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA

    PostPosted: Wed Mar 08, 2006 12:26 pm    Post subject: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA   

    I still get many e-mails asking about using your foreign drivers license in the USA. I also get questions about Interenational drivers licenses.

    Normally, you can use your foreign drivers license in the USA. It must be a valid drivers license that has not expired. You can rent a car and drive with your foreign license. Some car rental agencies require that you have been driving at least one year, so your license must be more than one year old. Other rental agencies do not have such restrictions. Many car rental agencies require that you be at least 22 or 25 years old to rent one of their vehicles. They do not wish to rent to young less-experienced drivers. You should check the requirements on the web pages of the rental companies.

    Typically, you do not need an international drivers license to drive in the USA. If you have a foreign drivers license that is written only in some language other than English, it may be useful to have an international drivers license. If you are stopped by the police, they must be able to recognize that your drivers license is legitimate and current. An international drivers license gives the information in many languages including English. It can be useful in enabling the police to understand.

  • 07-01-2010 8:41 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    hello,

    I would like to ask you wheather or not i can drive a car in Pennsylvania with my driving license. The driving license is issued in Bulgaria (a country part of the European union), it has a picture ot it and some of the information - my name (first, given and last), place of issue (it is just BGR) - is in both - bulgarian and english languages.

    I will be really grateful if you can solve this issue for me. Thank you in advance.

  • 07-02-2010 2:01 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Normally, you can use any valid foreign license to drive a car in any state.  Most auto rental agencies will accept any foreign driver's license.  If the license is in a language they cannot understand, they may have trouble determining if it is a valid license.  You can purchase an international driver's license before you leave Bulgaria.  They are usually not expensive, and they translate your driver license information into many different languages, so everyone can understand it.

  • 07-02-2010 9:31 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    thank you for the answer. i am asking about pennsylvania because i am currently there so i can't really use the option with the international driver's license. about determinating whether it is valid or not it should be ok because there are only three dates - 1. the date of birth - 87 :);2. the date of issue 2005 and 3. the date of expiry - 2015. do you think that it will be a problem because it is just a date and there is nothing written before the date itself.

    thank you

  • 03-19-2011 1:06 PM In reply to

    • EK888
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 03-19-2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Which companies will NOT require for the foreign license to be more than one year old? My friend is visiting the US from UK next month. Thank you.
  • 03-21-2011 10:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    I don't know if it will be any problem.  I suggest you stop at any car rental agency, show them your license, and ask them if it would be a problem to drive with it.

  • 03-21-2011 10:54 AM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Some rental agencies have restrictions on renting their cars to "high risk" drivers.  Some of them will not rent to drivers that are less than 25 years old.  Some will not rent to drivers unless they have been driving for at least one year.  Each rental company has its own rules.  You must contact the rental companies and ask them or you muct check the Internet web pages of the rental companies to see the requirements.

  • 08-09-2011 10:57 AM In reply to

    • bidur
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on 08-09-2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Dear Mr. Mike Leco, I have a UN driver’s license with no expiry date. I was in Wichita in June and move to California the same month. I heard that I cannot drive cars here in CA without a US drivers license but can do in Kansas. When we go back to Wichita, Kansas, can I drive the cars there with my UN driver’s license? Or there should be a US driver’s license for Kansas too. Bidur Khatri Sunnyvale, California.
  • 08-16-2011 8:18 AM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Normally, you can use any valid foreign driver's license in any state in the USA.  I do not know the laws in Kansas, but it should be OK. 

    To be certain, you can call the local department of motor vehicles and ask them.

  • 10-18-2011 3:21 AM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

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  • 11-07-2011 5:13 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    It is always easier to have an international license on the off-chance that you get into some troubl. I remember being in California - San Francisco to be exact - and if you are there for more than a few months, you are expected to have a US license - no surprise there. But tourists can usually get away with a foreign license for driving and other purposes, as long as you don't get into much trouble.

     

     

     

  • 05-01-2012 12:50 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

     A friend of mine has a fake UK Driving Licence and is using it over in the USA. It looks legit and even police back home say it looks authentic. The only way they can see if is fake is by putting their licence number in their database. My friend seems to think that the police over here in the USA do not have such a system that can track UK licence to see if they are legit. Can anyone shed some light as I don't want her getting into trouble.

     Thanks

     Karen

  • 05-01-2012 8:24 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    The police in the USA can access the national database with driver's information from all 50 states.  I do not believe that they can access information from other countries without going through Interpol, the FBI, the Homeland Security network or some other extraordinary measure.  That is unlikely unless they suspect some criminal activity or terrorism.

    The chances of her getting caught are probably very small, but should she get caught for some reason, the penalties could be quite severe.  She would probably be suspected of terrorism and spend some time in jail while they checked with the UK authorities.  When they find out that she is driving on a fake license, they would probaby make her pay some expensive fines, deport her from the USA and prevent her from ever being allowed to return to the USA,.

  • 05-02-2012 10:07 AM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Thanks Mike. I am going to pass this information on to her. Don't want her getting into trouble.

    She has an expired US license but cannot renew as she is only touring/vacationing on the visa waiver and not a working visa. IF, god forbid she did get caught will having a US licence like that help her out at all?

    She is stubborn so will probably carry on regardless but I want piece of mind.

  • 05-02-2012 10:26 PM In reply to

    Re: Using your foreign drivers license in the USA

    Having an expired US license could make matters worse.  There was a post on these community forums from someone that ws driving in Florida with a valid overseas license when she was stopped by the police for some traffic violation.  When the police questioned her overseas license, whe showed them an expired Florida license and was promptly arrested for driving with an expired license.  I believe she was later released, because it was perfectly valid for her to drive on the overseas license, but the police became very suspicious as soon as they saw that she possessed an expired local license.
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