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Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Old Aug 8th 2018, 3:14 am
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Default Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Hi All,
I'm a resident of NY state now (by DMV standards as i've been here over 90 days). Have a full international drivers license and my NY state learners permit but still waiting to take my test to get the full license.

Weird question i cant seem to find anything on. Looking to go to Virginia next week and rent a car for a few days - anyone here know if I'm legally allowed to use my international drivers license given that i'm not a Virginia resident but am a NY state resident?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 5:06 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

I don't know for sure, but as a US resident, you are required to have a US driver's license. Therefore, technically, all you have is a learner's permit.

An International license is just a translated copy of your UK license, which, again technically, is no longer valid.

As I said, IANAL and I certainly wouldn't recommend trying it without getting the skinny from the Virginia DMV before you travel. Being unlicensed could leave you to all sorts of problems if you were to be involved in a collision.

Bottom line, check with the relevant authorities to be safe.

I'm sure someone with more experience will come along with a more definitive answer.

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Old Aug 8th 2018, 12:44 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

I wouldn't risk it, as a resident of another state without a valid state DL. If you have a wreck, it's possible the insurance may be invalid as you are actually a US resident but using a foreign DL.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 2:15 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

I think you mean permit but begs the question what Country your original license is from if you needed a translation.
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 3:28 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Would a rental company let you hire one on those terms?
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 8:54 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

You can drive with an out of state permit in many states, but not all. But, there are also rules around having a licenced driver with you at all times. I've done this as my son was learning to drive recently, and getting him to drive those long family trips was important in racking up the hours. You however, will not be able to rent a car. You could try and do all this with your Int'l licence, but could be illegal techncially
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 9:35 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

If you were Tom from Dagenham, landing in Virginia with a UK licence, I think you would be able to rent a car, so you should be good!
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Old Aug 8th 2018, 11:24 pm
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Originally Posted by RICH View Post
If you were Tom from Dagenham, landing in Virginia with a UK licence, I think you would be able to rent a car
Yes you are right.

But he isn't Tom from Dagenham.

He's Frank. From somewhere in NY.

Originally Posted by RICH View Post
so you should be good!
But unfortunately....
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Old Aug 9th 2018, 4:14 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

There is no federal law requiring US residents hold a US license.. most states will stipulate that after being a "resident" in that state you hold an in-state license within a certain amount of time.

That being said; by the same logic a UK license is as valid as a US license in a state in which you do not reside, as you still fall into their visitors category.

I myself have used my UK license a few times for rentals out of state & Hertz confirmed this is completely acceptable for their insurance. I was also once pulled over in Vermont (as a Texas resident) and presented my UK license. He asked what I was doing in VT, I told the truth that I was "visiting for vacation" and he handed back the license and said "don't do it again" - on this occasion because my UK license was tied to my Herts Gold+ account it was the license specified on the insurance document. The state trooper took no issue with it.

Edit: Also international drivers licenses aren't worth the paper they're printed on in most countries, including the US. Florida had a law requiring out of country licenses be in the international format for a while but scrapped that some time back, I've never heard of any other state requiring it.

Edit further: I actually rented for 8 months on my UK license before I got my US license (through work..) and never met the requirement for Texas which was that I was in state for more than 90 days at a time, therefore never needed to formally get a TX license. Obviously I did, eventually, when I got my SSN and bank details etc sorted.

Last edited by TheKingOfHearts; Aug 9th 2018 at 4:19 am.
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Old Aug 10th 2018, 12:34 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Originally Posted by TheKingOfHearts View Post
There is no federal law requiring US residents hold a US license.. most states will stipulate that after being a "resident" in that state you hold an in-state license within a certain amount of time.

That being said; by the same logic a UK license is as valid as a US license in a state in which you do not reside, as you still fall into their visitors category.

I myself have used my UK license a few times for rentals out of state & Hertz confirmed this is completely acceptable for their insurance. I was also once pulled over in Vermont (as a Texas resident) and presented my UK license. He asked what I was doing in VT, I told the truth that I was "visiting for vacation" and he handed back the license and said "don't do it again" - on this occasion because my UK license was tied to my Herts Gold+ account it was the license specified on the insurance document. The state trooper took no issue with it.

Edit: Also international drivers licenses aren't worth the paper they're printed on in most countries, including the US. Florida had a law requiring out of country licenses be in the international format for a while but scrapped that some time back, I've never heard of any other state requiring it.

Edit further: I actually rented for 8 months on my UK license before I got my US license (through work..) and never met the requirement for Texas which was that I was in state for more than 90 days at a time, therefore never needed to formally get a TX license. Obviously I did, eventually, when I got my SSN and bank details etc sorted.
Yeah, that law lasted about 90 days before evereyone declared it stoopid. Only about 5 years ago.
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Old Aug 10th 2018, 12:46 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Originally Posted by celticgrid View Post
Yes you are right.

But he isn't Tom from Dagenham.

He's Frank. From somewhere in NY.



But unfortunately....
What evidence is there of that and why is it significant?
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Old Aug 10th 2018, 4:56 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Originally Posted by FrankCastle View Post
Hi All,
I'm a resident of NY state now (by DMV standards as i've been here over 90 days). Have a full international drivers license and my NY state learners permit but still waiting to take my test to get the full license.

Weird question i cant seem to find anything on. Looking to go to Virginia next week and rent a car for a few days - anyone here know if I'm legally allowed to use my international drivers license given that i'm not a Virginia resident but am a NY state resident?

Thanks in advance!
I'd just take the road test for your NY license and then you'd have no problems
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Old Aug 11th 2018, 1:59 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

1. You don't have an "international drivers' licence" - you have a translation of your UK licence. Completely unnecessary to have that for a UK licence in the United States. I have hired cars extensively on foreign licences with no translation.

2. There is no law requiring Americans to have a drivers' licence.

3. Most states do have a law saying that you have to switch to an in-state licence after xyz days of residency in the state.

4. I don't think the hire car company will care about any of this and it will be fine to use a UK licence to hire the car in Virginia. Provided you actually have a physical copy of the valid licence and not just the translation.

5. You will have no problems hiring a car in Virginia on a full New York licence but it could be a problem on a learner's permit (regardless of state).

Last edited by carcajou; Aug 11th 2018 at 2:09 am.
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Old Aug 11th 2018, 2:09 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Do not forget to buy the Insurance.
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Old Aug 11th 2018, 2:12 am
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Default Re: Driving using my international drivers license when out of home state...

Originally Posted by Boiler View Post
Do not forget to buy the Insurance.
Sometimes credit cards in the US supply this as a perk if you use their card to hire the car. If OP has an American credit card it's worth checking.
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