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Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S.

Learn if non-citizens need a U.S. driver's license when visiting or temporarily living in the United States and how to contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in each state. Also, get information on renting a car and what other documents you may need while driving in the U.S.

Foreign Nationals Driving in the United States

People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. If you're a foreign visitor, some states require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid license from your own country. Contact the motor vehicle department of each state you will be driving to find out its requirements.  

Short-Term Visitors

If you intend to get an IDP, you must do so in advance of your travel:

  • Xổ số trực tiếp 3 miềnThe United States does not issue IDPs to foreign visitors. To get an IDP, contact the motor vehicle department of the country that issued your driver's license.

  • If you want to rent a car, you may need both your license and an IDP. Find out the rental company's policies and other requirements in advance.

  • Xổ số trực tiếp 3 miềnBeware of .

Residents (Non-U.S. Citizens)

Xổ số trực tiếp 3 miềnThe residency requirement for obtaining a U.S. driver's license is different in each state: 

  • If you are eligible to apply for a driver's license, you must get a driver's license from the state where you live. 

  • Check the requirements and find out how to apply by contacting your state's department of motor vehicles.  

  • Xổ số trực tiếp 3 miềnA U.S. driver's license allows you to drive anywhere in the U.S. It is your responsibility to know and obey the laws of the state where you are driving.

  • A motor club membership 
  • The credit card you used to reserve the rental 
  • Your employer (if you're traveling on business) 
  • Damages: Inspect the vehicle for dents, scratches, and marks and check the tires. Report any pre-existing damages and ask the company to note them on your rental agreement. 
  • Fuel: Decide if you are going to prepay the rental company for fuel or refuel the car before you return it.
  • Rental deposit: Rental companies hold a security deposit on your payment card. Find out the amount of the hold and when the company will remove it.
  • Payment method: Pay with a credit card rather than a debit card to avoid holds on other funds in your checking account.
  • Car Sharing 

    Car sharing services allow you to rent a car on an hourly basis. They offer flexibility in where and when you can pick up a vehicle.

    • Fees: What fees does the company charge (annual fees, application fee)? Are they refundable, even if you cancel or are denied membership?
    • Availability of cars: Are there cars available at times that you need one? How far in advance do you need to reserve a vehicle?
    • Attendants: Are there staff on-site when you check out a car and return it? On-site staff can verify that you returned the car in the same condition as when you borrowed it.
    • Fuel: Do you have to pay for gas out of your own pocket or does the company pay for it?
    • Extension of time: How easy is it to extend the length of your rental? Is it done through an app or is there a dedicated customer service hotline?
    • Cancellation: How far in advance must you give notice to cancel a reservation or your membership? Can the company cancel your membership without notification?
    • Damages: Are you responsible for damages, even if they were not your fault or they happened after you returned the car? 
    • Insurance: Is insurance included in the membership fee? 
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    Last Updated: August 31, 2020