We often find it better to drive a rented car for outings or other personal uses than book a cab service. It gives us more freedom to have a car at our disposal than a cab service booked for a specific number of hours.
But renting a car is not as easy as you think. The process is complicated due to a set of laws to ensure safety and insurance. Not everybody is permitted to rent a car and must follow a set of rules and regulations.
Every country follows specific laws regarding car renting policies. And it largely depends on the type of driver’s license or permits you possess presently.
The problem arises when you have a temporary driver’s license or a learner’s permit. Depending on the laws regarding the temporary driver’s license and the country you live in, you may be either permitted or restricted.
What Types Of Driver’s Licenses Are Acceptable?
Usually, car rental companies in the US and Canada ask for a valid driver’s license issued by the government, carrying a present photograph of the user.
The driving license should have an unexpired status and remain valid up to the entire rental period. An expired or suspended driver’s license is not allowed if you wish to rent a car.
Can You Rent A Car With A Temporary Driver’s License?
A temporary driver’s license is issued to people recognized as eligible drivers by the government. It is given for a specified period or a particular purpose.
This document acts as a temporary validity. It allows you to drive and works as your identity proof. It holds nearly the same status as a fully valid driver’s license barring some cases.
Is It Really Possible To Rent A Car Without A Temporary Driver’s License?
Now, coming to the most crucial part, which is whether you can rent a car with a temporary driver’s license or not. According to some countries’ laws or some car rental companies, you cannot rent a car with a temporary driver’s license.
But the United States government allows you to rent a car even if you have a temporary driver’s license. The reason is that even a provisional driver’s license acts as an authentication for the other necessary factors.
The factors include proof of age and residence. It confirms your legal age. Also, it ensures that you are a citizen of the United States. It is a valid proof of identification with your recent photograph. Besides, it is a government-issued valid document.
Therefore, there is no reason in the US not to allow you to rent a car if you possess a temporary driver’s license. In case your license has lapsed, or it is stolen, and you have applied for a new one, you can easily use it to rent a car.
The temporary license must be valid for the entire period for which you rent the car. This is the only condition.
However, individual companies may have specific policies that may prohibit people with a temporary license or impose restrictions on renting a car. It is not the case generally.
But there may be some problems, depending on companies’ car rental regulations and policies. Read the guidelines carefully and know the state’s laws to understand if you are eligible to rent a car there.
Can You Rent A Car With A Learner’s Permit?
A temporary license holder can rent a car till it is valid. But a person with a learner’s permit cannot rent a car in the US. The law aims to ensure safety and minimize accidents by new drivers or those just learning to drive.
You cannot rent a car in your name until and unless you obtain an official driver’s license, permanent or temporary, from the government of the country in which you live. A person with a learner’s permit is legally not permitted to drive any rented car on his or her own.
People often have the misconception that since they can drive a car during the practice or road test since a licensed driver of 21 years of age or more is in the car, and they can do the same with a rented car.
Difference In Policies
But, rented cars follow a different policy altogether, and the scenario is not the same. Since you cannot drive your own vehicle with a learner’s permit until you obtain a valid license, you must follow the same when you wish to rent.
When you rent a vehicle in your name, you certify that you will only drive the car. If another person in the car wishes to drive, it must be stated in the declaration during the rental procedure, and he or she must abide by all the rules.
The secondary driver, too, must be eligible by all the conditions mentioned. Also, he or she has to go through necessary background checks as the vehicle’s primary renter.
Therefore, according to that rule, only a licensed driver can sign the agreement and rent a car. It is because they would be driving it. You cannot even add a secondary driver to the agreement if the person has only a learner’s permit.
It is because that would mean that the second person would also be driving the car at times.
What Is The Best Thing To Do?
The best thing to do if you wish to rent a car is to obtain an official driving license from the government. If you have a permanent and valid license, you will be free to rent a car at your will, provided you qualify all the conditions and background checks.
In case you have a temporary license for the time being till you get the new license or the old one is renewed, use the valid temporary license to rent the car.
However, ensure that your license isn’t revoked, suspended, or expired. In that case, it will be really difficult or almost impossible to rent a vehicle.
Lastly, for learners, please wait till the time you are eligible to drive and have an official license certifying it. You can happily rent a car and drive once you are done with the official procedure.
With comprehensive experience in writing exceptional quality articles and blogs about cars and related stuff, Daniel is one of the finest bloggers and a hardcore car lover we have. He is an ASE certified technician with an across-the-board experience of 10 years in the industry. He could not help tinkering with anything he got his hands on from a young age, which led to his remarkable career in the automotive repair industry.
When he is not under any hood, you can find him on the water or in the woods to pursue his passion for hunting and fishing. He has been writing for multiple sectors and is a regular contributor to several publications.
He currently owns a Nissan 300ZX TT and a Pearl Yellow but plans to upgrade it to 550 HP. His favorites include the Koenigsegg CCX and Lamborghini Diablo 6.0 VT, but for him, the Ferrari 360 Spider is one of the sexiest cars that exists to date.
Being an avid world traveler, he has spent most of his time analyzing the automotive markets, latest technology, and local favorites to enhance his knowledge base. He is currently living in North Caroline, where it’s all about food and coffee and, of course, cars.