Foreign Nationals Driving In The United States
A valid driver’s license is required to anyone who will drive in the United States regardless of the country or state he or she is from.
To be able to rent a vehicle in the United States, ask the rental company about the documents and other requirements they need from you. Different states have different requirements, that is why it is best to check first before you travel to be able to prepare needed documents.
For visitors or foreigners from outside the United States or Canada who plan to drive inside the country, you can visit the motor vehicle department of each state to check the requirements needed to be able to drive in a specific state. Some states require foreign drivers to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) aside from the valid licence you have from your own country.
If you are required to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) or you just intend to get one just in case you might need it; you have to apply and secure one before you travel:
Your home country or the motoring association who issues you your driver’s licence will also be the one to issue you an IDP. The United States does not issue IDPs to foreign visitors.
Rental companies may have different requirement; this also depends on the state you are planning to visit. To be able to rent a car, you should be able to present both your license and IDP.
There are international driver’s license scams that you should be aware of.
Residents (Non-U.S. Citizens)
Just like in obtaining a permit to drive in the U.S. if you are a foreigner, residents are also required to secure documents differently depending on the state. For specific requirements, you can check your state’s department of motor vehicles.
Not all residents are eligible to obtain a driver’s license, however; if you are eligible for application; you can apply only in the state where you live. To find out the process of application; you can check with your state’s department of motor vehicles.
A resident can drive anywhere in the United States once they receive their U.S. driver’s license. However, states have different driving laws and it is the responsibility of the driver to follow whatever the law in that state has.
Renting a car means you are borrowing another person’s vehicle for a specific period of time. This is an advantageous option for you especially if you are visiting another place or your car is still in the shop. But just like the buying a car, there are also certain things you have to consider before signing the agreement form:
There are certain fees and charges that may be included when renting a car. These fees may include airport surcharge of fees for car drop-off, fuel, insurance, taxes, mileage, drivers and additional equipment rental (for items such as ski racks and car seats). It is best to ask the total cost after all these fees have been included.
There are car rental companies that ask and check for driving records of customers once they arrive at the counter. Some costumers are turned down because of this even if they already have a confirmed reservation.
Some customers make a mistake of duplicating insurance coverage; make sure you are not committing the same mistake. For business travels, ask your employer if the insurance covers accidental damage to rented cars. For personal travels, check with your personal auto insurance, membership from the motor club or the credit card company if they have a coverage for car rental accidental damages.
Before renting and upon return of the car, make sure you check the whole vehicle including the tires for existing damages or damages you might incurred unknowingly. If you are able to, try to return the car before closing time so that you and a representative can check the car together.
Ask about refuelling charges and policies. Some car rental companies may require a refuel and ask for the fuel receipt from you when you return the car.
It is better to pay using your credit card rather than a debit card to avoid holds of funds from your checking account.
Ask the car rental company about deposits and a clear explanation about deposit refunds once you return the vehicle.
For further information about car rental and insurance options included, you can visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
For information about state laws that cover short term car and truck rental, you can contact your your state or local consumer protection office
Safe Driving Tips During Severe Weather
The four different seasons pose serious driving risks to motorists such as the snow and ice during winter, the heat of the summer and the flood during spring. The most useful thing to have during these times to protect yourself and your family from harm especially when you are on the road is to be informed and knowledgeable. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you:
- You can find winter driving safety tips to keep yourself out of harm’s way during the cold season.
- Make sure that you are always prepared wherever you might go and equip your car with emergency kits and gear and Get your car ready
- Road trips are fun especially during the hot summer season. Check out tips here for a safe summer road trip.
Stay Safe On The Road
No matter how careful you are when driving, you can never predict nor totally avoid accidents, there are numerous driving-related problems on the road. Keep yourself educated by understanding the risks that come with driving and keeping your loved and other people on the road safe.
Safe Driving Tips
Texting or using your mobile phone while driving exposes you and your loved ones to a lot of risks; find out more about distracted driving.
Knowledge is one of the most important things to be equipped with, you should know laws in your state.
One of the most common causes of road accidents is drunk driving especially in the younger generation. Almost 30 people are killed in a day in the United States by Drunk drivers.
Educate yourself, your loved ones and your friends and relay to them information to help prevent drinking and driving.
For other tips, you can follow Safe Driving Pinterest board .
Child Car Seats
There is an appropriate car seat for children depending on their age. Children ages 0 to 12 years old should have the right car seat for their safety.
Look for a car seat inspection station in your area and make sure to have these car seats installed properly.
Educate yourself on graduated driver licensing laws, this is a program that provides drivers especially the younger ones more time to learn more about the complex skills of driving.
older driver are just as exposed to risks just like any other driver, keep them safe and well informed.