Car rental terms and conditions may vary from place to place and from one company to another, but typically, you do invariably need to present a valid, US-issued driver’s license in your name before you can pick up the vehicle at the rental dealer’s office. If you’re a Canadian citizen with a Canadian-issued driver’s license in your name, you can use that and your passport if you want to rent a vehicle in the US. For those from other parts of the world, you may need to present an International Driving Permit along with your passport. If you have indicated on your rental reservation that you are a non-US resident, you may additionally be asked to present proof of your return trip back to your resident country.
In lieu of a driver’s license, some Budget car rental outlets may accept traffic citations or summonses issued by officials in the states Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wisconsin. But the citation/summons will be acceptable only until the court appearance date shown on the citation or summons. Additionally, a customer who presents a citation/summons in lieu of a driver’s license has to present a second form of personal identification with a signature on it.
Almost all car rental companies require the use of a credit card to charge the rental baseline payment plus the extras and the additional fees on the vehicle’s return for road tolls, driving-related fines, or missing fuel. The credit card should of course be in the renter’s name and has sufficient available credit. Some rental companies accept debit cards and/or cash for payment in lieu of credit cards subject to certain conditions. At many Enterprise, Budget or Hertz outlets, for instance, debit cards issued under a VISA or MasterCard logo which draw funds directly from a cardholder’s linked bank account may be used to qualify for the rental of a vehicle, upon presentation of at least two valid forms of identification. In the case of Hertz, one of the two forms of identification may be another credit or debit card embossed with the same name as appearing in the driver’s license, a valid ID card, or a current month statement in the renter’s name and the same address as on the driver’s license from the gas, electricity, phone, cable or some other utility company.
In the case of Hertz, cash rentals which require an up-front deposit of cash are accepted from customers who have Cash Deposit Identification (ID) Cards that have been officially issued by the company. Those interested may apply for the Cash Deposit ID Card at Hertz.com. All applicants must be 21 years of age or older, except in Michigan and New York where the minimum age required is 18. They must pay the $15 non-refundable processing fee which covers the cost of the credit check on the applicant. The application processing typically takes about thirty (30) days to complete.
Car rental companies also typically have “deposit” requirements. Budget for instance require a credit or debit card block or hold of the total estimated rental charges plus 25% or $200, whichever is greater. If what you’re using is a debit card, Budget will generally request an authorization hold against your account for the estimated charges of the rental plus some extra value based on certain factors. Some exceptions may apply. The rental companies put the hold or block on your debit or credit card to protect themselves from possible charges beyond the authorized amount. The blocked funds will not be available for your use until you return the car. They won’t have the blocked amount processed unless you fail to return the car in accordance with the terms and conditions set in the rental contract.
Each car rental agency outlet, even those which are part of a chain brand, may have a set of rental requirements that may differ even if slightly from those of other companies. To be safe, better call or email the rental dealer first to ask for a written list of their required documents before personally coming over to pick up their rental vehicle.