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Rental Car and Drivers License

While booking a car for a upcoming trip to Slovenia, I notice under requirements it says "need a valid drivers license in effect for 2 years". I think well mine has been in effect in Florida for 15 years...however I just renewed since the travel "star" is going to be required real soon and my husbands was expiring in February. Then I examine the license and it says nothing about origination date just renewal date. Of course they take the old license when you renew, so I'm at a loss. Anyone else experienced this? I've sent an email to customer service of the agency, AutoEurope indicated it's enforced and I will need a letter from the DMV.

Posted by
5010 posts

That's a new one on me. I've been renting from AutoEurope for ages and have never heard of this (and come to think of it, I rented once form them in Slovenia). I wonder if it's new, or just a routine thing that nobody pays attention to?

My drivers license has an issue date, as I believe all(?) US state licenses do. Your fancy new "starred" license doesn't?

Posted by
74 posts

I thought that too, but then I put a question out to a facebook travel group and they said friends had been denied a car because of it. AutoEurope said it was required. So I now have questions out to the US embassy in Slovenia and the company that AutoEurope booked with. This will really ruin our trip if I can't find a work around.

Posted by
1567 posts

I wonder if it means you have to have had driving privileges for at least 2 years - not the physical card but the right to drive.

I seem to recall that the driver's license I was issued in the UK, for example, was good for life. (Or perhaps until a certain age.) That was nearly 30 years ago, and I'm not home to see if it had an expiration date - but I think not.

Posted by
74 posts

Interesting...I assumed it was targeted at new drivers, but I sure don't want to get over there and have an issue.

Posted by
20718 posts

The new "star" issued licenses has an issue date. Box 4a Iss - date - followed by 4b Exp - date. It is the date that the current license was issue and not the origination date of the original license as asked in the question. Truthfully don't think any license would show the date that the license was first issued. Take a photo copy of the old license before you turn it in. Or take a pictures with your phone of the old license.

Posted by
586 posts

Some countries have "provisional" drivers licenses for the first several years, so they may be trying to exclude that category of drivers. "Mature" drivers probably would never be questioned. Get an IDP and that may clarify things too since its purpose is to explain US license usages to others.

Posted by
468 posts

European driving licences have both an issue date and expiry date of the licence on the front as well as the first issue date and expiry date for each vehicle category on the back, so it’s easy to differentiate between the two and the company would generally be interested in the first issue date to check whether you are a novice driver.

AutoEurope is a broker, which company are you renting from? What do their terms and conditions state?

Posted by
74 posts

I had reservations with both sixt and avantcar, both required it. I sent an email to Avantcar and they indicated that the letter from the DMV would surfice but would be needed. Havent heard back from Sixt yet. I will probably go with Avantcar anyway as the car was nicer for a better price than sixt.

Posted by
2847 posts

don't think any license would show the date that the license was first issued.

I suspect that's true for any US license. I just checked mine and that's the case.
I assume this is just a Slovenian rule. I've never encountered it renting in France. While it's clearly aimed at excluding new drivers, it sounds like it might actually be enforced literally, so you'd be wise to get a letter from your DMV.

Posted by
31055 posts

Ricki,

I haven't checked, but vaguely recall that an International Driver's Permit may also be needed for driving in Slovenia. IDP's are used in conjunction with your home D.L. and are available at any AAA / CAA office for a small fee.

Unfortunately I'm not too familiar with Florida driver's licenses, so can't help with that. The wording "need a valid drivers license in effect for 2 years" would seem to indicate that they require renters to have at least two years of driving experience (ie: not a "novice" driver). Since I have less than two years until expiry of my license, I find it hard to believe that they would deny me a rental on that basis. The D.L.'s here in B.C. show both an issue date and an expiry date, but don't indicate when the driver was first licensed (which in my case was about 50 years ago).

Posted by
74 posts

We will probably go tomorrow to get the International driving permit. We also have copies of our prior licenses and just to be safe we will go into the DMV and get a letter, if they will do it. That should cover it, and may need very little of it...but we'll see. On a facebook travel forum one of the responders said their friend was denied a car in Slovenia because of the renewal date...so better safe than sorry.

Thanks everyone for the input. I'll post when I get back about our experience with this.

Posted by
468 posts

We will probably go tomorrow to get the International driving permit.

Good call. The rental agency probably will not be interested in it, but the police might be should they stop you or you are involved in an accident. IDPs are mandatory in Slovenia for licences issued in non-EU/EEA countries that are not party to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic (the US and Canada are not).

Posted by
11170 posts

Interesting discussion. My New York State driver's license indicates when the current one was issued (renewal date), not when I first got one.

This is an issue I haven't heard of before. I wonder if it's a new requirement, or an old one just being more strictly enforced now.

Posted by
468 posts

For what it’s worth, I did vaguely remember this rule from renting before so I’ve just checked my records, at least those that I saved. It appears that Avis in Italy and Portugal as well as Europcar in the UK had this rule, at least at the locations and times I rented from them. It was a one-year requirement though, not two. On the other hand, Hertz in Sweden did not.

Posted by
74 posts

It seems to be they would be well aware of the USA requiring renewals on drivers licenses, and would have a procedure in place to advise renters of process. Hopefully it is a non-issue or easily accommodated with either the photos of old licenses or the letter. But, they should advise all of us when we book as to the requirements IMHO.

Posted by
1235 posts

CWSocial, that used to be true of the British paper licence and you kept the same one until (I think), you were 70. If you've still got one of those then it may well still be valid. But the newer EU style licence document used in Britain now expires after 10 years. I believe all countries that use this style have a limit of upto 15 years, so that USA also periodically reissues licences shouldn't be a something surprising in Europe. The difference, perhaps, is that the EU style shows when you were originally licensed and when that runs out, as well as the issue date and expiry for the current document. If state licenses in the USA don't show that information then it could be problem. It does seem odd that the US forgot to include that information.

Posted by
1447 posts

Highly doubtful this is enforced. Stop reading fine print.

Posted by
74 posts

The difference, perhaps, is that the EU style shows when you were originally licensed and when that runs out, as well as the issue date and expiry for the current document. If state licenses in the USA don't show that information then it could be problem. It does seem odd that the US forgot to include that information.

Yes that is the difference the US licenses don't show the origination date. This might be because the states each run their own DMV, and I don't believe there is a national database that would accommodate the inclusion of origination date.

Posted by
74 posts

Ufkak....LOL maybe true and maybe a non issue. However, when posted on a facebook travel site there was a reply that a friend had been denied a car because of this. I really don't know...the rental car agency said it was enforced, so I just want to be prepared.

Posted by
20718 posts

I am always very cautious of information from a friend of a friend who know someone .......... That is almost as bad as the information from the internet.

Posted by
2847 posts

Highly doubtful this is enforced.

Maybe that's true, and maybe not. But if it is enforced and you find out at the rental counter, you're screwed. Might as well be prepared, as the OP seems to be planning to do.

Posted by
3436 posts

Take your expired license with you. It will show you were a licensed driver for whatever period of time it was good for.

I have seen this question asked on other travel forums, but can't find a definitive answer as to what worked.

Posted by
74 posts

Take your expired license with you. It will show you were a licensed driver for whatever period of time it was good for.

We do have copies of the last ones, unfortunately the DMV makes you turn the cards in when new ones are issued. Yes you are right that will show how long they are issued for, good argument if I get any push back. I hope to go down to the DMV tomorrow and see if they can do a document that verifies when I was originally licensed. And I'm not going to leave it up to luck as we have several AirBnB's booked and tours set up, so a car is critical.

Posted by
74 posts

So we got a 3 year driving history report from the DMV which shows the original date the license was issued. I think we are good now, that with our photo copies of prior licenses. Probably over kill, they probably won't even care but I was worried they might care and we'd be in trouble. Thank you all for the suggestions and feedback!

Posted by
3436 posts

If you find the time, let us know on your return how this all shakes out with the rental. Do they actually care and any other details you care to share. It would be helpful to others in the same situation in the future.

Posted by
74 posts

I will come back on when we return, early April and let you know.