In many places in Europe, certain car rental agencies have policies that require that the driver have held a driver's license for a certain minimum amount of time (e.g. 1 or 2 year minimums are common). How is this minimum applied when the license is transferred between countries?

For example, between living in Canada and the US, I have had a drivers license for about 10 years. However, I recently moved to Germany where the local regulations require me to exchange my license for a local German one. I've exchanged my drivers license for a German one. The new German one has the date of the exchange as the date of issue but also notes the number and issuing authority of my previous license but no indication of how long I had held the previous license.

If this exchange date is within the last year, am I eligible to rent a car from an agency which requires the driver to have held a license for the past year? What proof can I offer to show that I have in fact held a driver's license for longer than a year?

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    You can restore your German license when you go back to Germany for a visit to resolve this conundrum
    – JonathanReez
    May 27, 2018 at 21:42
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    @JonathanReez Did you mean to say restore your Canadian or US license instead? OP is now resident in Germany.
    – mkennedy
    May 28, 2018 at 20:33
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    Can you reference how one would go about “restoring” a Canadian license in any province or territory as a non-resident which would be valid alongside a foreign license? May 29, 2018 at 11:48
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    If you are not a young driver, rental companies seem less inclined to challenge the time you have had your license, but that does not mean that they never challenge it, (sorry, no real answer.)
    – Willeke
    Jun 13, 2018 at 18:55
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    @xji just stories of people in their 40's and 50's who told that they rented a few months after getting their license and not been challenged or even asked how long they had it. While young people (up to the mid 20's) always seem to tell that they had to proof how long they had the license.
    – Willeke
    Oct 26, 2021 at 20:20

1 Answer 1


The easiest solution is to just go ahead and restore your license when you travel back to your province in Canada. Simply claim that your old license was lost (which it was, technically) and ask for a new one. At least in British Columbia it takes less than a week for the government to ship you a new one.

Another option is to ask the driving license authority in your province for a copy of your driving record which would list your full driving experience. However it's not guaranteed that car rental companies in Europe would accept that paper in lieu of a full license.

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