Is it required, when renting a car in the US, that the country issuing the driver's license is the same as the passport's one?

Both are from a EU country, if that matters (passport is French and driver's license is Polish).

Clarification after a comment: nationality is French, country of residence is France, passport is French and driving license is Polish.

UPDATE: I looked up some rental companies requirements and it would seem that it does matter:


(6) a foreign driver’s license* issued by the country of residence of the renter and additional drivers


If the foreign issued driver’s license is from a country where “permanent” or “non-expiring” driver’s license are issued, the renter and any additional drivers will also be required to show their passport, visa, or other current U.S. issued documentation at the beginning of their rental authorizing the renter or driver to be present in the USA at the time of rental.


A license issued by a country that participated in the 1949 Geneva convention on Road Traffic or the 1943 Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automobile Traffic.

Additionally, if you intend to rent outside of your home country, Avis may require that you present a valid passport, as secondary form of identification at the time of your check-out.

HERTZ (I saw the English version once, then it switched to French for good - translation below)

Lors de la prise en charge du véhicule, vous devrez présenter un permis de conduire en cours de validité délivré dans votre pays de résidence

When taking over the vehicle, you must present a valid driving license issued in your country of residence

FINAL UPDATE: I ended up not being asked for anything (including a driver's license) because I am a Gold member with HERTZ (which I actually forgot, my last reting with HERTZ was years ago).
Even without that I indeed highly doubt that they would have applied the "driver's license issued in country of residence" rule.

  • A Passport does not have to be for the country of residence. Generally it is an indication of nationality or citizenship. Your case was specific, but you could have claimed residency of Poland without a Polish passport. This is an EU possibility.
    – mckenzm
    Oct 29, 2021 at 17:02

1 Answer 1


No, it is not required. There are millions of people in the world in this situation, and rental car companies would not want to refuse their business.

  • Please see my update with teh rental car companies statements on driver's licenses requirements. Some (Dollar, HERTZ) are clear (license must be from country of residence), while others (AVIS) are less explicit.
    – WoJ
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:00
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    @WoJ Do you reside outside Poland? Your question asks whether the license must be from the country of citizenship, and then you quote some terms that say the license must be from your country of residence. Residence and citizenship are not the same thing.
    – phoog
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:02
  • Sorry, I will clarify that in the question (this is not me but it does not matter). Nationality is French, country of residence is France, passport is French and driving license is Polish.
    – WoJ
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:05
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    @WoJ unless you're planning on going living in Poland any time soon, you can swap your Polish licence for a French one here interieur.gouv.fr/Le-ministere/Prefectures When your licence expires you'll have to retake your test in France. europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/vehicles/driving-licence/…
    – BritishSam
    Apr 1, 2019 at 14:37
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    @WoJ From personal experience renting in the US, as long as you have a credit card and something that looks like a valid driver's license, you'll have zero issues renting a car. Residency, visas, passports etc are not really the agency's concern. Apr 2, 2019 at 1:26

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