23

I got into this driving thing kinda late, which means I have a probationary driver's license from Victoria, Australia that looks kinda like this:

enter image description here (courtesy Angie Sommer's blog)

This basically means I've been driving for less than 3 years (these days 4!) and am thus not allowed to drink a single drop of alcohol before driving or rack up more than 5 demerit points/year (vs 10 for full license holders).

In Australia, these make you a leper as far as the major rental companies are concerned, they won't rent to you at any price and the smaller locals that do charge hefty surcharges (often $20+/day).

But now I'm going to the United States. Can I rent a car there? (And for what it's worth, I'm well over 25.)

27

Answering my question since I was unable to find a solid answer elsewhere:

Yes, you can. Whereas Aussie rental companies insist on "unrestricted" licenses, their American counterparts are happy with any "valid" driver's license. In San Francisco, the two random Hertz and Enterprise outlets I tried didn't bat an eyelid at seeing a Victorian provisional license, they popped it in the photocopier and handed over the keys with no questions asked, and I haven't been able to find even anecdotal evidence of anybody else (over 21, mind you) being refused rental.

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    I'll second your own answer. I was researching it myself when I was on my Ps and while some countries have restrictions, others don't care including the US. It generally depends on whether the country's driving system includes provisional licenses, which most don't. – dlanod Mar 3 '14 at 21:48
  • Were there any questions whether you're under/over 25 ? I think it's for their insurance, I have a Canadian probationary license and might be going to the US too this year – blackbird Mar 4 '14 at 23:12
  • Yes, all US rental agencies have minimum ages, but I'm well over 25. – lambshaanxy Mar 4 '14 at 23:23
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    Will test this in Vegas myself in a couple of days! Thanks for the info! – rochal Feb 17 '15 at 1:11
  • For the record, some states have provisional licenses, they are however based on age and not ability. Which is something you probably noticed one you were on our roads. – Rowan Hawkins Jun 10 at 13:59

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