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I rented a car, but didn't want to pay a second driver fee. My spouse is driving the car but I want to know if I'll be in trouble if police stops me when I'm driving.

I know that insurance won't pay in case of accident but will I have other problems if I drive?

I'm in Miami.

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    In the US, this would be regulated in state law. I am not sure about Florida, but driving a vehicle without the owner's consent ought to be prohibited in most US states and also other jurisdictions. If the owner incurs a loss as a result of the violation (you have evaded the extra driver fee), the violation is e.g. in Ohio even considered a felony and punishable with at least 6 months imprisonment. If the police would notice or bother to check is of course another question. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 27 '15 at 13:35
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    The additional driver fees are much much less in terms of money and much much more in terms of peace of mind than any other option whether it is a police problem or insurance problem. – Nean Der Thal Nov 27 '15 at 13:45
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    If you were stopped, your status would be as if you were driving a friend's car - that is, you are not the owner and may not be authorized to drive the vehicle. God forbid you are involved in a serious accident; you will have a lot of problem (insurance for one, additional liability and other headaches depending on the laws in of the state). As others have mentioned, it would be less expensive to just get the additional driver added to the contract. – Burhan Khalid Nov 27 '15 at 14:00
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    I don't want to flag this as "unclear about what you are asking," but I am confused. What are you looking for here, if not insurance. Do you mean will you possibly be charged with a crime just for driving the car? – CGCampbell Nov 27 '15 at 15:46
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    You should check with the rental companies whether you'd even have to pay to get your spouse added.. Some always waive the second-driver fee for your spouse, others do if you join their frequent renter program. – Kevin Nov 27 '15 at 18:47
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You could possibly be charged with driving a vehicle without the owners consent, but more importantly if you are not a valid driver then you are driving without insurance.

Driving without insurance is illegal in Florida.

You should also be aware that the insurance you don't have doesn't just protect you against damaging the car. In the US, if you seriously injure someone in an accident they can and will come after you for their medical bills, which can run to hundreds of thousands of dollars. This is what your insurance covers you against (amongst other things). Unless you can afford to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars, don't drive without insurance.

Further reading:

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    Hundreds of thousands of dollars? Seems pretty low to me. If you leave someone permanently disabled/disfigured, that could run much higher. pritzkerlaw.com/amputation – Aron Nov 27 '15 at 17:55
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    It's quote possible to have insurance that covers rental cars and still not be an authorized driver of the vehicle. This would most likely apply to US citizens/residents who have a US auto insurance policy which covers US car rentals. In this case, you could still drive a friend's rented car, and be insured, but not be an authorized driver. The chances of being caught in such a situation are minimal, but if caught, I don't know what the consequences would be. – Flimzy Nov 28 '15 at 13:45
  • I considered that, but I'm willing to bet that most rental vehicle insurance policies only cover vehicles on which you are an authorized driver. Obviously in the end it depends on the individual policy – DJClayworth Nov 28 '15 at 17:59
  • Will this also be the case if the op did not purchase insurance from the rental agency but used his existing car's insurance (if any) on the rental ? – happybuddha Nov 29 '15 at 10:37
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    If an accident is involved, the insurance company will certainly read the T&C and won't pay out if the policy is not valid. – Zach Lipton Jul 7 '16 at 21:05
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The rental agency is the only one who can answer this question. Technically, you could be driving a stolen car.

Note, many agencies automatically allow spouses and business associates to drive a car without being specifically authorized on the rental agreement. You have to ask the agency about this.

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    This doesn't really answer the question. The rental agency has no control over the police and is unlikely to provide an honest response to a question on how to break their rules. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jul 7 '16 at 19:35
  • I suppose, then the specific question is unanswerable since it's at the discretion of the officer and his/her effort to verify the status of the driver. The renter should also know all the rules and benefits, specifically for spouses. – Johns-305 Jul 7 '16 at 19:46
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    But the question is whether or not the police cares about who's behind the wheel, as long as the main driver is present. That's perfectly answerable. – JonathanReez Supports Monica Jul 7 '16 at 19:48
  • @Johns-305, although many allow this for free, you still must register those people when taking out the car (or later, but before they drive). I do that all the time.; the companies all insist on seeing the drivers license of each such person before they are added for free. – Aganju Jul 9 '16 at 0:10
  • @Aganju. No, this is not the case. Which is why you have to ask. – Johns-305 Jul 9 '16 at 12:47

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