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Author Topic: Rant about licences
Ashitaka

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Icon 8 posted January 07, 2010 00:37      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So I am travelling to the states for a Wedding and whilst I am there I will need to use a rental car, (Which I have often done in other countries but not yet in the states)

My American Driving license expired years ago.

My international driving licence expired last October and I don’t want to pay for or take the time to replace it.

My Swiss driving licence is “valid” in the US, well it is Valid for use with the police to inform them that I am allowed to operate a motor vehicle. ( I have Swiss friends who have lived in the US) I don’t know if it is “valid” for the hundreds of other uses driving licenses in America are used for.

For the life of me I cannot find out if I need an international driving licence to rent a car. (specifically with Alamo). Every time I call or contact the company I get a different answer (sometimes yes, sometimes no). It is driving me crazy.

What is even more annoying, for those of you who do not know, international driving licences are merely translations. It is a document with and on each page in about 20 languages it simply states that “line one is my name, line two is my birth date, line three is the document number, ect. (There is no description of the driver to translate ( height eyes color ect.)

FYI, my Swiss licence is written in German, French , Italian and English and is valid in most countries I have travelled to without the need for an international licence. I do still have my intenational licence which is a booklet of translations.

And I am just getting started.

The real problem seems to be they cannot accept my Swiss licence because it doesn’t expire and their computer system needs an expiration date input. International licences DO expire, and they are just translations. Translations that never change. Gaaaaa And they expire. Gaaaaa!!!!

So do I pay more than a hundred bucks for a translation, ( A translation I have, that is simply expired) or risk it and risk not having a method of getting around for three weeks while I am there.


p.s.

at alamo

web page= swiss licence valid for renting
telephone customer service = swiss licence not valid
internet chat customer sercive= swiss licence valid
calling the coutner at an international airport= ( someone who actually deals with this) swiss licence probably valid

intputting my licence data into web reservation service = swiss licence not valid.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 03:54      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Whooo Boy, Depends on who stops you, Andy Griffith or Barney Fife.

____ I would check at the states you plan to visit. As each one is likely to be different, You might want check each DMV in states you plan to visit.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 05:03      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
from DMV.org
quote:
Drivers license. As a tourist, your foreign license is valid in most states for up to one year. Some states offer a shorter grace period, but regardless of your length of stay, make sure the license contains photo identification. If your home license comes in several pieces, bring them all.
International Driver Permit (IDP). The IDP is typically not required to drive in America. Some states and car rental agencies do request the IDP, so it's never a bad idea to have one at hand. You must get your IDP in your home country, before making the trip abroad.

no help there, that is what i alredy thought.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 05:46      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ ASH, I tried various questions here:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127----S,00.html

____ Nothing I found was of any help, all the answers I found assumed that the applicant was planning to live here.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 06:20      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ ASH, I tried various questions here:

http://www.michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127----S,00.html

____ Nothing I found was of any help, all the answers I found assumed that the applicant was planning to live here.

My problem isn't, what if I get pulled over.

my problem is, what if the rental company won't give me a car.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 07:46      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
FWIW, I've read that the Int'l Driver's Lic. is largely BS.

In New York, I understand that you can use a foreign license for something like 90 days (or more) before needing to get a NY license.

I drove in England (via Enterprise) with my NY license just fine...but didn't get pulled over. [Wink]

I did some quick Googling, and turned up this:
http://www.dmv.org/driving-abroad/usa.php#tz_MI

...which says that you should be good for a year or so.

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 07:59      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ ASH, I know from your prior posts that you have been trying Alamo, remember they are from Texas and may have Geo. Bush atitudes.

Economy
Avis
Hertz
Budget

____ One of these may be more open to you.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 08:39      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've found that when renting a car there is usually a mighty disconnect between what's on teh intertubes and what's actually happening. So go with whatever the humans are telling you and shop around until you get a straight answer.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 09:13      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
I've found that when renting a car there is usually a mighty disconnect between what's on teh intertubes and what's actually happening. So go with whatever the humans are telling you and shop around until you get a straight answer.

On a related note, a daft idea just hit me - *CALL THEM*.†
It'll cost you what...$0.12 to get an answer using Skype?

† "Them" being a car rental place in Michigan.

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

Posts: 9332 | From: Westchester County, New York | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 09:21      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by dragonman97:
quote:
Originally posted by Xanthine:
I've found that when renting a car there is usually a mighty disconnect between what's on teh intertubes and what's actually happening. So go with whatever the humans are telling you and shop around until you get a straight answer.

On a related note, a daft idea just hit me - *CALL THEM*.†
It'll cost you what...$0.12 to get an answer using Skype?

† "Them" being a car rental place in Michigan.

I did call them, twice, once they said no, the other time they said yes

§ I called using skype, it was a 1 800 number and free.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 09:24      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You'll want to read the fine print, so to speak to make sure this is the case, but car rental companies I've dealt with don't charge your credit card in advance (most don't even ask for one in advance) nor do they penalize you if you don't show up to pick up the rental.

When I have to fly into certain extremely busy airports where I've had trouble getting a car (a reservation isn't a guarantee), I make two or three different reservations. Once I get a car, I'll call the other companies from the parking lot and cancel the reservations with them.

So my advice is... lie. Put in fake expiration dates to make your reservations if you need to (nobody's going to check whether anything beyond your name and possibly birth date match your license) and reserve cars with two or more companies so you have a backup plan in case the first makes a fuss about the license or doesn't have a car available.

--------------------
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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 10:13      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Devious, I like that.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 10:35      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good idea, Alamo did not ask for a credit card , only who, when, what and how long.

I'll go make a second reservation now. Denver has a dozen rental companies, all with the exact same cars and pretty much the same prices.

... which could get me started on a new rant, that I looked at a dozen rental companies in Denver ,a decently large town, and I couldn't find a single car I wanted to rent. They don't have a single car where I would think to myself, that would be nice/fun to drive. Even thier luxury cars, which they charge several grand to rent, suck.

but that is for anouther day.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 10:56      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good point Ash.

But you have to remember, rentals are not supposed to be interesting, just reliable and easily obtained. And different companies will set up deals with manufacturers so you will have to shop around some.

And sometimes, if you can get away from the airport, you will find rental companies where they may have a wider selection of cars. But that may not work, since you have to get out of the airport first.

In my experiences, most of the counter people simply don't care about the details, so they will gloss over things like a date, or they will put in some arbitrary info just to get you in the system. I think that you will see a lot less hassle at the actual airport kiosk than you would from one in a strip mall, but IANAL. Instead of contacting them via their main numbers, see if you can find a direct line to the actual desks at the airport themselves. It may save you some headaches. At least this way you can get the name of the person at the desk and quote them directly if you do run into a hassle.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 11:14      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:

... which could get me started on a new rant, that I looked at a dozen rental companies in Denver ,a decently large town, and I couldn't find a single car I wanted to rent.

Um, hate to break it to you but what they're showing you on the webpages is not necessarily what you're going to get. It's a total dice roll. If they're really busy and booked you're lucky if you even get the SIZE you wanted, never mind the model and any other bells and whistles.

December '08 I defended and walked. My parents came to see me do both. The weekend I walked, a huge snowstorm hit the PacNW and shut the region down. The only way home for my parents was by car. I somehow managed to secure them one of the last rental cars in the Denver metro area (they were also trying to rent a car - in situations like this, it helps to tag team) and I asked for a winter package, which was supposed to include chains and snowtires and hopefully a front wheel, if not four wheel, drive (in other words, something kreziserb and I would be willing to drive over the Rockies and Cascades in full conditions). Well, the winter package advertised and the winter package received were not one and the same - they did not have snowtires, they had rear wheel drive, but they did have a roof rack for skis. Never mind they didn't actually have skis for the roof rack. [Roll Eyes] There wasn't much to be done though as this was one of the last rental cars in the area AND, on reading the fine print, what was in the winter package was not guaranteeed to match the website's promises. Fortunately, though they were thus equipped with a car I would fear to take through the mountains in winter, they made it home safely. kreziserb and I made that same drive a few days later in a car that a sane person actually would take on snow (Audi with winter tires) and we were safe too. Safe and lucky both coming and going - you can't really race the weather. You can only hope you get through it before the roads close.

--------------------
And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 16:12      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Xanthine wrote:
If they're really busy and booked you're lucky if you even get the SIZE you wanted, never mind the model and any other bells and whistles.

This is true, but you can make it work for you. Rental places rarely have the subcompacts that they advertise at the cheapest rate available (almost nobody wants them so many of the smaller lots simply don't keep them around). If you reserve one and show up, they'll try to get you to pay for an upgrade before telling you they don't have what you reserved. If you refuse the upgrades, you'll usually get the upgrade anyway, just without paying. If they do have a subcompact, however, you get stuck with it since you already said no to the upgrade.

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 17:04      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ash, Xanthine, can you check with the DMV and see their policy on Furriners, also an in person check at a rental counter would clear up some misconceptions.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged
dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted January 07, 2010 21:42      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey...I had fun with my Nissan Micra! [Smile]

And at just about £1/L, I was rather happy to take that over something bigger.

Oh well...different strokes...

--------------------
There are three things you can be sure of in life: Death, taxes, and reading about fake illnesses online...

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted January 08, 2010 01:27      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMoMan:
____ Ash, Xanthine, can you check with the DMV and see their policy on Furriners, also an in person check at a rental counter would clear up some misconceptions.

I have checked with a state police officer in IN, and have talked with many many "Furriners" who have used thier licences in america. As long as they are in english (and mine is) they are valid, believe it or not. ( DMV's on the intertubes corroborate this)

I have found out in the last few days, The problem is with private companies like rental agencies who want to see a licence, I even had a problem once with a campsite who wanted a drivers licence to stay the night. The pollicy really depends on where you are, not the company, and if that location gets many foreigners. Companies simply state in their policy book that one must have a "valid" licence, but the people at the counter often don't know that foreign licences are "valid" , especially if you are in the sticks .

And I feel for these comnpanies, how would they know if a licence from Khasakstan is valid and if they are allowed to sell that person alcohol.

I guess you cannot blame the companies, but it is a hassle.

--------------------
"If they're not gonna make a distinction between Muslims and violent extremists, then why should I take the time to distinguish between decent, fearful white people and racists?"

-Assif Mandvi

Posts: 3089 | From: Switzerland | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged
TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 08, 2010 02:32      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
____ Ash, I have not been over a pond since 1985, so my experiences may not be as valid as frequent travelers. Major Credit Cards help prove you as the person on the licences Visa, MasterCard, AMEX. if all of these match the licences. That the Manager may not be any sharper than the counter clerk, in fact s/he might be duller. People get used to the routine and deviation upsets that.

____ When touring Ireland, any given night I only bought one drink per Pub, once somebody figured out I was a Yank, out would come the Maps and thumbtacks then someone was always trying to buy the Yank a beer, I don't think I sobered up until the flight home.

____ Back to your problem, print out each Companies policy and have it with you when you walk up to the counter, that may help or get you labeled as a smart (biblical beast of burden). Sometimes counter help are not clear on Corp. Policy.

--------------------
Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

Posts: 5848 | From: Just South of the Huron National Forest, in the water shed of the Rifle River | Registered: Sep 2002  |  IP: Logged


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