Rent a Car Without a License? A Temporary License? A Permit? Answered

Short Answer: Can you rent a car without a driver’s license? No. Is it possible to rent a car with a temporary license? Yes. If you have been issued an official temporary license by the DMV, you may be able to rent a vehicle with most major car rental agencies. However, while many accept official temporary drivers’ licenses, companies do not allow you to rent with a learner’s permit, photocopy of your license, or provisional license. Below, we detail the differences between temporary and provisional licenses and list which major companies will allow you to rent vehicles with which documents.

In This Article

What Is a Temporary License?

After passing your initial driver’s test or renewing or replacing your license, you may be issued a temporary document to use until you receive your permanent driver’s license from the DMV. Depending on the state you live in, your temporary license may be valid for anywhere between 30 – 90 days. Temporary licenses are usually made of paper and may include a photo with identifying information such as your name, date of birth, gender, height, eye color, and address.

Effectively functioning as a regular license, a temporary driver license serves as a stand-alone document that verifies your eligibility to drive. However, if you intend to use your temporary driver’s license for identification purposes, you may be asked to provide a secondary form of ID, such as a passport or credit card. A temporary license is generally sufficient for renting a car, with a few exceptions.

What Is a Driver’s Permit?

In most states, you are required to apply for a driver’s permit if you are learning to drive for the first time and you are under a certain age. A driver’s permit, sometimes called a “learner’s permit” or “temporary instruction permit,” allows you to practice driving with a licensed adult before taking your driving skills test. Generally, you may not rent or operate a rental vehicle with a driver’s permit. You can learn more about your state’s specific requirements on its Department of Motor Vehicles or Secretary of State website.

What Is a Provisional License?

After passing your driving test, you may receive a provisional driver’s license if you are under the age of 18. Many states issue teenagers provisional licenses, which allow them to operate a motor vehicle but restrict certain driving privileges. For instance, if you have a provisional license, you may not be able to drive after a certain time at night or transport passengers without supervision. The requirements and restrictions included with a provisional license may vary from state to state. Since the majority of major rental agencies will not let you rent a vehicle under the age of 19 (here’s a list of places that will rent you a car at 18), you will not be permitted to rent a car with a provisional license, in most cases.

Rental Companies That Accept Temporary Licenses

If you have a valid temporary driver’s license issued by the DMV, you will be able to rent a vehicle at most major rental agencies. To be accepted, your temporary license must be valid for the duration of the rental period. When renting a car with a temporary license, you may be asked to provide additional documentation, such as a passport or your expired permanent driver’s license.

Below, we’ve included the complete list of rental companies that accept temporary licenses. To confirm each company’s policy, we consulted the company website or contacted a company representative. Keep in mind, policies may vary by location, and whether your temporary license is accepted may be up to the local branch manager’s discretion.

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Avis

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee of $27+ per day.
  • See Avis’ driver’s license requirements

Budget

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes; however, an additional photo ID may be required.
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee of $27+ per day.
  • See Budget’s driver license requirements

Dollar Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 20 at most locations. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee.
  • See Dollar’s driver’s license requirements

Enterprise

Fox Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 19. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee of $20 per day. If you are under 21, you may be charged a fee of $25 per day.
  • See Fox’s driver’s license requirements

Hertz

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 20, at most locations. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee.
  • See Hertz’s driver’s license requirements

National Car Rental

Rent a Wreck

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes, but you’ll need to show an additional form of identification that includes your signature.
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21 at most locations. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee.
  • See Rent A Wreck’s driver’s license requirements

Silvercar

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes, but you may need to show additional ID. If you have a temporary license because you recently renewed, it helps to bring your old license and the temporary license with you.
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 22 in most states.
  • See Silvercar’s driver’s license requirements

Thrifty Car Rental

U-Save

  • Accepts temporary licenses: Yes, but you’ll need to show an additional photo ID.
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21, at most locations. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee between $15 and $50 per day.
  • See U-Save’s driver’s license requirements

Zipcar

Rental Car Companies That Do Not Accept Temporary Licenses

Though most major car rental agencies will recognize a valid temporary license, there are several companies that may require you to furnish an original license. We’ve included agencies that do not officially accept temporary licenses below. To confirm each company’s policy, we consulted the company website or contacted a company representative. Keep in mind that policies may vary from location to location, and whether a company accepts your temporary license may be up to the local branch manager’s discretion.

Advantage Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee.
  • See Advantage Rent a Car’s driver requirements

Alamo Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee.
  • See Alamo’s driver’s license requirements

E-Z Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21 at most locations. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee of $20 to $35 per day.
  • See E-Z Rent a Car’s driver’s license requirements

Payless

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be charged an underage driver fee of $25 per day.
  • See Payless’ driver’s license requirements

Sixt Rent a Car

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21 at most locations. To rent a car, you must have had your license for at least one year.
  • See Sixt Rent a Car’s driver’s license requirements

Turo

  • Accepts temporary licenses: No
  • Accepts driver’s permits: No
  • Accepts provisional licenses: No
  • Accepts photocopied licenses: No
  • Minimum age: 21. If you are under 25, you may be required to pay an underage driver fee of 20% off the trip price.
  • See Turo’s driver’s license requirements
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In Summary

Can you rent a car without a license? No. You cannot rent a car with a photocopied license, either; you must have a valid driver’s license or, at some car rental companies, a government-issued temporary license.

While learner’s permits and provisional licenses restrict certain driving privileges, a temporary license functions much the same as an original license. With an official, DMV-issued temporary license, you should be able to rent a vehicle with most major agencies, including Avis, Enterprise, and Hertz.

However, certain companies like Advantage Rent a Car and E-Z Rent a Car, as well as certain local branches, may choose not to accept a temporary ID. If you are attempting to rent a car with a temporary license, it’s advisable to contact your specific branch to determine whether you will be permitted to rent a vehicle with your particular document and driving situation.

Recommended Article: Can I Fly with an Expired License/ID? A Temporary License? Answered.

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4 comments

  • Name* (displayed publicly) says:

    my sister who lives in mo was given a paper document while her card was being mailed. she tried to rent a car from enterprise with having her old licence as form of id and they refused to remt to her.. so I would take enterprise off of the yes list. just fyi

    • Laura Bachmann says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi,

      Sounds like she used an expired license rather than a temporary ID? In that case, no, she wouldn’t be able to rent a car. And, if I misunderstood, and you mean she used the paper document, they’ll still only accept temporary IDs if they have a photo. So if the paper document Missouri gives you as a temporary ID doesn’t have a photo, Enterprise won’t take it.

    • Rebecca Turley says:
      First Quarter Finance logostaff

      Hi Linda,

      I checked Europcar’s rental policy, and it doesn’t specify anything beyond a “valid” driver’s license. We’ve reached out to them and are awaiting their response on temporary licenses.