One of the biggest and best benefits of having a driver’s license is the independence that it brings. Once you have acquired your driver license, you’re basically free to go wherever you please. But there are some caveats to consider. Your driver license will only get you so far. In some cases, you may have to have other documentation to travel. So, can you travel with your driver license? Yes and no.
The way that the United States is set up, you can travel anyplace you want to go with just your driver license. The U.S. doesn’t even have border restrictions between states. So, if you want to travel between Ohio and Michigan, for example, you can do so. You won’t have to stop to display your driver license at the border between Ohio and Michigan. If for some reason you’re stopped by a police office in Michigan, you can show him your Ohio driver license and that be fine. With a driver license, you’re legally entitled to drive anywhere in the United States. You will need a REAL ID, however, for traveling by plane starting October 2020.
Now, driving a vehicle in the United States requires different credentials, depending on where you’re driving. Even if you’ve passed a defensive driving class, there might be other rules. Depending on which state you’re driving in, you may be required to carry auto insurance. Only a handful of states allow you to drive without auto insurance. Remember, even if you’re just driving through, you may be required to show proof of auto insurance if you’re pulled over for any reason.
You won’t be able to travel abroad with just your driver license. Other countries require a passport to get in, and you’ll need your own U.S. passport to return to the United States. In addition, you might need a visa to get into some countries, in addition to your passport. Now, your driver license will help you travel abroad, though. You’ll be able to use it as proof of your identity to get your passport.
Your driver license entitles you to drive in your state and throughout the U.S. It also entitles you to hire a rental car, even outside the U.S. Rental companies oversees have agreements with insurance companies that will cover drivers from other countries. But if you want to buy a car and drive it in another country, that’s another story.
You won’t be able to drive abroad with your driver license if you own the car. You’ll have to have an international driver license, in addition to an insurance policy that will cover you for the country you intend to drive in. Bottom line is: if you want to buy a car to drive in another country, be sure you can afford to pay for the insurance and any other additional license you may need. But if you just want to rent a car to drive overseas, the good news is that your U.S. driver license will probably be sufficient!
Do you have dreams of driving a motor home across the U.S.? You may think that you can only drive one of these if you have a commercial truck license. But you’re entitled to travel in the U.S. with a motor home with only your regular driver license. If you can show proof of insurance, you’ll be able to rent a motorhome or trailer and travel throughout the entire U.S.
Do you have the defensive driving skills necessary to travel safely with your driver license? If so, you can use your driver license to travel anywhere in the U.S., and to rent vehicles while traveling abroad. Bon voyage!