One of the most common concerns when hiring a car is what to do if you don’t have both parts of your UK driving licence. Whether you have lost your driving licence or overlooked it when packing for your trip, it may still be possible to hire a car with Avis in the UK or abroad without both parts of your licence.

The current UK driving licence has two parts – a plastic, credit card-sized photo card licence and a green paper counterpart licence displaying any endorsements. Many people still have an ‘old-style’ pink and green paper licence, which are still perfectly acceptable. Licences are issued by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

When renting a car with Avis you need to have:

  • A full, valid driving licence that has been held for at least 36 months at the time of rental.
  • No more than 6 points on your licence. With more than 6 points or a DD, DR or BA endorsement that is not older than 10 years or if you are renting abroad, please contact the rental station where you want to pick up your car.
  • For rentals in other countries, please check the terms and conditions of the renting country prior to booking. These can be found during the Avis online booking journey, or by calling 0844 581 0147.
  • If your licence is in non-roman alphabet (e.g. Japanese), you will need the original licence AND an international driving licence.

Renting in the USA

When renting in the USA, you can rent a car with your photo card licence only, or with your paper counterpart licence and your passport. If you have neither part you cannot hire a car from an Avis office in the USA.

If you are travelling with someone else who has their licence, they can hire the car and add you as an additional driver. If the reservation is in your name, you will need to make another reservation in the name of the licence-holder and obtain a refund for your initial reservation by contacting 08445 818181.

Renting in Europe

You can collect your car with a valid paper counterpart licence and photographic identification (e.g. passport).

Many offices will let you take your rental car with only your photo card licence, although this is at the discretion of the local office (officially both parts are required). To find out, contact the rental branch before booking.

Avis Preferred customers

Many Avis Preferred customers are business rental customers. If you are renting on business account using your company’s insurance then it is not imperative for you to show your driver’s licence, as your company should ensure you have a valid licence (although rental agents will normally ask for this for duty of care reasons).

If this is not the case, the usual driving licence requirements apply to Avis Preferred customers.

The address on a licence is out of date

If the address on your driving licence is out of date or different to the billing address that you used to book your car, you can still collect your rental car in the UK or abroad.

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73 Responses to “Hiring a car without both parts of a driving licence”

  1. Peter Robbins Says:

    Like many people in UK I have a Driving Licence which I need to renew every 3 years because of a medical condition.
    I have recently renewed mine which means it has a ‘valid from’ date of less than a year ago – although I have held a full licence continuously for many years.
    Will this affect my ability to rent a car in Europe given that most car-hire companies require drivers to have had a licence for at least a year?
    what happens if this is queried when picking the car up?

  2. Jim Says:

    Re.:


    In the UK you can collect your car with a valid paper counterpart licence and photographic identification (e.g. passport).

    If your photo card licence is out of date you will not be able to hire a car.

    These sentences appear to contradict each other. If you can use your passport in lieu of a photocard, then of course you can hire a car without an up-to-date photocard. Or are you saying that actually you DO need to show a photocard even if you have a passport?

  3. Sabrina, Marketing UK Says:

    Hi Jim-
    Well spotted! You’re quite right – it is contradictory.

    When renting in the UK the paper part of your licence is the most important. If the card part of your licence expires you can still rent with a valid paper part and photo identification.

    I will update the post now.

    Thanks for feeding back to us!
    Sabrina

  4. Simon Baker Says:

    The above still shows that you can’t rent a car without a photo licence “In order to be accepted, your photo card licence must be in date. Out of date photo card licences are not valid.” Are you going to delete this as seems from your earlier comments that this is not correct? Can you please confirm that you can still hire a car eventhough photo licence is out of date, but your paper licence is valid and you have photo ID (eg a passport)?
    Thanks

  5. Sabrina, Marketing UK Says:

    Hi Simon-
    Thanks for highlighting that – I hadn’t removed that point.

    I have now and can confirm that if you have a valid paper part and passport you are able to rent a car.

    Thanks again for the feedback and I hope you enjoy your rental-
    Sabrina

  6. Emma Says:

    Can you still rent a car if the photo on your licence is out of date but the licence is valid ?

  7. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Emma,
    Yes if the paper part of your driving licence is valid you can still rent as long as you show another form of valid photo ID (i.e. passport).

    Hope that helps -enjoy your rental
    Sabrina

  8. Michael Says:

    Can I hire a car in Venice with only the paper part of my licence( photo part lost) if I were to obtain a faxed copy of the full licence( both parts from DVLA ).

    Faxed direct to Avis in Venice airport ?.

  9. Murtaza Says:

    HI, I have a Indian driving license. Would that be valid for hiring an Avis Car in London?

    Thanks

    M

  10. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Michael –
    Yes you can rent a car if you have a valid paper part of your licence but you must have some form of valid photo ID (i.e. your passport).

    Hope that helps – enjoy your rental
    Sabrina

  11. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Murtaza-
    I think we responded to you via facebook but yes, I can confirm that you can rent a car with an Indian Driving Licence as long as writing is in the roman alphabet.

    Enjoy your rental-
    Sabrina

  12. Annie Says:

    Hi,

    I just swapped over my full NSW Australian license to a full UK drivers license.

    It has only been activated from afew weeks ago. Does this mean I cannot hire a car because it has not been 12 months?

    If this is the case which I unfortunately think it is, I find this to be completely ridiculous, as I have been a full license holder in Australia for 15 years with full Demerit Point. I have no other way driving in the country without swapping over my license since I want to live here. Cant see why I have to wait 12 months.

  13. jon tudor Says:

    I am going to lisbon in two weeks and have only just realised my photocard licence has just expired, I have my green paper part of licence, will this be enough(with photo I.D) in portugal? Thank you for your time.

  14. Louise Nugent Says:

    I have hired a car with your company through BA I am the lead name on the booking and the credit card I will use is in my name. My husband will be the driver will this be a problem. I have hired under these circumstances before in USA but I have just noticed something about the driver and credit card holder being the same name. Should have mentioned we will be renting in USA. Hope you can put my mind at ease. Thanking you in advance Louise

  15. fiona mcleod Says:

    hi i have come away with out my driving licence is there any way that i can still hire a car in south africa? can you manage to confirm my licence with the dvla?

  16. Chris Says:

    Sabrina,

    Like the blog. I am travelling to the USA next month. However i am without the photocard part of my licence, will i be able to rent a car with just the paper/counterpart licence and my passport?

    Any pointers would be much appreciated- would a photocopy of the above suffice.
    I am doing this for Executive travel so want to be absolutly sure that i have no problems securing a car.

    Kind regards

    Chris

  17. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for your comment. Pleased you like the blog!

    Yes, you will be able to rent a car as long as the paper part of your licence is valid and you have photographic ID such as your passport. You will, however, need the actual paper licence – not just a photocopy of it.

    I hope that helps – enjoy your rental!
    Sabrina

  18. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Fiona,
    If you have your passport our location should be able to contact the DVLA on your behalf but you will have to pay a fee for the service.

    Hope that helps – enjoy your tavels!
    Sabrina

  19. P Broderick Says:

    Hi,

    I want to rent a car from you in Europe but my photocard part is out of date and needs replacing. I have the paper counterpart and a valid photo passport – will I be able to rent a car?

  20. Kirtan Pansari Says:

    Hi Sabrina, must say like that you respond so quickly

    Quick question just for 100% clarity. My photo card license (I am UK driver/citizen) is expired. However I have the paper counterpart and my passport. Can I still rent a car in the US? Just to be clear, and this is what concerns me, in the UK people when someone has a photo license the paper license is a “counterpart license”. Even though it is a counterpart is it still ok to use along with your passport to rent a car?

  21. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Kirtan-
    As long as you have a valid paper part and valid photo ID (so your passport!) then yes, you are able to rent in the US.

    Hope that helps – have a great trip!
    Sabrina

  22. P Broderick Says:

    Hi Sabrina,

    I want to rent a car from you in France but my photocard part is out of date and needs replacing. I have the paper counterpart and a valid photo passport – will I be able to rent a car?

  23. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Paul-
    As long as the paper counterpart is valid then yes, you will be able to rent a car with valid photo ID such as your passport.

    Hope that helps – have a great rental
    Sabrina

  24. Lisa Foster Says:

    Dear Sabrina,
    My husband & I are travelling to Italy on Saturday & he can’t find his old style licence & I have lost the paper part of mine – I have the photo card.
    What can we do? We have already reserved the car through Expedia but want to know if there is anything I can do through the DVLA tomorrow to avoid any problems when we arrive (ie getting the DVLA to fax / email our licences to the Avis office in advance of our arrival?)
    We have a small child with us so would appreciate knowing how we can avoid a long wait!
    Thanks,
    Lisa

  25. Henry Says:

    Hi Sabrina,

    I only have a valid UK Driver’s Licence photocard i.e. no paper counterpart and desperately need to hire a car from late this evening at Heathrow. Apparently the Avis Heathrow branch does not permit an indemnity to be signed and I unfortunately arrive when the DVLA is closed. I spoke to the rental station directly last night and they told me that an advance check would still be possible if I call the DVLA during working hours today to give my consent for Avis to make the check, which I have done. Now I have been told by the Avis call centre that this is not possible and I am therefore not permitted to hire a car, refusing to transfer me to the rental station directly. This is all very frustrating and I do not find it really in the spirit of “We Try Harder”!

    Any ideas?

    Henry

  26. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Lisa-
    You will be fine to rent with Avis having just a valid plastic card part of your licence (with photo).
    Only in the UK do you need a paper counterpart too.

    Have a great rental!
    Sabrina

  27. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Henry-
    You should still be able to rent!

    If you have spoken to the DVLA to get an advanced check you can call Heathrow directly on 0844 544 6000.
    If they are happy with the info you pass on then there’s no reason you cannot rent. They will let you know if there are any further issues.

    Good luck – let us know if it gets sorted!
    Sabrina

  28. Henry Says:

    Thank you Sabrina, spoke to the bookings department this time (option 1) rather than the general enquiries (option 6) and it was no problem! I am happy and now convinced that you do indeed try harder!

  29. Sabrina Says:

    Fantastic news -pleased it’s sorted.
    Have a great rental Henry!

  30. Sarah Kamara Says:

    Hi, just a quick question. I need to book a hire car for Friday from Gatwick and have been told by AVIOS (want to use my AVIOS points) that AVIS require both the photo and paper part of my UK driving license in order to hire the car. I told them that this contradicted info I’d seen on the blog but just wanted to get a final opinion. I live in Dubai and have to come back for a funeral and really need a hire car. Can you help? Thanks.

  31. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Sarah-
    The information you were given is correct; when renting in the UK you do need both the paper part and photo card part of your licence.

    If the card, photo part has expired you can still use the paper part with your passport.

    Hope that helps- have a great rental!
    Sabrina

  32. Indranil Sen Gupta Says:

    I am an Indian national with a valid Indian driving license.

    Will I be able to rent a car from Avis on this basis whilst on a one-week holiday in Scotland.

    Is it necessary to have an International Driving Permit or will the Indian driving license be sufficient for Avis to rent me a car?

  33. Stephen Says:

    Hi there. We want to rent a car in florida but have just noticed that my husband has old points on his licence that are there from years ago and we have forgotten to send it back to dvla to get them removed. It’s 3 points. Will we still be able to rent?

  34. Helen Says:

    Hi Sabrina,

    We’re going to the US tomorrow and I sent off my driving licence to the dvla to be updated to my married name but it hasn’t come back yet. Can I be an additional driver without either part of my driving licence?

    Many thanks!

    Helen.

  35. Sabrina, Marketing Says:

    Hi Helen,
    I wish I could say otherwise but no, I’m afraid not.

    I would recommend that you contact the DVLA and ask them to email/fax a copy of your valid paper licence. If you have that, you should be able to be an additional driver without any problems.

    Best of luck. Have a fantastic trip!
    Sabrina

  36. Jacqui west Says:

    Hello ,

    Iam going to England to see my son , I just moved to northen Ireland this past month . Tried to change my address on both of my licence from the dvla but , they sent it back ,I filled in wrong from . Now my card is out of date my paper licence and card licence has two different address on it . Can I stil hire a car . Yes the paper one is valid .

  37. LWilkinson Says:

    Hi Indranil – sorry for the late reply. Your Indian driving licence will be fine for renting in the UK. Have a good trip!

  38. LWilkinson Says:

    Hi Sian – yes that will be fine.

  39. LWilkinson Says:

    Hi Jacqui – you will be able to hire a car with the paper part of your licence if you bring along some photo ID such a a passport.

  40. paul Says:

    Hi, we are travelling to Spain next week and would like to rent a car, however i only have the old style paper licence, is this ok or would i need an “IDP”
    Regards
    Paul

  41. Nikolaos Skaribas Says:

    Hi,
    My photocard licence has expired and I am abroad now so I don’t have time to renew it. I intend to travel to New Zealand soon and hire a car. Can I hire a car in NZ only with a valid paper counterpart of my licence and my passport as proof of identification?
    Thank you

  42. Harriet Says:

    Hi Sabrina,

    I found the blog really useful! Please can I just double check that I am ok to hire a hire the US and legally drive it without the paper part of my UK licence. (Both my paper part and my husband’s have gone missing and there is no time for a new one to arrive before we leave.)

    We both have the photocard part and they are in date.

    Many thanks,

    Harriet

  43. Claire Says:

    Hi Paul, a paper license is fine, just make sure you have some form of photo identification on you (eg. a passport)

  44. Claire Says:

    Hi Harriet, it is up to the discretion of branch you are renting from, but you should be able to rent a car with the photocard only.

  45. Claire Says:

    Hi Nikolaos, if you have the paper license then you can rent a car using a passport, at the discretion of the branch you are hiring from- so it is best to check beforehand.

  46. sitara Says:

    Hi Claire, I have a valid Indian Driving License. Will I be able to rent a car in Zurich? Do let me know! Thanks

  47. Claire Says:

    Hi Sitara,
    If your license is in the roman alphabet then it will be accepted at the discretion of the local branch. If it is possible, then an international license is certainly advisable to avoid any possible problems.

  48. rentalq Says:

    Hello, I do not see a reply to this above, could you let us know as I am in a similar situation but for an imminent rental in the USA?

    Peter Robbins Says:
    October 26th, 2011 at 9:57 pm
    Like many people in UK I have a Driving Licence which I need to renew every 3 years because of a medical condition.
    I have recently renewed mine which means it has a ‘valid from’ date of less than a year ago – although I have held a full licence continuously for many years.
    Will this affect my ability to rent a car in Europe given that most car-hire companies require drivers to have had a licence for at least a year?
    what happens if this is queried when picking the car up?

    Thank you

  49. Jordan Says:

    Hello Thomas,
    There is no minimum requirement to hold a license for Avis USA, so this shouldn’t be a problem. Regarding rentals in Europe, it’s best to check for each country as the policy varies.
    I hope this helps,
    Jordan

  50. Craig Says:

    I am a UK license holder but I live abroad. I am looking ot hire a car from LHR. Firstly, what do I put as my country of residence? Will my country affect my rate? Secondly, I have my photo card but my paper counterpart is back in Bristol. Will a scanned copy of this suffice?

    Thanks

  51. Catherine Says:

    Hi I am looking to hire a car I passed my test last January but didn’t get my license until the April of the same year do was wondering do I have to wait until April or is the date on the back of my license showing when I passed my test acceptable but on the paper counterpart it’s got April on it so I’m a bit confused whether I can hire a car or not.

    Thanks Catherine

  52. Jordan Says:

    Hello Catherine,
    The minimum requirements to hire a car with Avis in the UK are: Minimum 3 years Full Driving Licence, at least 1 year Full Clean Licence and a Credit Card at the Driver’s name. Drivers under 25 years of age will be charged a Young Driver Surcharge of £39 incl. VAT per day.

  53. Jordan Says:

    Hello Craig,
    Your country of residence will be the one you live in nowadays. As for the paper part of the licence, it’s best to check with the local branch to see if they would accept a photocopy of it or they would run a DVLA check.

  54. Long Says:

    Hi, im thinking of hiring a car from Avis while I am in the usa. I only have my UK photocard license with me. Is this still acceptable?

    Thanks,
    Long

  55. Jordan Says:

    Hello there,
    You would need to go to the Avis branch where you would like to pick up the car from and see if, at their discretion, they would accept only the plastic part of your driving licence. Usually you will be required to provide both parts of the licence when hiring a car.

  56. michele Says:

    Hi I have lost paper part of license – can I still rent a car in Austrailia with just my photo license

  57. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hi Michele

    If you are a UK resident you will require both parts of your driving licence (paper and card). The DVLA should be able to supply you with a duplicate paper part.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  58. Selcuk Says:

    Hi Dear,

    I am a resident of Uk for 16 months. I know foreign driving licence is valid for only 1 year following the date of entry to uk. Can I hire a car still?

  59. marion Says:

    can anyone help
    I am 70 and my UK license expired last year, I have lived in Spain for over 3years I dont run a car and didnt renew the license but now want to be able to hire/ drive in Spain. I have all the documentation including the hoto card, EXCEPT my original paper license ( I have a photocopy that was used for car hire which is a colour copy and has the photocard on it too ) If I go to the dvlc site they ask me what address I want on the new license…although I have a UK address for visits and post etc i dont live there permanently now……any suggestions???? I think it is much more difficult to get a Spanish licence as a resident????

  60. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Hi Marion

    Thank you for your comments. Regrettably we are unable to assist with this query and you will need to contact the DVLA directly.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  61. The Avis Blog Team Says:

    Thank you for your query. You will be able to find further information on this topic at https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence/y. It will depend on where your licence was issued as to whether you will require a new UK driving licence.

    In respect of Avis rentals in the UK, drivers must have held a full driver’s licence for a minimum of 36 months at the time of rental. For rentals in Ireland, customers must have been eligible to hold a valid drivers licence for 8 years of which 2 must be at a full driver’s licence qualification. Please note drivers licence requirements for Avis car hire may differ for other countries, please check the terms and conditions prior to booking.

    Regards,
    The Avis Blog Team

  62. Karen emslie Says:

    Hello, I am very pleased to see this forum, and the quick responses. I am in Chile and I am going to La Serena, I am hoping to rent a car on the 26th for three days. I have my paper license, and my passport. I don’t have my photo card, will I be Abe to rent a car? I hope so! Thanks, Karen

  63. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Karen,

    Depends on a few factors. Please send your full requirement to socialmedia@avis.co.uk
    Include car type / dates / location and I’ll check with the office you wish to collect from for you.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  64. Victoria Says:

    Hello, please can you confirm that I will be able to hire/collect a car in Italy (collection in Pisa) with only my UK photo licence (and not the paper licence).

    Many thanks
    Victoria

  65. Jamie Says:

    I passed my test ten years ago lost my paper licence and got a new card one it’s says valid from march 14. Can I hire in Spain ? I have both card and paper now

  66. Peter Says:

    Hi,

    I travel out to florida for a family holiday on Tuesday but can’t find my photo card part of my licence. I do have a valid paper part.

    Can I still rent a car with Avis using my paper part and passport?

    Thanks

    Paul

  67. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Victoria,

    You will require both your paper and photo license in Italy.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  68. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Peter,

    This would be at the discretion of the Florida office.

    You will have to contact them directly to confirm if this would be ok.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  69. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Jamie,

    As long as it states when you’ve originally passed your driving test on the matching photo card driving license, then that would be permitted.

    Please provide full hire requirement and we’ll produce a quote for your consideration.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  70. Chris Says:

    Hi,

    I am travelling to Spain in a 3 days and I have lost my paper part of my license an i am not sure if the replacement will arrive in time… will i still be able to rent the car with only my photo card license?

    Thanks
    Chris

  71. Alex Says:

    Hi, Can I rent a car from Malaga airport (Spain) with only the paper part of my license (lost my latest photo card)? I will obviously have my passport.

  72. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Spain requires both parts of your UK license. They will not release the vehicle if you are unable to present both.

    Anything else, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

  73. Daniel, Avis Social Says:

    Hi Alex,

    You’ll need both parts of your UK license at all location in Spain.

    Many Thanks,

    Dan
    Avis Social Media

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