Hello
Guest

Sponsored Links


Topic: US license but perm UK resident - does this invalidate US rental car insurance?  (Read 279 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

  • *
  • Posts: 54

  • Liked: 3
  • Joined: Jan 2015
I've been a UK resident for 20+ years but still maintain a driver's license in Massachusetts (at my brother's address and the state where I was last resident).

When visiting the US, I rarely drive but when I do, I rent a car on my US license. But I'll be driving more on future visits so it had me wondering. If I were to have an accident, would my not being a US resident invalidate any insurance claims in any way? Would the insurance company even know that I'm not a resident? I don't have a UK license b/c I live in London and don't need to drive.

It would be great to hear anyone's personal experience with this. 


  • *
  • Posts: 17841

  • Liked: 4636
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
How are you demonstrating your "lawful presence" documentation when you renew your license?  I suspect you haven't yet had to switch to a REAL ID (of which the purpose is to ensure people are in fact residents of the state their license is issued)...

Have you severed ties with MA regarding state taxes?  By declaring yourself domiciled in another country, it would be really hard to prove you are a resident and therefore your drivers license is valid....  One of those "can't have it both ways" situations. 

Like all insurance, it's one of those things where you'd only be caught out in case of a claim.  But with litigation still being one of the top ways people becomes millionaires in the USA.... I'd personally not take the risk. 

I'd ask the car rental agency...  they are the ones who will either accept an insurance claim or deny it


  • *
  • Posts: 3219

  • Liked: 549
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
I agree with everything KFDancer says.

Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


  • *
  • Posts: 54

  • Liked: 3
  • Joined: Jan 2015
All fair points, I just hadn't really considered any of this before b/c I rarely drove while in the US. Makes sense. Thanks!

How are you demonstrating your "lawful presence" documentation when you renew your license?  I suspect you haven't yet had to switch to a REAL ID (of which the purpose is to ensure people are in fact residents of the state their license is issued)...

Have you severed ties with MA regarding state taxes?  By declaring yourself domiciled in another country, it would be really hard to prove you are a resident and therefore your drivers license is valid....  One of those "can't have it both ways" situations. 

Like all insurance, it's one of those things where you'd only be caught out in case of a claim.  But with litigation still being one of the top ways people becomes millionaires in the USA.... I'd personally not take the risk. 

I'd ask the car rental agency...  they are the ones who will either accept an insurance claim or deny it


  • *
  • Posts: 17841

  • Liked: 4636
  • Joined: Jun 2012
  • Location: Wokingham
Since the inception of Real ID, it is now a case of expats being unable to renew their license (without bold lies to the government).

I know you don't drive in the UK and it would be awful to go through the process of getting a license here.  But if you think you'll want to start driving on trips to the USA and that those trips will become more and more frequent, I'd consider jumping through the hoops and getting your UK license.

It's actually usually much cheaper to rent on a UK license as all insurance has to be included.  Back in the day, you would find that those with both licenses would choose to use their UK license due to the cost savings.

When Real ID meant I couldn't renew my Florida license anymore, I was bummed because of losing "Florida resident discounts" at theme parks.  Well, again, it turns out that the Florida Resident discounts aren't as good as the discounts offered to Brits! 


  • *
  • Posts: 159

  • Liked: 13
  • Joined: Dec 2011
Re: Real ID - some states (I don't know if MA, the OP's, is one of them or not) will still allow you to get a non-Real-ID-compliant license that grants you driving privileges but not accepted for federal ID purposes. In the case of an American expat they'd also have a US passport which would be accepted when the feds require a compliant ID.

Having said that, the OP should beware of any tax ramifications, etc. of maintaining such a license if what I said applies.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2022, 04:32:18 PM by Kelly85 »


  • *
  • Posts: 3219

  • Liked: 549
  • Joined: Nov 2012
  • Location: Eee, bah gum.
Re: Real ID - some states (I don't know if MA, the OP's, is one of them or not) will still allow you to get a non-Real-ID-compliant license that grants you driving privileges but not accepted for federal ID purposes.

But will those States issue the license to someone who they know is resident in another country?  I think that is the real issue here. Maybe the license application asks for a correspondence address rather than an address where the applicant is resident.  I think nomads who have no physical house and cruise from place to place throughout the year in their RVs have to maintain a correspondence address in a particular State for tax and residency purposes.
Dual USC/UKC living in the UK since May 2016


Sponsored Links





 

coloured_drab