What Do You Need to Rent a Car | Budget Rent a Car


What Do You Need to Pick Up Your Rental Car?

What do you need to rent a car?

You need a valid driver’s license or ID and a valid credit or debit card for paying a deposit to pick up a rental car. You will also need to have a clean driving record. Check with your rental location to verify whether anything else is needed.

1. Valid Driver’s License

When you arrive to pick up your rental car reservation, you will need to show a valid driver’s license issued in the U.S. or Canada with your name on it. Budget does not accept digital driver’s licenses for rental.  Please bring a hard copy of your drivers licensee at the time of rental. If you would like to rent a car in the United States but you are from Canada, you will also need to present a current passport or Enhanced Driver’s License with your name on it.

If you are from any other country, you will need to show a driver’s license and passport. And if you are from a country that does not use the Roman alphabet for writing, you will need a driver’s license, passport, and an International Driving Permit in your name. All renters from outside the U.S. and Canada must also show proof of a return trip to the country where they live or their rental rates may change. 

Florida Only:  Certain, limited out-of-state licenses are not, pursuant to state law, recognized by the State of Florida to drive a vehicle on public roads.  These licenses are not valid for identification purposes and will have a statement similar to:

o             Not For Federal Identification

o             Driving Privilege Only

o             Not Valid for Identification

This policy applies to any state that issues this type of driver’s license, including Connecticut & Delaware.

Other Forms of ID

Renters using a debit card may be asked for a third form of ID, in addition to their license and debit card. The following are acceptable as a third form of identification:

  • A round-trip airline ticket, e-ticket, or travel itinerary to or from the airport of rental, disclosing a return date and showing the renter's name (airport locations only)

  • A valid U.S. passport or current U.S. military identification card

  • A current vehicle insurance card

  • A current copy (within the last 60 days) of the customer's cellular phone bill, home telephone bill, bank statement or utility bill

Traffic Citations and Summonses

Budget will also accept traffic citations and official summonses from courts in place of a driver’s license, but only in Indiana, Illinois, Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. A traffic citation or summons is acceptable until the date of the court summons, and you will have to present a second form of identification containing a signature. For example, you may bring a passport, company ID, store credit card, or library card. The preferred second form of ID is a major credit card. 

ID When Renting Internationally

A driver’s license, passport, and International Driving Permit from your home country are the standard requirements for international rentals. There are a few exceptions, which are listed below.

  • European Union (EU) residents may use their EU driver’s license OR an International Driving Permit and driver’s license.

  • In some cases, renters who are traveling abroad may not be required to show an International Driving Permit, but it is always better to be prepared.

  • If your license is not written with the Roman alphabet, you will be required to show an International Driving Permit instead of a driver’s license.


2. Credit or Debit Card for Deposit

Budget will place a hold on your debit or credit card at the time of rental to cover estimated charges plus up to $500. Be aware that a debit card hold limits the amount of funds available in the account associated with your card.

The minimum hold amount is $100 for the following services:

  • Insurance or auto repair replacement rentals

  • Budget.com pre-paid rentals

  • Tour rentals 

Canadian rental holds are $750 CAD for the first day and $75 CAD for each additional day.

Budget accepts major credit cards, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa, JBC/Japan Card, Optima, Budget International, and Budget Charge Card. Some locations will accept a debit card, but they may run a credit check or require a third form of ID. (See “Check the Requirements for Your Rental Location” below.) 

Prepaid credit or debit cards are not acceptable for deposits, but they can be used for final payments.

Debit Card Exceptions

  • Renters younger than 25 must present a credit card; they cannot present a debit card. In New York, renters may present a debit card if they are 18 years or older.

  • Some locations do not accept debit cards for a deposit at the time of rental. These locations will generally accept debit cards for payment when the car is returned.

  • Locations that do accept debit cards at time of rental will perform a credit check to determine and ensure credit worthiness before releasing the car to you.

Rental Extensions

It's perfectly fine if you choose not to return the car on or before your scheduled return date. However, you must contact a Budget reservation agent at 800-527-7000 on or before that date so we can accommodate your request if possible. 

Typically, we will assess a $10 service fee for the extended rental and place up to three additional holds on your card (depending on how long you keep the car) to cover expected rental charges. Upon your return of the car, all holds will be released, and the actual cost of the rental will be charged. 

Please note that if you choose to extend your rental, your original rental rate may no longer be available. Also note that your bank may take up to two weeks to post the released credit hold to your card. Unfortunately, we cannot be held responsible for any returned checks due to debit card hold processing.


3. Clean Driving Record

Some corporate-operated Budget locations will contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to verify that you, and any additional drivers, have a clean driving record before completing your rental transaction. We will also verify that the renter and additional drivers have presented valid and current driver’s licenses. 

Budget reserves the right to deny a car rental to someone with certain infractions on their driving record including, but not limited to, drunk or reckless driving, auto theft, revoked or suspended license, and multiple accidents within a 36-month period.

Check the Requirements for Your Rental Location

You may be subject to a credit check or present additional identification.  Acceptable forms of additional identification are:  Valid passport or travel visa, military identification, birth certificate, marriage license, ATM card with customer name printed on face of card, health care identification card with customer’s name printed on face of card or company/college/university identification with a photograph.  In some cases, you may be required to present an alternate credit card.

The requirements to rent a car may vary by location, so it is always a good idea to verify all rental information in your reservation confirmation. You can also check with your rental location to find out if there are specific restrictions that apply to your reservation. Check the details by following the steps outlined below.

  1. Find the location’s page on Budget.com. 

  2. On that page, scroll down to the “Terms & Conditions” section.

  3. Click where it says “Required Credentials.”


Other useful information can be found under “Driver’s License Requirements” and “Additional Fees and Credit Holds.”


Additional Things to Consider When Renting a Car

Now that you know what you need to rent a car, here are a few additional things to consider when you rent a car from Budget:


What Do You Need to Rent a Car?

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