I am a Swedish citizen, J1 visa holder in the US since 15 months, so for immigration and tax purposes I am a non-immigrant, non-resident alien. I'm going to rent a car over Thanksgiving, and found that the rates are extremely different depending on if I select USA or Sweden as country of residence - a factor 3 cheaper for Swedes, and that includes liability insurance, which is not included when you are American. I have both a US driving license and a Swedish driving license, but the Swedish license is not valid to use here anymore since I have been here for more than a year.

The rental car company (Alamo) says that they consider you as a resident of the country for which you have a license - so then I am a resident of both?

Can I rent the car showing my Swedish license and still be covered by the liability insurance?

  • 1
    I think a strict reading of most states' licensing laws is that you are not allowed to drive in that state with an out-of-state license after living there for longer than a certain period of time. You are probably fine to drive in the other 49 states with your Swedish license. Whether the rental company or insurer will have any problem with that, I have no idea.
    – phoog
    Nov 20 '15 at 21:21
  • I'll definitely be carrying both licenses while driving - and I will most likely not be driving in the state for which I have the license. We live in Maryland, but will rent the car in DC and drive southwards through Virginia and North Carolina. So you're saying that in principle a foreign license holder who has been in the U.S. for more than 12 months legally can drive in any state except for the state where they live?
    – jolindbe
    Nov 21 '15 at 0:05
  • Well I'm no lawyer, but since driving laws are all at the state level, it seems that way. I live in New York with my non immigrant (G4) spouse, so I've looked at the New York laws in some detail. They say nothing about what license anyone needs if they've lived in any other jurisdiction for any length of time. If you want to be really thorough, read all the laws of all the states you'll visit (and DC). As long as your Swedish license is valid in Sweden's eyes, I think you can use it outside of Maryland. Insurance is another matter. You might want to read the fine print there.
    – phoog
    Nov 21 '15 at 2:28

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