auto

What if I lose driver's license on a trip?

Tara Baukus MelloDear Driving for Dollars,
I was flying to visit my grandkids and lost my driver's license somewhere en route. I ended up not driving while I was on my trip and used my passport as ID to fly back home, but it was horribly inconvenient. What should I have done?
-- Joyce

Dear Joyce,
A driver's license is handy identification for so many purposes, but driving, of course, is the key. In most states, you can be cited for driving without a license in your possession. But if you needed to drive and got stopped by law enforcement for some reason, you could offer your passport as identification and a copy of any report you filed (such as with the airline or Transportation Security Administration), stating that your license was lost while traveling.

Depending on how long your trip was, you could have contacted your home state's Department of Motor Vehicles office to request a temporary or replacement license. Most states can expedite this request, though they may only send the replacement to your home address, which may not be any help if no one is there to pick it up and mail it to you.

In short, it's a big pain to lose your driver's license while traveling, and it can be especially difficult to rent a car or book a hotel room without one, not to mention the legalities of driving without a license in your possession, depending on the states.

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