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  1. Default Questions about Probabtionary License

    Hi all,

    My first post here. Just wanna say hello :)

    I'm a 26-year-old gal from Hong Kong, looking to quit my job and do a coast to coast road trip along route 50 in May 2010. Everything is just in the initial brainstorming stage but would like to know one most important thing before I buy tickets and get all excited about the plan etc.

    I'm new to the road. Literally. I'm on HK probationary driving license, which basically means I haven't got my license for over a year (in fact, just passed my test last week). They can't issue me an International Driving Permit unless I have the proper license. Question is, will I be able to rent a car with my home-based probationary license? In fact, am I even allowed to drive in the US with that?

    I will be travelling alone, so asking a companion to drive instead would be quite impossible. If there's no way around this I'll probably have to postpone my trip.

    Appreciate your help!


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    What are the restrictions of your probationary license? Is the license in English?

  3. Default


    Thanks for your reply!

    My license has both Chinese and English descriptions, so language shouldn't be a problem. But apart from classifying my license as "Probationary Class", it did no say what the actual restrictions are. Rental companies will need to check online.

    By law, the restrictions are pretty straight forward. A probationary driving license holder cannot drive over 70kmphr (around 45mph) in Hong Kong (speed limit is around 60mph / on highway) and cannot drive on the fast lane. I also have to put a big "P" sign at the back of my car to let other drivers know a newbie is driving.

    I hope this is clear enough, and thanks again!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    I'm not qualified to give legal advice, but my gut feeling is you shouldn't drive here with that license. I'd recommend that you wait till you have an unrestricted license and some more experience before you make the trip. If you are used to driving on the left side of the road, at 45 mph or less, and not in the fast lane, you shouldn't drive here until you have more experience. This is just my opinion, and please don't think I'm trying to discourage you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default not legal advice

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    This certainly isn't legal advice, but I would tend to agree that you probably would not be allowed to drive in the US with the license you have. Generally speaking, you get to drive under the same rules in the US as you do at home, but I suspect you need to have a full - fledged license before that applies. I'll also say that if you can't drive more than 45 mph, you really shouldn't be on a US highway.

    Beyond legalities, I'd also agree that you probably shouldn't try to drive here until you have a bit more experience anyway. It may not be what you want to hear, but I think you'll be much better off waiting until you've got your full license and the experience that goes with it.

  6. Default

    Thank you both, the advice you gave are not unlike what my friends and family suggested - wait till I'm more experienced on the road. Guess I'll have to put the plan on hold.

    Thanks anyway,

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