May visitors drive with US licence in Cayman?

| 30/07/2017

My family will be coming to visit Grand Cayman soon. I am wondering if I can drive there using my US driver’s license?

Auntie’s answer: You are not allowed to drive with only your foreign licence; you are required to get a visitor’s permit before taking a car out on the road here. But the good news is that it is a relatively painless process.

If you will be hiring a car to use here, the rental agency will be able to issue you with a visitor’s driving permit, which usually costs about US$20.

If you will be staying with friends or family and borrowing a private car while here, you are still required to get the permit, but you will have to go through the Department of Vehicle and Driver’s Licensing (DVDL). The cost there is the same, at CI$16.

The department has several locations in Grand Cayman, but unfortunately none is by the airport. And be sure you bring your US licence, plus your passport and the white immigration card you were given on arrival. You might also want to bring along a good book in case the office is busy. For more information on the process, here is a link to the DVDL website.

(In case you’re wondering, as this is a British territory, ‘licence’ is spelled with two C’s.)

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Category: Ask Auntie

Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Any update from the department about fixing their website to show the latest law?

  2. Anonymous says:

    My personal auto insurance covers any licensed driver over 21, however, it stipulates that the licence must be a Cayman licence. Therefore if my family member caused an accident while driving my car, the insurance company would not pay.

    Answer to all of the above is; check with your own car insurance policy.

  3. anonymous says:

    Interesting aside about the British English spelling of “licence”. Also, “Aunty” is reportedly used more frequently in British English than the American English “Auntie”. But good luck trying to get through to the American publisher of our daily newspaper that in Cayman we use British English because we are a British territory. Totally bonkers and most confusing for our visitors!

    CNS: ‘Auntie’ is used just as much as ‘aunty’ in the UK in my experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t hear much British English, perhaps because there are not that many British around.

      • anonymous says:

        You misunderstand, Caymanians are British and British English is the official form of English in the Cayman Islands, as it is in current and former British territories. (And you don’t “hear” British English, you read it!)

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can someone check on what is right and what is wrong and pass along to ius and the rental companies? If the car rental agencies are ripping off tourists, that would be quite terrible. Caymankind?

    • Sharkey says:

      The rental companies wouldn’t be the only one ripping off , if they charge U.S $20 and the DVDL charge CI$16. Wouldn’t that be the same thing .

  5. Annie says:

    I went to the DVDL a few months ago to get a permit for a friend visiting from the UK. I was told by a representative of the DVDL that a permit is not needed of the visitor is here for less than three months. Is this not true?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Go to AAA in the US and buy an international driver’s license if you are going to be in Cayman more than once. It is accepted in Cayman and cheaper and quicker than buying a local permit every time you come.

    • Anonymous says:

      A US drivers license is accepted in Cayman, which is why all you need in order to drive here as a visitor is to obtain a visitor’s permit (and also why you can obtain a full license as a resident without testing provided you do so within an accepted time frame of moving here). The IDL is a waste of your money if that’s your purpose.

      • Anonymous says:

        My purpose is to rent a car, which requires more than my home state license no matter what you say the law is.

      • Anonymous says:

        The International Driving Permit is valid for 1 year and can be used in most countries of the world. If you travel more than once a year, it is a savings.

  7. Anonymous says:

    It is a rip off. The US should respond in kind and make Caymanians get a d/l every time they go to the US and drive. Again a third world countries grab for a few bucks and a few unnecessary jobs for those unemployed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Non USA drivers licence holders are required to have an international driver’s licence by law at least in the state of Florida. However, it may extend to the entire USA. It is not the duty of the rental agents to tell you either. However, if a police officer has the knowledge (key point here) and pulls you over, you are at risk for driving illegally.

  8. Anonymous says:

    US citizens can also obtain an International Drivers License which is valid for 12 months from their local AAA office at a minimal cost.

    • Anonymous says:

      The international drivers license is only useful in countries where your original license might not be recognized via a reciprocal agreement. You would still need to obtain a visitor’s permit here in order to legally drive.

  9. Wrong info says:

    CNS, I am sorry you are wrong, a visitor is now allowed to drive on their countries license for a period no longer than 6 months. This was changed in 2014. This visitors licence is now just a tool for the rental companies to make a couple extra dollars now, they have being cheating the tourist for the last couple of years.
    Call up Courtney Myles at license dept and he will inform you of this.

    • Anonymous says:

      Is this true?

    • violated says:

      So then I have been fleeced out of an extra $240.00 by Andys “Why pay more” and Budget rentals for our family’s last four visits? I’m going to have to take a shower.