Does an Au Pair need a California Driver’s License?

Cultural Care requires that all our au pair candidates obtain an International Driver’s License from their home country to participate in the au pair program. Many host families in California require their au pair to drive as part of their duties, but not all of these families allow driving during the au pair’s off-duty or personal time.  It is the host families responsibility to provide transportation for their au pair to complete the required J-1 visa components; attending educational classes & monthly meetings with the Local Childcare Coordinator.

An au pair is considered a visitor and will not obtain California residency while participating in the au pair program. If you are an au pair in California and have a valid driver license from your country, you may drive in California without getting a California driver license as long as your home country license remains valid. However, most car insurance companies will not insure a driver without a California Driver’s License. An au pair must be listed on the Host Family’s car insurance if she/he will be driving in the US.

Cultural Care strongly urges all au pairs to obtain a state license, as it is the only way to make certain that their ability to drive legally in the state is not called into question.

It is a misdemeanor to drive in California without a valid driver license. If you do, you can be cited, your vehicle may be impounded, and you may have to appear in court.

Cultural Care recommends that all of our host family’s clearly state expectations in their Host Family Handbooks regarding the au pair’s car use. Most host family’s have car rules on topics such as payment for gas off-duty, mileage boundaries, car curfews, eating in the car, and cleanliness.  Driving is a privilege and the host family may take away this privilege if the au pair does not follow the host family’s rules.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017 10:44 PM


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