Viva L'Afrique!

To Africa and Back

The Phone Call That Fixed It All

I’ve been on the road the past two days between Ohio and North Carolina. Even though it’s not too long of a drive, I stopped because it was raining non-stop. Now that I’m back, it’s back to dealing with this rental car issue. After spending over a week contacting First Car Rental – and being transferred back and forth, told someone would check for me, then that I had to do it myself, only to have them redirect the question back to the people who told me to contact another office – they tell me a certified copy of my license will not be sufficient proof of how long I’ve held my license. 

My dad told me to look through AAA, and they list all the major companies with car rental services at the Port Elizabeth airport. I checked through the prices, and they are a bit higher than First. Regardless, even if I could rent with First, at this point, I don’t want to.

I almost went with Budget. They didn’t list any requirements for how long I’ve held a license, thus, no need to have any proof. I called just to make sure, and the customer service rep said I’d need a license that I’d held for at least one year. Less than the rest, but still, I am just now updating my license. I asked him about a certified copy of my driving record, and he clearly had no idea what I was talking about. But he agreed that that would be great to bring with me. I wasn’t feeling too confident, so I decided to call the DMV and plead with them to let me keep my old license.

And then something amazing happened. I asked if there was any way to keep my old license, the man at the DMV paused and was like, “You always get your license returned. You can keep it.” I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulder. I thanked him about 5 times, got off the phone, and went back to Thrifty, my first choice for car rental. I have been so worried about this license thing for over a week for two reasons. In Georgia, they took my old license and never gave it back. I had fair reason to assume all DMVs do this. Second, when I contacted my local DMV email customer support, they told me I’d need to get those certified records from Georgia and that they couldn’t help me. So after a lot of misleading information, a simple phone call fixed everything. I couldn’t be happier.

I’m about to make my reservation through AAA for a mid-size car from Thrifty Rental company. I may just get those certified records as a precaution – my International Driving Permit, too! – just to have everything with me. I am slowly accumulating quite a stack of documents to travel with.

Thursday I go in for my second Twinrix shot, and I will probably get a MMR booster, too. When I looked at my childhood vaccine records, I only received one shot, and the new recommendation for immunity is at least two. I can’t believe I had to call and ask for another shot.

I need to email Igna with a few questions about the reservation, but other than that, things are just about figured out. I can’t believe it’s only a few weeks away now.


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