ID Card (noun) – a card bearing identifying data (as age or organizational membership) about the individual whose name appears thereon.
Betcha thought this was going to be a post about the TSA. It’s not. It’s about Budget Rent-A-Car. And Germans. And their rules.
Last Sunday my friend and I planned to head down to the Stuttgart region for the day to visit her family. I had reserved an automatic car from Budget at Frankfurt Airport–because I don’t drive stick shift–and a back-up from Hertz just in case (which happened to be a BMW 6 Series convertible!). Last time I did this, Budget claimed they did not have any automatic cars, but this time they had one. But there was another problem.
My interaction with the attendant went something like this:
Attendant: May I have your ID please?
(I handed over my driver’s licence)
Attendant: No, this is your driver’s licence, I need your ID.
Me: This is my ID.
Attendant: No, this is your license.
Me: It has my name name and address on it. My picture too.
Attendant: Yes, but it is not issued by the government.
Me: Yes it is. Look a the top of the card.
Attendant: I realize that, but this is your driver’s licence. I need a government-issued ID, not license.
Me (chuckling): This is an ID…an identification card…it identifies me. You can see my picture. The credit card name matches. I don’t have a national ID card. They are not issued.
Attendant: Where is your passport?
Me: At home. I am just going to Stutgarrt.
Attendant: It is not possible to give you the car.
Me: Because you don’t know it’s me?
Attendant: Becuase I need to see your ID.
* * *
Thankfully, my friend had an “ID” card of the German variant, and presented it. We got the car. And it was a blessing in a way–she did all the driving!
But please, don’t tell me that a driver’s licence issued by the State of California with all the pertinent information on it is not an ID. The picture on the card matched me. The name on the card matched the car reservation and the credit card. It even had the glittery “official” seal on it that Germans love. A passport was NOT requried (though I will be sure to bring it along next time), only an “ID card”.
While I do love Germans and their order and discipline, this seems to be another “rule” that is devoid of reason and logic. Or am I missing something?