The simple answer is no, all au pairs do not drive. About 85% of our available au pairs have a driver’s license in their home country, but not all Host Families need a driver or provide a car to their au pair for personal use. Those Host Families who do provide a car often require the au pair to stay within a certain radius, say one hour, to prevent accidents or other problems and also require au pair to pay for mileage or gas use. With all the benefits for the au pair, a vehicle to use is not always among them.
What to do about having no car? One solution can be UBER, which many Host Families find helpful to provide safe transportation for their au pairs for a reasonable price. Another local solution is LYFT, a taxi-like service available in only some parts of RI. In our area, some au pairs live in a rather rural area, while others have easy access to public transportation. Au pairs without cars can feel isolated and left out of activities which require travel and are not convenient for the family to drive him or her. Some find friends to pick them up or Host Families provide a bus pass or rides to local places. Please consider how your au pair will get around when he or she is off-duty.
We at Go Au Pair are here to make sure your cultural childcare experience is the best ever. Go Au Pair has over 300 available skilled caregivers for your screening. You can even see extensive driving experience & details including how long the au pair has held her license, how often she drives, type of vehicle she’s used to driving & type of driving (ie: city, country, etc).Choose from an array of options from languages to skills to budget plans.
If you do need a driver, I recommend you help your au pair obtain a state-issued driver’s license, even if your state allows him or her to drive with their home license or on an International Driver’s Permit. That’s right, not all states recognize an au pair’s license from their home country or the International Driver’s Permit, which can only be obtained in the home country BEFORE your au pair comes to you.
The Providence Journal answered this exact question for us, and the answer has not changed. In Rhode Island, the International Driver’s Permit is recognized for one year and after that, au pairs who stay beyond 12 months and want to continue to drive need to obtain the RI Driver’s license. This is really a good idea, I think, as it proves to both au pair and Host Family, that the au pair is able to follow driving laws and is responsible enough to carry your children. By the way, all the drivers in your home might want to read my article about winter driving.
In Massachusetts, the police recognized a whole list of countries’ licenses, without the International Driver’s Permit, and does not recognize others. Be sure to look at Appendex C for the complete list. In Connecticut, the rule is essentially the same as RI, with the International Driver’s Permit, accompanied by the valid country license, is recognized for a period of one year. After that time, a CT-issued driver’s license must be obtained. One issue can arise when insurance companies question the addition of a driver with a foreign license. Here again, it is judicious to obtain a state-issued driver’s license.
My name is Joan Lowell; I am the Go Au Pair LAR (Local Area Rep) for Providence, RI. We are accepting families anywhere in the RI, CT, MA region with a generous local discount. Please contact me at or 401-309-1925 for more information.