For stays in the U.S. of less than 3 months, it is a good idea to have an international driver's license. An international license is actually a translation of your driver's license (you must show it WITH your original driver's license). Then, if you get stopped, you can be sure that the police will understand your legal document!
Note that you must have a valid driver's license to rent a car. You must also provide a credit card (to pre-authorize the damage deposit) and finally, you must be at least 18 years old (note that there is a fee for young drivers, i.e. under 25 years old).
However, the principal driver must be at least 25 years old.
When you pick up your vehicle, you will also need to show your passport, so be sure to have it handy.
Each state has its own laws. You should inquire before departure whether there are any differences worth noting.
Stick to your good habits: while in some states seat belts are only mandatory for children, we still recommend caution and using them at all times!
The average maximum highway speed is 65 miles per hour (equivalent to about 100 km/h). Vehicle speeds are checked by radar.
Be especially careful of speed limits in highway construction zones: the penalties are very severe (fines are often doubled)!
Authentik Tip: just like in Canada, roads running north-south have odd numbers (e.g.: I-95 for Interstate-95) and those running east-west have even numbers (like the famous Route 66). Almost all highways are called "Interstate" because they connect one state to another.
Roads in the U.S. are very well maintained and one of the reasons for this is the tolls that are collected on many highways.
When renting a vehicle, we recommend that you carry the equivalent of $20 in one-dollar and five-dollar bills for easy payment at tollbooths ("toll plazas"). Payment is in cash only for visitors, so you will have to pull into a lane where cash is accepted (do not stay in the EZ PASS lane).
So make sure you have a small amount of cash with you whenever you are in the vehicle.
Be aware that if you have to take a Turnpike, it means that you will pass at least one tollbooth on your way. You can avoid these toll roads, but it will slow you down considerably.
It may be useful to calculate the tolls, depending on the states you visit.
Stopping along the road
Highways in the United States are lined with well-marked rest stops. If you are traveling with children, you'll be glad to know that you can take breaks if necessary. If you plan to make a few stops, it may be wise to leave early in the morning to avoid getting stuck in tourist traffic!
Also, if you want to stop for a few pictures, be sure to pull over in a safe spot.
Note that parking is often provided at the most spectacular viewpoints in popular destinations.