Hertz has issued an apology to a Puerto Rican customer after an employee refused to accept his prepaid car rental due to his failure to show his passport. Humberto Marchando had presented his Puerto Rican driver’s license at a Hertz counter at Louis Armstrong International Airport, where the employee asked for his passport, despite it being unnecessary to rent a car in the United States. Marchando, a US citizen from Puerto Rico, was treated like a foreigner by the employee who banned his rental as he was not in possession of his passport.
Hertz released a statement to CNN, expressing regret at the breach of their own policy and refunded the rental fee. The company apologized to Marchando and disclosed that Puerto Rican driver’s licenses were accepted as valid in the United States. Hertz affirmed their commitment to ensuring that their policies are adhered to by their employees across all their locations.
Marchando recorded the encounter with the Hertz employee and posted it to his Twitter account. The video shows the employee requesting to leave the premises, repeatedly insisting that a Puerto Rican driver’s license is equivalent to a license issued in any other US state. The employee went as far as to threaten to contact the police, resulting in Marchando consenting to the threat. The police officer who was subsequently called to the scene did not mention the Border Patrol, ICE or other immigration authorities.
It is not known whether Hertz disciplined the employee, but the company has reiterated that all their employees have been briefed on Puerto Rico’s long-standing policy on driver’s licenses. The Kenner Police Department has reviewed the footage from the incident and suggested that the officer had not mentioned any involvement with immigration authorities. The department is expected to release a statement detailing its findings.