Will I Have An Assigned Car and Driver?

NO.  Absolutely NOT.  Please get this myth out of your head before applying to the Foreign Service.

The only time you’ll have a car a driver dedicated to you is when you purchase your own car and hire your own driver, or, if you’re good or lucky enough to make ambassador.  But even ambassadors have limits on what they can use official vehicles for.  In general, embassy cars and drivers are for official use ONLY.

So, if you have to head to an official meeting after work, the embassy car can take you to your meeting.  However, if after the meeting you need to go home and home is the other direction of the embassy, you’re on your own.  Officially, the embassy vehicle can only take you back home if passing your home is “incidental” to the vehicle heading to another OFFICIAL location.

The regulations outlining use of official vehicles is 14 FAH-1 H-800 USE AND CONTROL OF OFFICIAL VEHICLES AT POSTS.  Great for bedtime reading if you’re ever having trouble falling asleep.

Do the rules get bent?  Sure, occasionally.  And occasionally they get really bent, but I’ll save that for another post that will likely be titled, “What to do when the Inspector General shows up at my front door at 3AM.”

Feel free to shoot me any questions on this and I’ll do my best to answer your overseas chauffeur related questions.


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