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Hertz apologizes for denying Puerto Rican man car because he didn't have his passport

Hertz has apologized for denying a Puerto Rican man a rental car that he paid for in advance.

The man, Humberto Marchand, said he presented his Puerto Rican drivers license to an employee at a Hertz rental car counter at New Orleans' international airport last week and was told he would need to show his passport. The employee insinuated, according to Marchand, that he was a foreigner and couldn't rent a vehicle without showing his passport.

Puerto Ricans are United States citizens. Marchand has his Puerto Rican drivers license, which is as valid as any other drivers license issues in the United States. He was not carrying his U.S. passport.

Video recorded by Marchand shows a manager asking him to leave. When he didn't, she asked him if he wanted her to call the police and he replied, "yes, please call the police.

The Kenner police officer who responded also told Marchand to leave, according to Marchand, who served 25 years as a federal law enforcement officer before retiring.

Marchand decided to leave, and as he was walking away Marchand says he heard the officer say he would call "the border authorities" if he needed to. A police spokesman for the Kenner Police Department said body camera video from the encounter was reviewed and that comment is not heard. It's unclear, however, when the officer turned the body camera off after responding to the incident.

Kenner police invited Marchand to file a complaint and said the agency would investigate further if he did so. Marchand said he plans to file one.

Hertz initially responded to Marchan by saying the employee was right and he in fact did need to show a passport. After CBS News reached out to Hertz, the company said it "accepts Puerto Rican driver's licenses from our customers renting in the U.S. without requiring a valid passport."

"We sincerely regret that our policy was not followed and have apologized to Mr. Marchand and refunded his rental," the statement continued. "We are reinforcing our policies with employees to ensure that they are understood and followed consistently across our locations."

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