Getting A International Drivers License In Usa

Getting A International Drivers License In Usa – Do I need an international driver’s license? Or is it an international driver’s license? When you travel abroad, you can think about this question. Let’s solve this riddle once and for all.

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a legal form of identification that allows the holder to drive private vehicles in any country that recognizes the document. Many confuse this driver’s license with an International Driver’s License (IDL), but there is a clear difference between the two.

Getting A International Drivers License In Usa

You see, an IDP is required to drive a vehicle in a non-EU country or a country that uses an alternative alphabet to the American/British language. In other words, an IDP is a translation of key information on your driver’s license, making it easier for officials abroad to understand.

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However, this permit can only be used in conjunction with a valid driver’s license from your own country. For this reason, an IDP gives you security when dealing with foreign police officers or officials.

On the other hand, an international driving license is not recognized as a legal document. That said, this license doesn’t really exist and you should ignore anyone or any agency trying to sell you one.

In fact, you may never have thought of an IDP before. Normal tourists who do not want to drive a car during their trip abroad usually do not have to.

On the other hand, as a seasoned independent traveler willing to venture beyond the comfort of pre-determined tourist routes, you’ve probably heard of it. Put simply, if you plan to drive abroad, you should have both your driver’s license and an IDP.

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It all started with the 1949 UN Convention on Road Traffic, when the US government initiated an international driver’s license treaty. This document entitles you to drive a motor vehicle in more than 150 countries.

Whether you are American or Canadian, your driver’s license and passport are usually sufficient to drive a private vehicle in Europe. However, some countries require an international driver’s license.

But that doesn’t mean you’re fully protected with this permission. The IDP does not affect your obligation to comply with each country’s specific laws and regulations.

According to the American Automobile Touring Alliance FAQ, “If you are traveling in a foreign country and are stopped by a police officer, you should present both your U.S. driver’s license and your IDP. If you are issued a subpoena, it will not be linked to your IDP. Any penalties for traffic violations imposed in a foreign country apply to the country where you received the recommendation. Serious traffic violations may invalidate the IDP for use in this country.”

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In my experience renting cars and driving around the world, an IDP is more important in some countries than others.

On the other hand, in Taiwan, most rental companies require a permit, but there are some who will consider renting you a motorcycle without a permit. The catch? It is better not to get into an accident as your insurance will be void.

Meanwhile, rental car companies in Vietnam refuse to rent cars to visitors due to safety concerns and the fact that contacting the local police can cause all sorts of problems. Ironically, renting motorbikes is fine. Technically, the country of Vietnam recognizes an IDP. On site, however, landlords implement their own rules.

At the same time, all bets are off in Thailand, where you can sometimes rent a car without a company verifying your driver’s license, let alone an international driver’s license. It’s true Thailand is incredibly casual when it comes to renting a vehicle, but you should be aware that police stops often involve bribes for one reason or another.

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Just so you know, I have also managed to rent cars using only my US driver’s license in Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Costa Rica, Uruguay, Colombia and many countries in Europe. In contrast, it was a real disappointment to belatedly learn that my only choice of non-IDP wheeled vehicle in Japan was a bicycle.

First, you must apply for and obtain your international driver’s license in the country that issued your driver’s license.

Let me explain. Assuming you are visiting Taiwan and of course you have a driver’s license issued by your home country. You cannot apply for an IDP at any of the motor vehicle offices on the island. Instead, you must do so where your driver’s license was issued.

Because of this, the process for obtaining an IDP varies from country to country. Although the general rules are pretty similar, you’ll need to do some research.

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If you’re American, you’re in luck. Below I share my personal experience of getting my international driver’s license in the USA.

In the United States, there are only two federally authorized organizations that issue IDPs: the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).

Note that there are countless online “services” that offer quick and easy ways to get IDPs in days or even hours. Don’t fall for this scam. Unfortunately, they appear at the top of Google’s search results. Remember that AAA and AATA are the only organizations authorized to issue IDPs in the United States.

International driving licenses are valid for one year. They can only be issued to persons over the age of 18 with a valid US driver’s license. The US driver’s license must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of issue of an IDP.

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You can go to any of the local AAA offices to apply for an IDP. With a full set of required documents, IDPs can be issued immediately. The cost is $20 for one year.

Alternatively, you can also receive an IDP in the mail. Both AAA and AATA accept email applications. In addition, you can also do this from abroad.

In any case, the application will take 5-10 minutes to complete and you can expect to receive the IDP within approximately 2-3 weeks if applying domestically. Of course, international delivery times vary greatly, mainly depending on the state of the postal service in a given country.

Just so you know, here’s what an IDP booklet looks like. Appearance varies slightly depending on the authority issuing the permit.

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When I lived in a small community in Taiwan, little or no English was spoken and I knew just as much Chinese. Needless to say, it was difficult to explain to the local photographers what I needed and they had no knowledge of a “US passport photo”.

Equally important, neither AAA nor AATA accept online payments. At the same time, there are many countries that actively combat money laundering, which means you cannot send checks or cash through the post.

Taiwan is a good example. I tried sending my application and check to AATA via DHL. They refused to accept my envelope. So I had to mail it to a relative who would write the check and forward it all to AATA on my behalf.

A month later, AATA issued my International Driver’s License. In case you’re wondering, both AAA and AATA are willing to ship IDPs abroad for an additional fee.

International Driving Permit

Certainly, AAA is the better known organization in the United States. With local offices across the country, this is an obvious choice for those looking to get an IDP in person.

When you walk into the nearest AAA branch, all you literally have to do is fill out the form, submit two photos, and pay with a credit card. After a short wait while the employee processes your application, you will receive your approval on site.

That being said, I ended up with AATA and popularity was the reason for that decision. Since fewer Americans have heard of AATA, I figured they would be less busy and be able to process applications faster.

On the one hand, the process took seven weeks. On the other hand, I’ll never know if either organization can process those permits faster than the other.

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I’ve lived on both coasts of the US where an AAA office was always within reach. Because of this, you might be better off just going to AAA and applying for an international driver’s license in person. But using Post is always an option, and it seems both authorities are highly respected in the industry. The International Driver’s License is a document that translates your driver’s license into 11 languages ​​and is used in combination with your original driver’s license. It is recognized in 150 countries. In practice, you pay $20 for a document that translates the type of vehicle your driver’s license is valid for. In my case, that means motorcycles (Class A) and vehicles lighter than 7,700 lbs (Class B). And it is only valid for 1 year.

The short version, unofficially, is that if you have a US driver’s license, which you typically have, you may never need one

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