Getting an International Driving Permit (IDP) is a crucial step you should consider completing before hitting the road if you intend to drive abroad.
An international driving permit translates your driving license into multiple languages. This makes it easier for authorities to understand your driving credentials while driving abroad.
However, obtaining the permit is not smooth, especially if you’re doing it for the first time.
That’s where we come in. We’ve put together some essential tips to help you get the IDP with less hassle.
What Is IDP?
The permit serves as a translation of your national driving license allowing you to drive a vehicle in foreign countries without any legal repercussions.
It also makes it easier for authorities in respective countries to understand your qualifications as a driver in a foreign country.
Tips For Obtaining An International Driving Permit
1. You need to be a licensed driver.
Be sure you meet the requirements before applying for permission. The first requirement is to be a licensed driver in your homeland. Without a valid and active driver’s license, you can the given the permit.
2. Get a copy of your driver’s license.
You must submit a copy of your driver’s license as part of the application process. The driver’s license must be valid for at least six months following the IDP’s issuance date.
Revoked or suspended license will not get you the IDP. Ensure the copy is clear and legible, so the authorities can easily read and verify it.
3. Visit a local driving school.
If you want an International Driving Permit, visit your nearby driving schools, which often offer IDP application services.
This can be a convenient alternative to applying for an IDP through official government channels.
4. Fill out the application form.
You must provide some basic personal information and your driver’s license number. Filling out the form won’t take you more than 10 minutes to complete
It’s essential to ensure you enter this information accurately and without errors, as it could delay or even prevent your application from being processed.
5. Pay the fees
While the application fee varies from country to country, the fee is $20 per person in the United States.
And this fee will ultimately save you time, money, and stress, considering that driving without a valid license in some countries can result in legal problems or hefty fines.
6. Take the IDP test
In addition to being a licensed driver in your home country, it’s important to know that you’ll be required to take a test to obtain your permit.
The test assesses your knowledge of local traffic laws, road signs, and driving regulations.
So, it’s recommended that you study the local driving regulations when preparing for the test. Luckily, many road signs and traffics rules are universal, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
Key Benefits Of Having An IDP
Here are some reasons you need to apply for an IDP before you embark on your overseas driving adventures.
- If you need to identify yourself with law enforcement, an IDP can save the day, especially in countries that don’t speak English.
Since it serves as a translated version of your driver’s license and helps local authorities better understand your driving credentials.
- With an IDP, you can legally drive in over 150 countries, making it a valuable asset for any international traveler. If you have an IDP, you won’t have to apply for another driver’s license in each country you visit.
- If you like traveling light and don’t want to carry all the identification documents get an IDP. It can also serve as identification in situations where you don’t have your passport.
- Renting a car in some countries will be much easier with an IDP. Some rental car companies require both driver’s license and an IDP. Having one can save you time and hassle at the rental counter.
Who Authorizes The IDP Permits?
In the past, there were two organizations authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue International Driving Permits (IDPs): the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
However, the AATA has recently announced that it will no longer issue IDPs, leaving AAA the most reliable option.
It’s worth noting that eligibility for an IDP doesn’t depend on U.S. citizenship. Rather, you must be a permanent resident of a U.S. state or territory and possess a driver’s license issued by that entity.
Additionally, you must be at least 18 years old and have held your driver’s license for at least six months.
Do You Need An IDP To Drive In Foreign Country?
Not all countries will ask for an international driving permit from you, but it remains an important document to travel with to avoid legal complications. Many European countries, like Germany, Spain, and Austria, require an IDP from foreigners.
You need to play your part and determine which countries require IDP and which don’t. Always remember to carry your driver’s license. Remember, the IDP is a permit, not a license.
Getting the IDP is not that easy, especially for first-timers, but the process is a breeze with our tips.
With an IDP, you can enjoy the freedom of driving in foreign countries and exploring new destinations on your terms.
Whether you’re planning a road trip through Europe or a scenic drive through the Australian Outback, be sure to obtain your IDP and confidently hit the road.