Tips - International Driving Permits
In some countries, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is required
for foreigners who wish to drive automobiles in that country. In other
countries, you can legally drive a car if you have a valid driver’s
license issued to you by a state government.
Some drivers apply for and carry an IDP because it provides benefits beyond a
state issued driver's license.
The International Drivers Permit is based on a United Nations Convention on
International Road Traffic (1949) and is considered a valid driver’s permit in
most of the world’s countries.
Use of an International Driving Permit requires that the holder of the
IDP possess a valid driver’s license issued by the authorities in their
You must have both documents in your possession while driving, as the IDP
references your state drivers license.
The IDP lists the category or vehicle types for which the permit is
The IDP class of vehicle qualification and particulars concerning the driver are
provided in 11 major languages.
The multi-language approach can be of great benefit if you are dealing with
police officers who do not speak English and cannot interpret your state issued
Be familiar with the documents that are required to operate a motor
vehicle in the country you will be visiting.
Information for the countries covered by ThereArePlaces can be found in the
Destination Travel Guide section of our site.
Requirements for countries that we do not cover can be found in the Consular
Information Sheets available at
Some countries (for example, Austria) require the motorist to posses a valid
driver's license and either an International Driving Permit or an official
translation of your driver's license into the language of the country.
The IDP is "hassle" insurance.
The document is inexpensive and is valid for one year from the date of issue.
International Drivers Permits can be applied for at AAA, if you are a member.
If you intend to apply for an IDP, you will need to present a valid driver's
license and two passport-sized photos.
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