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How to get International driving permit


If you want to drive a motor vehicle while you’re traveling abroad, you should get an international driving permit (IDP). When accompanied by your valid US driver’s license, your IDP will allow you to drive legally in over 150 countries that recognize it. It may also be required or recommended by many rental car agencies. Here’s everything you need to know about this helpful document that will allow you to get behind the wheel on your perfect business trip or vacation.

What is an international driving permit?

An international driving permit (IDP) allows you to drive legally in 174 countries when it is accompanied by your valid US driver's license. You are eligible for an IDP if you are a permanent US resident at least 18 years of age and have a driver's license that will remain valid for at least six months from the date of issuance of the IDP.

Your IDP does not allow you to drive legally in every country, just in those countries that recognize it. A full list of participating countries. Notably absent from this list is the People's Republic of China. (To drive legally in China, you must have a driver's license issued by China.)
 

Basics of an International Driving Permit (IDP)

  • You must be a permanent US resident at least 18 years of age and have a US driver's license that will remain valid for the next six months.
  • Your IDP lets you drive legally in foreign countries when accompanied by your valid US driver's license.
  • It is recognized in 174 countries.
  • Only two organizations in the US issue IDPs: Automobile Association of America (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
  • The fee for an IDP is $20 (as of 2017).
  • An IDP can be issued immediately at an AAA branch or may take 10-15 business days by mail from AAA or AATA.
  • An IDP is valid for one year.

Where can I get an international driving permit?

In the United States, only two organizations in the US issue IDPs: the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). The US State Department has advised drivers to obtain IDPs from AAA or AATA. The US Federal Trade Commission has warned that any other organization, especially one claiming to offer so-called "international driver's licenses," is likely running a scam.

You don't have to be a member of AAA or AATA to obtain an IDP from that organization. You can apply in person at your local AAA branch. You can find your local AAA office. Alternatively, you can mail the application and supporting documentation to the AAA or AATA.


Requirements for Getting an International Driving Permit

From AAA
  • Can apply in person or by mail
  • Completed AAA IDP application
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Driver's license (either in person or photocopies by mail)
  • $20 IDP fee
  • Accepts check, money order, or (in person only) major credit cards
From AATA
  • Can apply only by mail
  • Completed AATA IDP application
  • Two passport-sized photos
  • Signed photocopies of front and back of driver's license
  • $20 IDP fee
  • Shipping and handling fee: domestic ($10 or $35) or international ($85)
  • Accepts check or money order

What's the difference between international driving permit and international driver's license?

Many people have seen sales pitches for "international driver's licenses" that claim these licenses can do all kinds of things such as act as a driver's license, act as a means of identification, or hide your identity. None of this is true. International driver's licenses do not exist. There are only international driving permits (IDPs). In the United States, IDPs are only issued by two organizations (AAA and AATA). An IDP is a permit, not an ID card or a driver's license, and it won't even be recognized if you don't also hold a valid driver's license.

Cr. https://driving-tests.org/beginner-drivers/international-driving-permit/


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