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Do You Really Need an International Driver’s License?

by Eugenia Lazaris

Jan 10, 2020

© Ssuaphoto | Dreamstime

Tips / Travel

An International Driver’s License, also known as an International Driver’s Permit, or IDP, is a document many international drivers often overlook when traveling, while others simply dismiss its importance. Drivers are required to already possess a valid driver’s license as the IDP is simply a translation of your local license. The translation covers 11 different languages and is accepted in more than 150 countries worldwide.

 

If you are planning on driving during your trip, an international driver’s license can save you a lot of trouble should you have any problems on the road at your destination. This is especially true if you are planning on renting a car — while many countries do not require an IDP, many car rental companies will not rent a car to an international visitor without one.

 

Keep in mind, possessing an IDP doesn’t mean you don’t need to familiarize yourself with local traffic laws. You will be responsible for any fines and penalties issued from traffic violations.

 

The IDP is easy to obtain, especially if you are a member of AAA. While you can find several sites online that promise you a valid IDP for a small fortune, go with a reputable source. You shouldn’t pay more than $25 for your IDP, not counting passport photos. Simply go to your local branch or fill out the application online, submit your documents and pay your fee. All that is required is a current valid driver’s license from one of America’s 50 states, two passport photos, a completed application and the application fee.

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