When most of us plan an overseas vacation, we tend to focus on the positive aspects, such as sightseeing, trying new food, and learning about another culture. However, if your vacation involves driving, it’s a good idea to think through how you’ll handle a few less-than-ideal circumstances that you can encounter on the road when traveling in foreign countries. International Driving License-
You may be stopped by local authorities for a driving inspection or be involved in a traffic accident while on your journey. An international driving license can be highly useful in situations like these.
This guide will go over all of the countries that recognize an IDP for driving or renting a car, some additional reasons why having one will benefit you, and the steps you’ll need to do to get one before your next trip.
What exactly is an International Driving License?
First and foremost, it is not a driver’s license; you will already require one from your home country or state to complement your international driving permit. The permit, which comes in a compact passport-like booklet issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, allows visitors to drive a car in any country that accepts it. Your American driver’s license is translated into 10 languages, including Arabic and Portuguese. When the police have never seen a Nevada driver’s license before, this means a lot less back-and-forth on the remote roads of Morocco.
Go to the State Department’s website for particular licensing requirements for the nation you’re traveling to. The essential thing is to double-check the criteria well ahead of time so that you are not left stuck when you discover you need a document you don’t have. Outside of the United States, they cannot be provided on the spot.
Which Countries Need an International Driver’s License?
The IDP is recognized in many countries that are not signatories to the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic and is valid in all nations that have signed the Convention. Some nations may need you to have a valid IDP to drive, and some international car rental firms may demand one to hire a car.
Although it is required in most nations, others do not. In the following countries, for example, you do not require an IDP if you hold a valid US driver’s license or a valid license written in English:
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
Furthermore, if you have a European driver’s license, you can drive in most EU nations without obtaining separate permission.
It’s important to note that an IDP isn’t a replacement for a local license in your native country. To put it another way, if your standard license is due for renewal in May, you won’t be able to get away with simply using an IDP in June. You must renew your local license promptly!
What Is the Process for getting an IDP?
In general, applying for an IDP is simple. You must go to an authorized dealer and carry a copy of your driver’s license (front and back). The majority of locations can also produce photocopies for you on the spot. You’ll also need two passport-style photographs with your signature on the reverse. Most certified IDP suppliers are car clubs, which may provide you with passport images as part of their services. Finally, you must complete the brief application form.
You can also send your application by mail in some situations. If you do so, the application will be processed and the new permission will be mailed to you in less than a week. Depending on how crowded the store is, you will only have to wait 30 minutes or less if you apply in person.
Even if you don’t plan to drive, an IDP provides you peace of mind while seeing the world!
Your IDP is a legally binding travel document issued by the UN for your protection and safety. In many countries, IDPs are required for renting a car and might be useful if you need identification or assistance. Your IDP is recognized as a legal form of identification in more than 150 countries across the world. It includes your name, photo, and driving information in multiple languages, making it accessible to the majority of local officials and authorities in the countries you travel. It lessens the holder’s responsibility to follow the laws and rules of the countries they visit; nonetheless, a valid IDP permits you to drive in most foreign countries in an emergency under standard IDP conditions.
Last but not least
When going behind the wheel in a foreign nation, keep the local regulations and driving culture in mind. Driving conduct might be very different from what you are used to in the United States, just like language and personal relationships. You may find out more about this through the country’s embassy or consulate in the United States or from a vehicle rental firm in your destination country. You may also utilize these resources to learn about tourist-unfriendly places to know which dodgy districts to avoid when you’re out driving.
When you go on the road overseas, though, you should anticipate utilizing your observation skills, driving cautiously and observing how the traffic moves and how the locals treat one another on their roads. You’ll want to learn about their driving style, so you don’t make a mistake that leads to an accident.
That’s all there is to it when obtaining an international driver’s license. Happy driving, and have a wonderful trip!