Information on driver’s license when abroad

HOW ABOUT A DRIVER’S LICENSE FOR US CITIZENS IN OTHER COUNTRIES?

Although many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses, most countries accept an International Driving Permit (IDP). IDPs are honored in more than 150 countries outside the United States. (See AAA’s application  form for the list of countries).

An IDP functions as an official translation of your own license into ten foreign languages. These licenses are not intended to replace valid U.S. state licenses and should only be used as a supplement to a valid U.S. license. IDPs are not valid in an individual’s country of residence.

Before departure, you can obtain an IDP from an automobile association authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue IDPs. The Department designated the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance as the only authorized distributors of IDPs.

US license AND an IDP are required in following European countries: Austria, Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal and Spain. To make sure, contact AAA or the embassy of the country you’re going to visit!

How to Apply for an International Driving Permit?

Before departure, you can obtain an IDP at a local office of one of the two automobile associations authorized by the U.S. Department of State:

  • AAA (American Automobile Association)
  • National Auto Club To apply for an IDP, you must be at least age 18, and you will need to present two passport-size photographs and your valid U.S. license. The cost of an IDP from these U.S. State Department-authorized organizations is less than $20.00.Source of information: the US Department of State, Travel.state.gov.Find more information.

HOW ABOUT A DRIVER’S LICENSE FOR FOREIGN VISITORS TO THE US?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) serves as an official translation of the holder’s license into 10 foreign languages. The purpose of an IDP is to supplement, not replace, valid government issued licenses. It serves as a translation of a driver’s license and assists with understanding, but does not provide driving privileges by itself.

We recommend, especially if your foreign license is not in English, that you contact the Automobile Association or driving authorities in your home country to get an international driving permit before traveling, as the United States does NOT issue international driver’s permits to foreign visitors.

Source of information: USA.gov

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