What is an International Driver’s License?
An International Driver’s License (properly referred to as an “international driving permit,” or IDP), is a document that permits you to lawfully operate a motor vehicle in around 174 countries. There is also a requirement that it be accompanied by your original United States driver’s license. The International Driver’s License comprises the holder’s full name, passport photograph, date of birth, and driving information.
The idea of an International Driving License was first brought to the limelight in Paris at the International Convention about Motor Traffic in 1926.
For you to be eligible for an IDL/IDP, you must be a legal and permanent resident of the United States who is at least 18 years old. And you must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license that has at least six months before its expiry date from the date of issue of the IDP.
It is also possible that a foreign driving license may be needed or suggested by several rental vehicle companies. Here you will get the necessary information you need to drive without restrictions on your next business trip or holiday.
Your IDL/IDP does not provide you the right to drive lawfully in every nation; rather, it only grants you the right to drive legally in countries that recognize it.
The People’s Republic of China is a noticeable absence from our list of nations in which you may use your international driver’s license, and it ought to be mentioned. For you to legally drive in the Republic of China, you must have a driver’s license from the country.
The International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is an official travel document that has been authorized by the United Nations and is granted to visitors who are traveling to international destinations.
Your driver’s license, which was issued in your native country, has been translated into English by an authorized translator.
Documents like this one show that you have a valid driver’s license and that your licensing documents can be translated into many different languages, so authorities in other countries can check and understand your driving credentials.
In addition to English, Chinese, Spanish, French, and Russian translations are also available for this material. It has also been translated into many other languages, including Arabic, Portuguese, Italian, German, and Scandinavian.
Your driver’s license will be recognized by authorities in those nations as a result of this. This is particularly vital in the event of an accident since it will serve as evidence of your driving qualifications. An IDP is normally valid for one year from the date of issue or until the expiration of the driver’s license, whichever occurs first unless otherwise stated.
According to the website of the United States Department of State, it is only the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance that provide foreign driver’s licenses in the United States. Paying any other organization for an international driver’s permit is strictly prohibited. Such offerings are often fraudulent. Even if you do obtain anything that looks like permission, it might not be a legally binding document.
It is not possible to get an international driving license from the United Nations. Because the United Nations does not issue international driving permits, if you receive a document claiming to be an international driving permit, you do not have a valid international driving permit. A legitimate, legally binding IDP is a multi-page booklet measuring 4 by 6 inches.
The document has a gray cover. It has a page that displays the holder’s name, date, and place of birth, as well as his or her home address.
Some states require an International Driver’s License (IDL) to drive in the United States as a foreign driver. States such as Arizona, Massachusetts, and California, on the other hand, are among those that simply demand a valid driver’s license from a foreign country.
But the states mentioned above love to make recommendations about getting the international driver’s license (IDL) since it will be written in English and that will aid communication.
Procedure Towards Getting Your IDL
Choose Your Preferred Application Center
As previously stated, there are only two organizations in the United States that supply the IDP: the American Automobile Touring Alliance and the American Automobile Association. An IDP may be obtained in person or by mail, depending on your preference.
There are two options available to anyone who wants to get their IDP via the AAA. To apply, you may pick up an application from the American Automobile Association and return it, together with your completed application, to any AAA office in your neighborhood. The paperwork may also be sent to an AAA office in your region if that is more convenient. You may locate the AAA office in your region by visiting their website. Click here so you can surf through the AAA website.
Along with your application paperwork, you must also submit two photographs in the “U.S. passport-style.” For a nominal cost, you may have these photographs taken at an AAA branch office. The permit with a year’s validity costs $15.
Apply on Time
Make sure you submit your IDL application before you want to travel. Though your IDP will not be given until at least six months before you want to travel overseas, you should still make sure that your application is done as soon as possible before your international trip so you can get your IDP well in advance of your departure. To minimize postal delays, if you have delayed until the last minute to receive your IDP, go pick it up in person.
Waiting time does not apply to this application, so if you want to arrive in person, you may complete the whole process in a single appointment.
In most cases, if you send your applications via the mail, they will be processed within 15 business days.
The Benefits of Having an International Driving License
The procedure of applying for an international driving permit or international driving license is straightforward, and it comes with a variety of benefits, which are detailed below:
An International Driving Permit (IDP) proves that you can drive a car in another country. The document is seen as proof that you can drive, and it shows that you have a valid driver’s license in your home country.
The International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is beneficial if your original driver’s license is not in the language of the country to which you are traveling. As a result of your actions, authorities in those countries will be able to verify your information far more easily.
When it is translated into the local language, it could be used as proof of ID.
There will be no extra driving tests: If you have an international driving permit, you will not be required to take any extra driving exams in the countries you will be visiting.
Wide acceptance: The International Development Partnership (IDP) is accepted in over 150 nations throughout the globe that has signed on to the pact. Some countries that aren’t part of the IDP still treat the IDP as a legal document in their own countries.
It is not possible to hire a vehicle in several countries without having an IDP in your possession.
To ensure drivers of cars that are being driven overseas, insurance firms demand an IDP.