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How to Apply for International Driving License
Around the world, driving laws and regulations vary greatly. If you intend to drive while traveling internationally, you will need to research the specific requirements for the countries you will be visiting. In some cases, you may need to obtain an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to your regular driver’s license.
An IDP is an official translation of your driver’s license that is recognized by many foreign governments.
Why is it necessary for you to have an international driver’s licence?
An IDP performs a variety of tasks despite being a relatively straightforward document.
For example, it translates the information on your driver’s licence into ten different languages, which is useful even if you’re not renting a car.
It enables you to rent a car and drive in nations that demand you to have one in order to do so.
In addition to this, it is a travel document that is acknowledged on a global scale and is acceptable in other countries.
(However, just so there is no confusion, this does not replace your standard driver’s licence in any way. You are going to need to carry that with you!)
In point of fact, you won’t typically be asked to provide your IDP.
For instance, the majority of countries allow you to rent automobiles without ever checking to see if you have an international driving permit (or even your driver’s licence!).
However, the consequences for driving without one are severe in the countries that have made the requirement mandatory.
In Japan, for example, if your behaviour is very egregious, you run the risk of being imprisoned and even deported.
Before you travel and make arrangements to drive, do a bit of research on the specific needs of your destination.
When in doubt, just bring an international driving permit with you wherever you go.
It is not only inexpensive but also simple to acquire, and it is a useful sort of documentation that may be used in a variety of settings.
You will also have it on hand in the event that you require it in order to drive or rent a car.
No stress, no mess!
How to Obtain a Permit to Drive Abroad in Another Country
You are permitted to operate a motor vehicle in another nation if you are in possession of both a valid driver’s licence from your home state and an International Driver’s Permit (commonly known as an IDP).
Additionally, it is accepted as a valid means of identification in over 175 countries and by the majority of the world’s most significant automobile rental firms.
Obtaining an International Driver’s Permit, which is sometimes incorrectly referred to as an international driver’s licence, can take anywhere from a day to a few weeks, depending on whether you go through walk-in processing or apply via mail; therefore, you should make sure to plan ahead if you intend to drive while you are abroad.
Only the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) in the United States are authorised to issue these credentials. These two organisations are known as the “Big Two” (AATA).
Get familiar with the concept of a driving permit valid in many countries.
The international driving permit, sometimes known as an IDP, is not the same thing as a regular licence.
In its place, you will receive 11 different translations of the driver’s licence you already possess.
It is imperative that you continue to keep your standard driver’s licence on your person at all times.
There is a list of the countries that recognise the permit, and it can be viewed at thenac.com/international driving permit countries.pdf. The permit is valid in one hundred fifty countries.
It is necessary to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) in order to rent a car in forty different nations.
You cannot request an IDP more than six months in advance of when you will need it.
Its validity is limited to a single year beginning on the date it was issued.
Determine if you are eligible for an IDP.
An IDP cannot be granted to anyone who does not already possess a driver’s licence that is in good standing.
If your licence has been revoked or suspended, you will not be eligible to receive an IDP.
Additionally, there are a few prerequisites that must be met.
Your domestic licence must be valid for a minimum of six months following the issuance of your international driver’s permit.
If your driver’s licence is going to expire within the next six months, you need to get it renewed at the DMV office in your area.
To obtain a permit to drive internationally, you need to be at least 18 years old.
Be wary of cons and frauds.
On the website of the United States Department of State, it is stated that the only organisations in the United States that provide international driver’s permits are the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance. If you want to get an international driver’s permit, you must not pay any other organisation for it.
These kinds of offerings are almost always scams.
Even if you are in possession of something that seems to be a permission, there is a possibility that it is not in fact a document that can be used in a court of law.
There is no provision for the issuance of international driving licences by the United Nations.
If you have a document that purports to be an international driving permit issued by the United Nations, but you do not actually have a genuine international driving permit, you are not allowed to drive internationally.
A genuine and legitimate IDP comes in the form of a booklet with multiple pages that measures 4 inches by 6 inches (10.16 cm by 15.24 cm).
The cover is grey in colour.
It comes with a page that displays the holder’s name, date and place of birth, as well as their home address.
This material is presented in a different way on separate pages in nine other languages.
If you have any concerns about the legitimacy of an IDP, you should bring it to the AAA office that is located the closest to you.
How to Use Your Permit
IDPs can be processed at AAA offices during your stay, but submitting the application takes 10 to 15 business days.
However, for an extra price, expedited services may be available to acquire your licence in one or two business days.
To apply, you’ll need a computer and printer, a completed application, a copy of your valid United States driver’s licence, two passport photos, and a check, money order, or credit card.
If you’re applying in person, remember to bring these with you.
When driving internationally, always carry your valid United States driver’s licence, as your IDP is invalid without this supporting proof of authorization to drive.
IDPs only translate licences that are approved in their home country and do not allow persons who do not have government-issued driver’s licences to drive overseas.
When sending your application to AAA or AATA, make sure to include the necessary fees (the IDP cost as well as any shipping and handling fees), pictures, and photocopies of your licence, since failure to include any of these needed papers will result in your application being refused.
You should also research the driving regulations and legislation for the nations you will be visiting while on vacation, so you know what to expect if you are stopped by local officials.
What Are the Consequences of Living Abroad for Longer Than One Year?
You are eligible to apply for a new IDP after 12 months have passed, regardless of where you are located in the world.
Because they will need to send you your new paperwork by registered mail or courier, you will need to contact the AAA or CAA office that you typically deal with in order to inquire about the charges involved.
In addition to this, your standard driver’s licence must still be in good standing in the country in which you were issued it.
In the event that it is not, you will be required to submit an application for a new driver’s licence as a resident of the nation in which you are now residing. Once you have obtained this new licence, you will then be able to make your application at an approved IDP dealer in that country.
In conclusion, getting an international driving license is not as complicated as it may seem at first. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can easily obtain an international driving license that will allow you to drive in most countries around the world.