Should You Get Your International Driver’s Permit?
The International Driver's Permit (IDP)
Short answer: Yes, you should get your International Driver’s Permit (IPA). Even if you don’t plan on traveling extensively around the world, for $20 it doesn’t hurt to get. The only two agencies you can get an IDP from is: American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
Both processes are super quick and easy and I’ll walk you through both of them, don’t worry!
What is an International Driver’s Permit?
The International Driver’s Permit (IDP), sometimes incorrectly called International Driver’s License, is a legal document that accompanies your standard driver’s license, allowing you to drive a vehicle in any country that recognizes the permit.
In my experience, an IDP has been required to rent a car in many of the countries I have been to. And rightfully so, as you need a valid driver’s license to rent a car in the States. The same rules apply overseas as well.
For the IDP to be valid, it must be paired with a current, legal driver’s license. So, if you live in the United States, you need to have a valid driver’s license in order to get the IDP, as well as to use the IDP when you are actually overseas driving.
The cool thing with an IDP, is that it is recognized as a valid form of ID in over 150 countries. It contains your name, photo, and driver’s information in 10 different languages, so you’ll never have to worry.
How Do You Get an International Driver's Permit?
There are only two agencies in the United States that can issue a VALID International Driver’s Permit. Those two agencies are the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). Any other agency or company telling you they can get you one is a scam, and it will not work.
AAA Process. The AAA process is any easy one with only four steps to take care of.
- Download and complete an application from their site.
- Attach two original passport pictures.
- Ensure you have a valid US driver’s license.
- Pay the $20 fee.
You bring all of those four things to your nearest AAA branch. If you do not have an AAA branch around you, you can go the traditional mail route. Just package up those four items, and mail it to the nearest branch. For the driver’s license, provide a photocopy of both sides, and for the passport pictures, sign the back of each of them.
AATA Process. The AATA process is almost identical, aside from the fact that there is no option to go in in person. You have to do it through mail. Either way:
- Fill out an application from their website.
- Attach two passport sized photographs, signature not required.
- Photocopy of both sides of your valid US driver’s license.
- A check or money order for the application fee.
Once you have all of these items gathered, you mail them to the address provided on the website, and you’ll be squared away!
What Countries Require an International Driver’s Permit?
|Bosnia and Herzegovina|
|Central African Republic|
|Democratic Republic of Congo|
|Papua New Guinea|
|Trinidad & Tobago|
|United Arab Emirates|
If you want to have all of your bases covered, and not break any international laws, then drop the $20 on an International Driver’s Permit. It’s pretty cool to say you have one, and it makes renting a car so much easier.
Subscribe below to never miss a post! Trust me, you won’t want to miss it.
Also, check out our blog for more amazing posts like this one!
You should also check out these posts.
Never miss a post by joining today...FREE!
Disclosure: Bear in mind that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and if you go through them to make a purchase I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these companies and their products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something is completely up to you.