Continuing our July travel tips series, this week we take a look at the sensibility and particulars of obtaining an international driver’s permit (IDP). Note: It’s a permit, not an international driver’s license. You must have a valid driver’s license from your state to qualify for the IDP.
When accompanied by your valid US driver’s license (and always have your passport with you when driving overseas), your IDP will allow you to drive legally in many countries that recognize its validity. It may also be required or recommended by many rental car agencies.
Basic IDP information:
|Basics of an International Driving Permit (IDP)|
|Requirements for Getting an International Driving Permit|
If you are a foreign driver coming to the U.S. and wish to drive, can you obtain an IDP here? No. You must have a valid foreign driver’s license and you must obtain an IDP from the same country in which your license was issued.
The U.S. Government does not require you to have an IDP to drive in the US but some individual states may require you to have an IDP to drive on their public roads,. However, many other states do not. California, Massachusetts, and Arizona are among the states that require only a valid foreign driver’s license, not an IDP. Still, it is recommended that you get an IDP because it will be written in English and facilitate communication if you need assistance while driving or are involved in an auto accident.
Countries that recognize IDPs: http://www.drivers.com/article/937/
And again, we recommend that you check with the U.S. State Department to obtain the latest travel advisory for your foreign destination immediately before departure.
BNI Operatives: Situationally aware.
As always, stay safe. Head on a swivel when traveling.