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Do You Need an International Driving Permit (IDP)? | Why You May Need It & Where to Get One

Do You Need an International Driving Permit (IDP)? | Why You May Need It & Where to Get One


Hey there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute.
In this video, we’re discussing International Driving Permits, or IDPs,
and whether you need one when renting a car abroad. (light chiming music) Renting a car when traveling
can be a confusing experience, especially when it comes to understanding what you
need. Do you need extra insurance? Can you get an automatic vehicle? What are the
mileage restrictions on your car? One of the questions that seems to come up a
lot is whether you need an International Driving Permit, or IDP for short. The IDP
is a small passport-like booklet that you can get prior to your trip that
functions as your international driver’s license. Answering the question whether
you need one is similar to many travel questions. The answer is often: “it depends.”
You’ll want to check with the country you are visiting to see whether they
require one. Some countries like Japan are really strict about having an IDP if
you’re a foreigner and want to drive in the country. Other countries have
restrictions like maximum distance or insurance coverage limits if you don’t
have one. Some may even require one if you’re planning to drive a car for an
extended period of time, like a non-resident living abroad. I
would say that most English-speaking countries do not require one. So, if
you don’t need one, should you still consider getting one? I think it’s worth
exploring. The benefit of having an IDP is that your driver’s license becomes
immediately recognized if you were to have a traffic incident abroad. For
example, if you would have an accident while driving in Korea, and the police
were to arrive on scene, they may not recognize or be able to read your local
driver’s license from the US or Europe. The IDP translates your driver’s license
into ten languages, which can really help to break down communication barriers and
resolve potential misunderstandings. If you are in the US and decide to get one,
you will need to contact the American Automobile Association, also known as
AAA, or the American Automobile Touring Alliance, or AATA. I’ll include a
link to both organizations. You’ll need to fill out the application, provide two
passport-size photos, and pay the $20 application fee.
Keep in mind too that you don’t need to be a member of either organization to
get an IDP. And that’s our travel tip. Have you ever encountered a situation
where you needed or wish you had an IDP? If so, please share your experience below.
Also, let us know if you have any questions. If you enjoyed this video or
found it useful, please hit the like button and consider subscribing. It’s
free and you’ll get notifications on our new videos. Also, check out our “Travel
Tips” playlist for more videos like this one. Until next time, travel safe and travel
smart.

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6 thoughts on “Do You Need an International Driving Permit (IDP)? | Why You May Need It & Where to Get One

  1. Ernest you always provide some awesome information ! Never know this was even an option… your amazing !!!!!!!

    Jose P.

  2. Hi I have a question I have a friend she doesn't have a international driving license permit yet she came to the US with a tourist visiting visa she brought her Guatemala license with her and she wants to drive can she go to AAA and get a international license to be able to drive legally in the US

  3. In Poland the document is issued and validated by the same government
    authority, which issues the regular drivers license and costs here
    35,50PLN which is the equivalent of about $9,40 (according to
    international treaties the International driving permits issued by any
    body who does not have the authority to do so are considered invalid
    therefore printing one on your own as some suggest, or using some shady
    companies which offer these can get you in trouble on the grounds of
    counterfeiting) – however, did you know that the IDL/IDP comes in two
    versions – one according to the Vienna Convention and the other
    according to the Geneva Convention and different countries signed
    different treaties thus accepting different document formats, therefore
    it is best to get both. Do they offer you a choice of the IDP version in the US? You also have to be aware that in some
    countries there are additional requirements one has to fulfill –
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5biOFC0_o2s

  4. In the US, it of course depends on the jurisdiction, but I have no knowledge of ANY jurisdiction that requires one.

    In my county outside of Nashville (which is one example, but certainly not the exception), it's not required. But, you'll need to carry your local license AND your passport to verify your identity – as a foreign license alone may not be enough by itself to convince an officer that you are who you say you are. With an IDP, you can avoid having to carry around that passport.

    On a practical matter – if you move to the US, then you should get one before you arrive. The reason? Insurance. If your state requires liability insurance (as does mine), the insurance company will want you to have it. It may not be necessary per se, but it can reduce your monthly premium.

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