How to Get an International Drivers Permit For Americans

How to Get an International Drivers Permit For Americans

International Drivers Permit
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How to Get an International Drivers Permit For Americans

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AAA offers an international drivers permit if you have a valid drivers license. This is a must have for international travel. Even if you don’t plan on driving during your trip it is a great back up form of identification. The international drivers permit is a small booklet that resembles a passport with a passport photo that can be used for identification while traveling.

International Drivers Permit

A few years ago I was driving in Chile and was pulled over on the highway. I was so nervous and didn’t speak a lick of Spanish. I handed the officer my international drivers permit as well as my California drivers license. He looked over the documents and even though he couldn’t communicate with me why he pulled me over, it was obvious I was going too fast. He tried to tell me to slow down and turn on my headlights (despite that it was 11am) and let me on my way.

In Thailand, our international drivers permits saved us from paying fines for driving a motorbike. The permit even allowed us to drive motorcycles in Asia. With traffic checkpoints around every corner, this permit saved us from paying 500B fines on a daily basis. Although you don’t need a license to rent a bike in Thailand, the corrupt police love to set up checkpoints to get money out of clueless tourists for not having a Thai license. Every time they saw our international permit they would let us on our way and not try to fine us.

To get the permit you can apply via mail or walk into an AAA office. You’ll need 2 passport photos (must be 2×2) and the fee is $15 for members and non-members. If you don’t have passport photos you can take them in office (they cost $8 for members and) $15 if you’re not a member. You can just walk in, fill out a form and walk out with your permit on the same day. It’s a must have for travelers!

 

While not every county accepts this permit, most do. Here is a list that as of Jan. 2014 accepts this driving permit:

 

* Not party to 1949 Convention: International Driving Permit Honored.
** U.S. driver’s license and IDP recognized on presentation to local police and payment of special registration fee upon arrival.

 

Afghanistan*
Albania
Algeria
Angola*
Anguilla*/**
Antigua*/**
Argentina
Armenia*
Aruba
Australia
Austria
Azerbaijan*
Bahamas
Bahrain*
Bangladesh
Barbados**
Belarus*
Belgium
Belize
Benin
Bhutan*
Bolivia*
Botswana
Brunei*
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso (was Upper Volta)*
Cambodia (was Kampuchea)
Cameroon*
Canada
Cape Verde Islands*
Cayman Islands*
Central Africa Rep.
Chad*
Chile
Colombia*
Comoros*
Congo, Rep. of (Brazzaville)
Congo, Dem. Rep. of (Kinshasa)
Costa Rica*
Cote d’ Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
Croatia*
Cuba
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Djibouti*
Dominica*/**
Dominican Rep.
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador*
Equatorial Guinea*
Estonia*
Fiji
Finland
France (including French overseas territories)
French Polynesia
Gabon*
Gambia
Georgia
Germany*
Ghana
Gibraltar
Greece
Grenada
Guatemala
Guernsey
Guinea*
Guinea-Bissau*
Guyana
Haiti
Honduras*
Hong Kong
Hungary
Iceland
India
Indonesia*
Iran*
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Jamaica
Japan
Jersey
Jordan
Kazakhstan*
Kenya*
Korea (Rep.)
Kuwait*
Kyrgyzstan
Laos
Latvia*
Lebanon
Lesotho
Liberia*
Libya*
Liechtenstein*
Lithuania*
Luxembourg
Macao*
Madagascar
Malawi
Malaysia
Mali
Malta
Mauritania*
Mauritius
Mexico*
Moldova*
Monaco
Montserrat*/**
Morocco
Mozambique*
Myanmar*
Namibia
Nepal*
Netherlands
Netherlands Antilles
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Nicaragua*
Niger
Norway
Oman*
Pakistan*
Panama*
Papua New Guinea
Paraguay
Peru
Philippines
Poland
Portugal
Quatar*
Romania
Russia
Rwanda
St. Kitts & Nevis*/**
St. Lucia
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
San Marino
Sao Tome & Principe*
Saudi Arabia*
Senegal
Serbia & Montenegro
Seychelles
Sierra Leone
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia*
South Africa
Spain
Sri Lanka
Sudan*
Suriname
Swaziland
Sweden
Switzerland*
Syria
Taiwan
Tajikistan*
Tanzania
Thailand
Togo
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Turkmenistan*
Uganda
Ukraine*
United Arab Emirates*
United Kingdom
Uzbekistan*
Vatican City (Holy See)
Venezuela
Vietnam*
Western Samoa
Yemen*
Zambia
Zimbabwe

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4 COMMENTS

    • They might but who knows, in so many countries it is simply a matter of how friendly the police are who decide to pull you over!

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