If you plan on traveling internationally, whether it be for a personal or work trip, one thing to consider would be an International Driving Permit! An IDP, or International Driving Permit, allows you to legally operate and drive a vehicle in a foreign country. Unlike gaining passports, the process to obtaining an IDP is quick and easily accessible.
Who is eligible for an IDP?
The eligibility for an International Driving Permit is simple; You must be:
· A permanent U.S. resident.
· At least 18 years of age.
· Have a valid driver’s license.
· Have a driver’s license that will remain valid at least 6 months after issuance date of the IDP.
Where can one obtain an IDP?
There are two organizations in the United States that issue IDP’s!
The first is the Automobile Association of America (AAA).
The second is the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
How do you get an IDP?
If you choose to get your International Driving Permit through the AAA, here are the steps to take:
· Complete the AAA IDP Application (It can be found online or in store).
· Bring the completed application to your local AAA branch.
· You will also need to bring your valid U.S. driver’s license, two passport size photos of yourself, and a form of payment for the fee.
· The fee is $20.
You can also obtain and IDP through AAA by mail:
· Mail the completed application form, two passport size photos, photocopies of the front and back of your valid driver’s license, and a check or money order for the fee.
If you choose to get your International Driving Permit through AATA, here are the steps to take:
· You can ONLY apply by mail with AATA.
· Fill out the AATA IDP application.
· Mail it to the address on the form.
· Include two passport size photos of yourself, photocopies of the front and back of your valid driver’s license, and a check or money order for the fee.
· The IDP fee is $20.
An IDP can be issued immediately in-store or take 10-15 business days by mail (not expedited).
How do you use your IDP?
The easiest part of this process- using the permit! Your International Driving Permit is not proof of your driving rights- that is why the IDP is only recognized when presented with your valid U.S. driver’s license.
International Driving Permits are recognized in 174 countries and remain valid for up to one year.
If you are located outside of the United States, you are not able to obtain an IDP in the U.S. You must obtain the permit in the country that you permanently reside.
Traveling Internationally can be overwhelming and confusing, which makes having such a simple process to obtain an International Driving Permit so relieving. Whether you are traveling for work or personal reasons, be prepared with an IDP! Be sure to look into the driving requirements of the countries you will be visiting and using your IDP in, that way you will be prepared for what is required from you by local authorities. International travel has become easier and safer with IDP’s!