International Driver’s Permit

 

Let us start by making something clear right away. An International Driver’s Permit or IDP is not an International Driver’s License. There is no such thing as an International Driver’s License. If you were told you would get an International Driver’s License, then the document you receive is a fraud. Before you apply for an IDP, make sure the country you plan to visit requires one. There are only 174 countries that do need an IDP and a current valid driver’s license to operate a motor vehicle. Click here to see the list of countries.

Steps to Get an International Driver’s Permit

If you are a U.S. citizen with a current valid driver’s license that will not expire in the next six months, you can apply for International Driver’s Permit. There are only two places in the U.S. you may apply. Each has an application you must complete, submit, and pay the fee. Along with the form, provide two color passport size photos. You have two options to submit your application, either in person or by mail. Either way, all the required documents, and fee must be given at the same time. Any incomplete application will delay the process of getting an IDP.

Where to Submit an IDP Application?

Going To The American Automobile Association

The first place that accepts an International Driver’s Permit application is the American Automobile Association or AAA. You can locate an AAA office in your neighborhood or county to get an AAA IDP application. Or, you can download a copy of the form here. The form is in a PDF format; therefore, you cannot complete it online. Just download the document and complete it manually. Once you complete the application, submit it along with your two color passport size photos, the pictures must be taken within the last six months, and an acceptable form of payment. You must also provide your current State Issued driver’s license. A copy of the license will be made. The cost of the application is $20.00. Contact the AAA office to confirm which form of payment is acceptable.

If you are unable to locate an office nearby, you can submit your application by mail. Make sure you have all the necessary documents and the right form of payment. Copy both sides of your driver’s license to submit with the other materials. No fax application will get accepted since two photos must accompany the application. Include enough postage on your return envelope to get your IDP document mailed back to you.

Going To The American Automobile Touring Alliance

The next place to accept an International Driver’s Permit application is the American Automobile Touring Alliance or AATA. Like AAA, you can submit a form in person or by mail. To provide an application in person, first, complete the form. To obtain an AATA IDP application, click here then print it. Along with the form, you must submit two color passport size photos, your current valid driver’s license, and payment. The cost for the IDP at AATA is $20.00. If you choose to mail in your application, complete the form and submit it with your photos, front and back copy of your valid driver’s license, and payment. Confirm with AATA the acceptable payment method to avoid any delay in the process.

How Can I Use My IDP?

Once you obtain your International Driver’s Permit, you can use it along with your current driver’s license. You cannot carry only your IDP in the foreign country that accepts it for driving. You must present both documents at once when asked by authorities. If you recall, you will not be given an IDP without a valid driver’s license. Nor, the IDP is a replacement or substitution for your current license. Your IDP is not an ID nor cannot be used as an ID. So, make sure you have your driver’s license with you before you travel abroad.

Foreigners Coming to the U.S. May Obtain an IDP

If you plan to travel to the United States and wish to drive in the U.S. while you are here, you can obtain an IDP from the country you received your driver’s license. Even though most states do not require an IDP, it is best to have one. Especially, if you are coming from a non-English speaking country, an IDP will be in English and can help with communication if a language barrier exists.

IDP Requirements

American Automobile Association (AAA) American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA)
·         Apply in person or by mail

·         Completed application

·         Two color passport size photos

·         Driver’s license or a copy of front and back

·         $20.00 fee

·         Accepts checks, money order, or credit cards

·         Apply in person or by mail

·         Completed application

·         Two color passport size photos

·         Driver’s license or a copy of front and back

·         $20.00 fee

·         Accepts check or money order