Will you be traveling to a country outside of the United States in the near future? Are you planning on driving a vehicle while you're there? If your answer is yes to both of these questions, you may need an International Driver's Permit.
What is an International Driver's Permit (IDP)?
Frequently mistaken as an “International Driver's License,” the International Driver's Permit is a document that legally allows you to drive vehicles in other countries. Your driver's license is still required to be present when using your IDP.
Where Can I Get an International Driver's Permit?
For U.S. citizens, there are only two organizations that the U.S. government authorizes to issue an IDP, the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). Do not be fooled by any other company or agency saying they can produce an International Driver's Permit or License for you. It is likely a scam.
What is Required to Apply for the International Driver's Permit in the U.S.?
In order to apply for an IDP in the United States, you will need the following:
- Must be 18 years old or older
- Must have a valid U.S. Driver's License
- Complete an IDP Application (either with AAA or AATA)
- Present your valid U.S. issued Driver's License when applying in person (or provide a copy of both sides of your driver's license if mailing your application)
- Provide two passport-sized photos of yourself that are signed on the back
- Pay the application fee (which is currently $20 if applying in person – some shipping fees may apply if mailing your application)
How Long Does it Take to Receive my International Driver's Permit?
When applying in person (like at an AAA location), your International Driver's Permit will be provided to you after reviewing your application and your payment is processed. Should all go well, you will be leaving the site with your IDP.
If you are mailing in your application, it will vary depending on your shipping selection but you should generally allow at least two weeks for processing and delivery.
Thrifty Tip: If you are in a pinch to get your IDP, we highly recommend applying in person at the closest AAA location.
What Countries Accept the International Driver's Permit?
If you are planning on driving a vehicle when traveling outside of the United States you will want to check to see if you will need an international driver's permit or if your driver's permit will be recognized. The countries listed below are the geographical areas which honor International Driving Permits (IDP) per AAA.
If you plan on driving a vehicle outside of the United States, make sure to check if you will need an International Driver's Permit (IDP). If you are driving in a country with little English spoken, it may be wise to pick up an IDP to make the process easier.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.