How To Apply For An International Driving Permit
Guys, I’m finally doing it! I’m finally going to drive in another country! Okay, so I’ve driven in Canada and Ireland once before but that was years ago and I never applied for an International Driving Permit (also known as IDP). This time around, I’m heading over to Eastern Europe and driving in Italy, Slovenia, and Croatia on my very first overseas road trip.
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What is an International Driving Permit or IDP?
The International Driving Permit is like a passport for driving. IDP is a document that translate your drivers license in 10 different languages and allows you to drive in 150 countries. The permit is only valid when you travel with your drivers license. The IDP will include your name, place of birth, date of birth, permanent residence, the type of vehicle you can drive, and a self photo.
Do I Need an International Driving Permit?
It is always a great idea to have an International Driving Permit when you plan on driving overseas. If that is too much work, my rule of thumb is to apply for an IDP if you plan on driving in another country who’s primary language is not English.
When you rent a car, more than likely, they will not ask you for an International Driving Permit. However, you will need to carry an IDP in case you get pulled over by a police officer. Not having an IDP can result in a hefty fine.
How Do I Apply for An International Driving Permit?
There are two U.S. Government approved places where you can apply for the International Driving Permit: American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA). There are other agencies out there but be aware that they are scams!
To apply for the IDP, the following must be true:
- You’re over 18
- Have a valid drivers license
- Applying in the same country that your drivers license is issued from
What Do I Need To Apply?
To apply for an International Driving Permit, you will need a valid drivers license, 2 of the same passport photo, a filled out application, and $20.
Cost for an International Driving Permit?
IDP will cost $20 that you can pay in cash, card, or checks at the location or checks/money order by mail. (please note that you will need photocopies of your license if you are mailing it)
How Long Is the International Driving Permit Valid For?
The IDP is valid for an entire year from the date that you first intend on driving. You can select any date as long as it is within the next 6 months. For example, I intend on driving April 24, 2018. My IDP will be valid until April 23, 2019.
I have Everything, Now What?
Once you gathered everything that you need, you can either mail it or visit a center. When you mail, it may take up to 4 weeks to receive your IDP. If you visit a center, you will receive your IDP immediately!
I visited AAA in my hometown. I told the receptionist that I would like to apply for an International Driving Permit. The receptionist handed me an application to fill out. The application took about 2 minutes to complete. I waited for maybe 5 minutes before my name was called.
The representative asked me if I needed passport photos. I already had some from the Travel Convention. If you do not have any passport photos, they will take one on site. If you are not an AAA Plus or Premiere member, you will need to pay $8.
I pulled all my required items out of my wallet. The representative turned my passport photos faced down and asked me to signed the back. The agent grabbed a white booklet and filled out my information. She asked me when I intended on traveling and stamped the front of the booklet to signify the start date of my permit. She pealed a sticker off and stuck my passport photo on it. I signed the line underneath my name making my IDP officially valid! I was in and out of the AAA office within 10 minutes! The process was a piece of cake. No need to stress!