LivingTravelDo you need an international driving license for Europe?

Do you need an international driving license for Europe?

If you are planning a trip to Europe for pleasure or business and you plan to drive while there, you will need to acquire an International Driving Permit (sometimes mistakenly called an International Driving License), but keep in mind that an International Driver’s Permit is different from a European driver’s license, which is an EU-designed driver’s license designed to replace each country’s licenses.

An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) must be used in conjunction with a valid US license to be valid, as it is basically a translation of your existing driver’s license into different languages. This government document provides basic identifying information such as your photo, address, and legal name and translates your license into ten different languages.

In the United States, IDPs can be obtained at the offices of the American Automobile Association (AAA), as well as the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA), usually for a fee of $ 15 or $ 20. These are the only two. organizations in the United States that are authorized to provide international driving licenses, so please do not attempt to purchase an IDP from any other service provider.

Some European countries require Americans to have an international driving license, while most do not. Many times, car rental companies will not enforce this requirement, but they can be helpful if they pull you over for a traffic incident.

Countries that require an IDP

It is best to check with the tourist office of the country you are visiting before you go to get the latest information on exactly what you need to drive in another country. However, generally speaking, most European countries do not require American drivers to have an IDP.

However, the following countries require international driving licenses along with valid driving licenses from the United States: Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain; Again, you may not even be required for an IDP in these countries, but technically you are required to have one or risk being fined.

You should also know the traffic rules of other countries, and the US Department of State has good resources for foreign travelers, including country-specific road and traffic information; its Road Safety Abroad page provides specific recommendations for safe driving.

To ensure that you have everything ready before traveling to a European country, it is best to contact the embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit to inquire about their requirements regarding IDPs or the use of their existing license. Business travelers can also consult the US Department of State Office of Consular Affairs for additional information on different counties, contact information, and country requirements.

Be on the lookout for scams

Travelers interested in international driving licenses should be aware of potential scams and outlets that sell them at inflated prices. To learn more, read our article »International Driver’s License Scams», which covers the basics of the underworld of illegal IDP sales.

Basically though, don’t fall for any website that offers to provide an International Driver’s License, or issue licenses or permits to people who don’t have licenses or have state licenses suspended, they are definitely scams.

Not only will you waste your money on these invalid documents, but you could also put yourself in a situation of legal trouble abroad if you are caught with an illegal IDP, so always make sure to check that you are going through the only two licensed. issuers of internally displaced persons: AAA and AATA.

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