A car is a very useful vehicle when traveling through a country, since it allows you to move to the place you want, at the time you want and in the way you like best. However, to drive outside your home country, you need a special license: the International Driving Permit.
The International Driving License is a document that guarantees your ability to drive in some other foreign country, as long as you respect the traffic regulations of the country in which you are.
It is a document that is endorsed by the International Automobile Federation (FIA). With this permit, you can drive any four-wheeled vehicle in foreign territory.
In addition to English, it has translations in eight other languages. This license is valid in more than 132 countries, and has a validaty of 365 days.
WHAT INSTITUTION IS IN CHARGE OF PROCESSING THIS PERMIT?
The only two organizations authorized by the United States Department of State to issue the international driver's license are the Automobile Association of America (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
HOW CAN I GET MY INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT?
- 1. Fill out a form and take it to the nearest paperwork office, either AAA or AATA.
- 2. Hand out two original passport-size photos, with your signature behind both.
- 3. Deliver a front and back copy of your United States driver's license. It is important to note that your license must be current.
- 4. Pay the cost of the procedure, which is USD 20.
In case you cannot go to any physical office for any reason, you can carry out the procedure by mail sending these documents to the following address:
AAA / IDP,
1000 AAA Dr.,
Heathrow, FL 32746
Attn: Mailstop #28
WHAT IS THE INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT FOR?
This document will serve you for the following purposes:
- - Accredit your license and your identity in those countries that are within the international transit conventions.
- - If you were involved in a car or traffic accident, the license would serve you to carry out the respective legal processes, whether or not you were responsible for the accident.
- - It identifies you before the road authorities of the country you are visiting.
- - It crosses the language barriers between countries, because the license is translated into eight different languages, in addition to English.
Something else you should know about the International Driver's License...
- - The international driver's license must be processed in the same country where the national license of the person traveling was processed. That is, if the person is originally from the United States, and processed his/her license in that country, the international driving license must also be processed in the United States.
- - If you have a temporary license or a minor permit, we recommend that you wait until you have your real license so that you can process your international driver's permit, since the traffic authorities of the country you are going to may not accept as valid a temporary license.
- - There are unauthorized sites or companies masquerading as official suppliers trying to sell you and process a fake international driver's license, with prices ranging from $ 60 to as much as $ 400. The AAA and AATA offices will never charge you more than USD 20 for the processing of this license.
So, you already know what you must do to get your international license in the United States and be able to fully enjoy your next trip abroad, observing the natural landscapes or the architecture of the cities while you travel the road with your car.
Consulta este artículo en español:
Administrative Procedures in other countries: