Getting Your US International Driver’s Permit

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Posted on: 28 March 2018 by Adam Edmond

Are you a US citizen trying to get your IDP for overseas travel? We'll show you how to get one with our in-depth guide.

Getting your international driver license in the usa will require some effort on your part. It's not difficult, but not having the required information will extend your application process. So, we've decided to help you obtain your license if you're a US citizen.

Getting your International Driver’s Permit can take about a day to a few weeks, depending if you’re going to apply via mail or through walk-through processing. So you need to make sure that you plan ahead if you’re trying to drive on your international trip.

There are two places in the United States that are legally able to issue these documents: The (AATA) American Automobile Touring Alliance and the (AAA) American Automobile Association.

Where Can I Obtain My International Driver’s License?

You can only obtain your international driver license in the usa with AAA or AATA. The State Department is against buying  your IDP from third-party outlets as they are illegal to sell, carry or purchases.

If you are over 18 years old and have a valid drivers licenses for about 6 months or longer, then you’re eligible for an IDP. They remain valid for a year or depending on your state’s expiration laws - You need to investigate your IDP before traveling and make sure that you meet the requirements.

Both AATA and AAA are great sources for these documents. Once you've chosen a provider, choose from either AATA or the AAA application on their website, print out the IDP Application, completely write in all the applicable fields, and submit the application.

Once the application is complete. You can visit an office at AAA's organization or through the mail. You'll need a signed copy of your driver's license, two regular sized passport photos, and a check to pay for the application fee (usually $15).

How to Get Your International Driver’s License in the USA

AAA’s offices are able to process your IDP as soon as you arrive, but if you’re sending the application through the mail, it will take 10-15 business days. But, there are expedited services that might help you obtain your license within 2-3 days for a premium.

When applying, you need a completed application, a printer and a computer, your U.S. driver’s license, passport photos, check, credit card, or money order to finish the process - remember to take these documents with you if you’re trying to apply in person.

If you're driving internationally, make sure that you carry your US driver's license with you. Without it, your IDP is invalid and is unable to prove that you're eligible to drive. IDPs are only used as a form of translation and don't allow those without a government-issued license to drive in foreign countries.

You should make sure that you have the correct amount of fees (IDP application fee, and also the shipping & handling fees), photocopies, and photos of your license when sending it to an AATA or AAA office. Omitting any of these documents will lead to a denied application.

What to Do Afterwards?

You should check the driving laws and requirements for the countries you’re attending during your vacation. This helps you know what’s required if your car is stopped by local authorities. Mainly, keep it with you throughout your travels so that you’ll be prepared for any unexpected issues that could arise!

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