Everything You Need To Know About Getting An International Driving Permit


An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a valid document to let you drive in foreign countries without hassle. It’s a multiple-language certificate and proves you have a genuine driver’s license.

Most countries in the world will not officially accept your local driving license unless you have a US driving license and International Driving Permit. Any US resident can apply for IDP even he is not a citizen yet.

Some countries might ask you for an official translated copy of your valid driving license. However, this might be costly and time-consuming. Instead, having an IDP can be the best solution to avoid all hassles abroad.

US International Driving Permit

Authorities in 150 countries accept International Driving permits. According to the US Department, the Automobile Association of America (AAA) and American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) have the authority to issue IDP in USA. However, You can take help from International Drivers Association (IDA). If you have a valid driving license, they can assist you in getting your IDP within 2 hours.

How To Apply for IDP

You need the following things to apply for IDP through IDA:

  • Filled out the application (downloaded from the online site of IDA)
  • Copy of both sides of your genuine driving license. Remember, you might not apply for IDP if your original driver’s license has been suspended.
  • Two copies of your passport-sized photos. While applying online, images need to be uploaded.

Now complete the following things:

  • Fill in the forms: Keep your driver’s license and delivery address ready.
  • Upload photos: For verification purposes, upload both your photo and your driver’s license images.
  • Place an order: Choose any plan that is workable for you.
  • Get approved: Wait for the confirmation.

Validity of Issued IDP

Your IDP will be valid for one year, starting from the issuing date.

Who Can Obtain IDP

Over 18, anyone having a valid driver’s license can apply for an International Driving Permit. However, they can only apply if they have their driving license for six months or over.

Cautions While Roaming About

When you go abroad and want to personally drive cars therein, you must carry your valid US driver’s license. Remember, an IDP is just a translated copy of your original driver’s license. And it will not be accepted without the original one.

When authorities in a foreign country check your driving permission, they might not recognize your local driving license as valid, issued by your country of origin. In some cases, that might be a forgery too. However, while you show them IDP, your genuine paper becomes legit to them.

Beware of Scammers

Remember, there is no International Driving License (IDL). It’s only an international driving permit (IDP). Unfortunately, many people have less idea about the difference between IDP and IDL, and the scammers take the benefit to make a fool of them. 

When you buy a so-called IDL, the foreign authority will not recognize it, and you might get into trouble. You have to pay fines, and in worst cases, you may get into a fraud case.

Final Words

Getting an IDP is not a complex process if you have a valid driver’s license. Apply on time before it’s too late to have the one, or you might get forgotten entirely.

In most countries, IDP is issued by the national automobile association. And it does not need to be a member of them. So take service from genuine service providers.