By: Susan Sherren for Couture Trips Published: November 20, 2021 12:38
Why You Need an International Drivers Permit Applying for an International Drivers Permit (IDP) might be the last thing on your mind when you think of planning an overseas adventure. But before you decide to jump behind the wheel and rent a car overseas, make sure you put this minor but essential item on your to-do list. Fortunately, you won't need one in Canada for short stays or in Mexico. If you are venturing to Brazil or Uruguay, you will apply for an Inter-American Driving Permit. It's similar to the international driving license, and it can be obtained from the same entities. But if you are venturing outside of these areas, make sure to get One. The IDP is recognized by over 186 countries and will give you peace of mind when you decide to hit the road.
Why You Need an International Drivers Permit (Excerpts from Car and Driver 5/15/19)
Have a valid U.S. License 6 months beyond the date of the IDL
18 yrs age or older
To obtain a license from the American Automobile Association( AAA), you can just walk in, fill out a form, pay $20, present your valid U.S. license and present two passport-style photos. For $10.00, AAA will take your passport-style photos for the permit. You can also mail in your application along with the appropriate fees and documents. The process is relatively straightforward. The American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) only offers mail-in services, taking around 10-15 days to process. The fee is $20.00, and shipping services will add to the overall costs. The requirements are similar to the AAA.
Traveling outside of the country requires some preparation, and skipping a critical component could wreak havoc on your vacation plans. Make sure you include applying for your IDP well before your travels to avoid additional last-minute strain or fines if you happen to get pulled over.