Hit the Open Road Abroad with an International Driving License
Planning a trip overseas and want to drive? Getting an international driving license (IDL) allows you to legally operate vehicles in over 150 countries worldwide. Understanding what an IDL is, how to get one, and where it’s required ensures smooth travels across borders.
What is an International Driving License?
An international driving license is an official document that translates and verifies your existing driver’s license into several languages like English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and more. It’s not a separate license itself but acts as a translation so authorities in foreign countries can understand your driving credentials.
Having an IDL along with a valid license from your home country means you comply with legal requirements when driving abroad. Most nations worldwide recognize and accept IDLs issued from your home country.
Top Benefits of Getting an International Driving License
Here are some of the top reasons to get an international driving license before driving overseas:
– Legally drive in foreign countries that require an IDL
– Translates license details into globally accepted languages
– Typically valid for 1-3 years depending on home country
– Recognized document if pulled over by foreign police
– May reduce auto insurance costs in some countries
– Obtainable before your trip with ease
Where You’ll Need an International Driving License
Many destinations require foreigners to have an IDL to drive legally within their borders. Some of the most common places include:
– Most European countries (France, Spain, Germany, Italy)
– Australia, New Zealand
– Japan, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia
– India, South Africa
– Northern Africa, Middle East
– Canada, Mexico
Some countries like the USA don’t require an IDL but it can still simplify the process if stopped by police. Always check the specific laws of where you’re traveling.
Applying for an International Driving License
The application process differs slightly depending on which country you currently reside in. Usually, you’ll contact a designated motoring organization or automobile club in your country to start your IDL application.
General requirements are:
– Fill out IDL application forms
– Present a valid driver’s license from home country
– Provide passport photos
– Pay required IDL fees (typically under $69 USD)
– Renew every 1-3 years depending on country
Give yourself a few weeks to get your IDL before your trip. In the USA, you can order online using International Driving License COM or National Automobile Club. Your local DMV may also provide IDL applications.
Hitting the Open Road Abroad with Confidence
Getting an international driving license before driving overseas provides important legal protection and roadway recognition in foreign countries. With minimal time and effort, you can apply for an IDL and focus on navigating the exciting roads that lie ahead. Enjoy the freedom of driving abroad with the peace of mind an IDL brings.