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Do I need an International Driver's License to rent a car in Italy

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Mar 15th, 2004, 05:16 PM
  #1
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Do I need an International Driver's License to rent a car in Italy

I've been told that I need an International Driver's License to rent a car in Italy & I thought that it was optional. Does anyone know for sure?
Mimmel
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Mar 15th, 2004, 05:34 PM
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Yes, I know for sure. You don't need it to rent a car, but you definitely MAY need it if you're stopped by the police. It's not worth a big fine when it costs $10 at your local AAA office.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 05:46 PM
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rex
 
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StCirq says it is now (legally) compulsory, so that's authority enough to me. But the car rental company will for sure not care. It's legally compulsory to observe speed limits and wear a seatbelt, but the car rental company will not police your compliance with those rules either.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Mar 15th, 2004, 06:45 PM
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Keep in mind that it is not actually a driving license. It is termed an International Driving Permit. You have to have your regular driving license with you as well.

Do not buy a purported international license or permit from the internet--AAA and one other auto club that I can't remember the name of are the only 2 places that can provide legitimate IDPs in the USA.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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Rephrase your question to say "do I NEED insurance when I drive a car?" The answer is "not if you don't have an accident". Think of the IDP the same way, you never need one unless you're stopped. It's just like insurance -- except cheaper since it's only $ 10.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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You'll also need a photo -- you can take a passport photo with you to the AAA office or have one taken there.
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Mar 15th, 2004, 07:19 PM
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Altho I think this is what i believe to be a legalized scam, I do comply. There is indeed a treaty [ UN or no] creating the IDL as an aid in translation for police stopping a car. I have always gotten it and despite being stopped a number of times, have never been asked for it. It's the sort of thing that if they want to get you, the absense of it gives them an excuse. However it is a cheap way to possibly, repeat, possibly, avoid a problem. For$10, its worth the chance to avoid a bit of pain. Yeah, it makes me mad, but legalized extortion by the
AAA is indeed something to be studied and admired!
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Mar 15th, 2004, 07:31 PM
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Actually, according to accurate info on slowtrav.com, the Italian police are now often requesting the IDP and levying significant fines on those caught driving without it. So are the carabinieri and the AAA in cahoots???
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Mar 15th, 2004, 08:05 PM
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No, it's not optional in Italy. It's compulsory. I know for sure. Get one.
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Mar 16th, 2004, 12:12 AM
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You guys can complain all you want about AAA "extortion", but 20$ is a deal. Here in Italy to get an International D.L., costs almost 200 Euro! This is what the Italians pay if they want to drive abroad.
Having said this however, I do want to say that my husband has rented cars in the states, and his Italian licence works fine. He has never needed the Int'l licence.
I have been stopped in Italy, and definetly needed my Int'l license. That is, till I got my Italian one.
Cheers,
Melissa
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Mar 16th, 2004, 02:39 AM
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They will still rent you a car. I have a U.S. License and a Provisional Irish one (i.e.learners permit, don't get me started I am still annoyed I cant get an Irish one without taking the test) I rented a car with the full Irish one no bother and no one ever mentioned anything about an Intl one to me. Maybe because I have a european passport it made a difference? If its a ten euro fine if you get caught I would not worry and play stupid if you are caught. If you have the time to get an international one then do it for piece of mind.
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Mar 16th, 2004, 06:45 AM
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Sorry people I need to proof read more often.
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Mar 22nd, 2004, 04:49 PM
  #13
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Thanks to everyone who posted a reply. I will definitely get an International license. I had a little trouble understanding why a document that AAA could process in 10 min could be required by the Italian government but now I get that it is really just a translation of your regular license. I appreciate the help.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 12:33 AM
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we did not need it to rent a car in Italy. We did,however, get one through AAA for $10 prior to leaving the States. We never had the need for it once.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:04 PM
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We were stopped by the police shortly after leaving Venice. Since my husband speaks no Italian and the officer no English the license was invaluable. He took a look and waved us on.
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Mar 23rd, 2004, 04:41 PM
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The following is from the official Italian Government Tourist web site:

Driving License Regulations
Italy recognises driving licenses and other traffic documents that are valid in other countries. U.S. and Canadian driving licenses are valid in Italy but the license must be accompanied by a translation or an international license (check your local AAA in USA or CAA in Canada). For motorists not in possession of an International Driving license, the ACI (Automobile Club d'Italia) will issue a declaration upon presentation of a U.S. or a Canadian license. The declaration is obtainable at any ACI offices.
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Mar 24th, 2004, 12:18 AM
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I know someone who goit stopped near Siena, did not have one and did not have cash to pay the fine on the spot. Car was impounded. She was left stranded. Not a great way to have a vacation. You can read about the IDP as well as important info on road signs and rules that most North Americans do not know of here at my site http://www.chianti-assistance.com/Dr...taly/index.htm
Cristina
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Mar 24th, 2004, 04:45 AM
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AAA Heathrow Florida. Download IDP application. So far only $10. Other sites are quoting much higher fees. When you get passport photographs, get extra ones. They are often needed for travel passes, etc.
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