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Do I need an International Drivers Permit in Portugal? Leaving Thursday!

Do I need an International Drivers Permit in Portugal? Leaving Thursday!

Sep 1st, 2009, 04:19 PM
  #1  
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Do I need an International Drivers Permit in Portugal? Leaving Thursday!

Hello all, leaving Thursday for our trip to Portugal. We've rented through Economy Car Rentals and they say we need an international drivers permit. We have travelled throughout Europe and never have been asked for it. Anyone have any experience with this?
Lily is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 04:29 PM
  #2  
 
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I have not heard if Spain requires you to have an International Drivers Permit, but its a good idea to have one whenever you are traveling International. In case of an emergency it is another form of important information for authorities.

Its very easy to get one, if you have an AAA office nearby they can get you one in minutes. Make sure you have your passport with you when getting your permit.
Oregongirl777 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2009, 04:43 PM
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I was asked for mine this year so I would go to AAA and get one.

Since they say you have to have it rent the car, I would not show up without it. Better safe then sorry!
CarolA is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 05:25 AM
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Hi, Lily,
I've driven many rental cars in Portugal and owned two different cars as well and have never had to show anything other than my US drivers license.

But since the car rental place says they want to see it, and if you have time to run to a AAA office (who has time on the last day before a big trip?), it might bring peace of mind to have it. But if you can't, just keep your fingers crossed, and my bet is you'll be fine.

I'd be interested to learn whether the car company actually did ask to see it when you did the pick-up. I've never understood why anyone would give importance to a document issued by a commercial entity anyway.

Well, best of luck with this little annoying detail, and hope you have a marvelous trip. Let us know how it goes!

Boa viagem, Laurie
lreynold1 is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 06:46 AM
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I have rented cars throughout Europe, and before this summer I was never asked to produce the IDP. Last month, I rented a car in Madrid through EuropCar, and they asked both me and my husband for the documents before they would let us rent.

I think you should take the time to get it ... it's fast at AAA, and only $15.
scdreamer is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 07:47 AM
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Remember you also have to give them your US DL with the IDP. They want it because it's a translation into thier language (or hopefully a language they understand) That's the "importance"

Honestly for the price I don't understand the stubborn response of not getting it. Folks act like this is just way too much trouble/expense but..... when you don't have it and are asked for it I expect the "trouble/expense" ratio to go up.
CarolA is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 10:55 AM
  #7  
 
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I am not even an AAA member, however both times I have gone in to get my IDP, I was in and out in less than 30 minutes, and that included the time to take and print the picture. If the rental agency says you need one, then get one.
november_moon is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2009, 11:14 AM
  #8  
LJ
 
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Husband was asked for one when we rented in Faro, Portugal...we had it, so no problem. Once we were stopped by the police and asked to show it (it is, as has been noted, simply a translation of your home country DL) and were very glad we did have it.
LJ is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2009, 07:02 AM
  #9  
 
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Both Spain and Portugal require an IDP. You might never be asked for it, but it is a legal requirement.
Paul1950 is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 04:17 PM
  #10  
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I'm just back from Portugal and never had the time to update my International Drivers Permit and luckily I was never asked for it.
Lily is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 06:41 PM
  #11  
 
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Well. The first year we rented from Economy Car Rentals in Portugal and did have the IDP but they never asked for it. The last two times we did not have one and were not asked for one.
But like Laurie, I would be curious if they asked you for one.
Which rental car company did Economy place you with?
Sher is offline  
Oct 2nd, 2009, 09:47 PM
  #12  
 
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We've always taken one. I would want it in the event that I had an accident and was asked by the police to produce it. Better to be safe.........
cathies is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:46 AM
  #13  
 
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Hi; We were stopped in Portugal last April at a 'road block'. Presented the IDP along with my license and had no problem. Get the IDP. If AAA takes your picture, it's about $22. Richard
iris1745 is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:48 AM
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I know---dumb. Richard
iris1745 is online now  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:30 PM
  #15  
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Sher, we ended up with Iberent through Ecomony Car Rentals which turned out fine and quite economical. We got a Peugot 107 four door - small but perfect for two people.
Lily is offline  
Oct 3rd, 2009, 04:44 PM
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My husband has never had to show his permit, but it only costs you $10 and it saves you from a lot of trouble if you are stopped.
jnjfraz is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 02:22 PM
  #17  
 
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Thanks all for the info. We are leaving on 10/21 so I will get the IDP to be on the safe side.

SCDreamer - You mentioned you drove the peugot 107 and it was ok for two. I have been so confused on which level vehicle to rent because I am just not familiar with all the different types. My husband and I will each have one carry on size and medium suitcase. Will it all fit into the Peugot 107?

Please share about your trip; I am so excited to see all I can squeeze into 10 days!
chincoteague is offline  
Oct 4th, 2009, 02:25 PM
  #18  
 
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Sorry, I meant to ask Lily but I was too quick to type and hit the send key.
chincoteague is offline  
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