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Do you need an international driver's license for rental car in spain?

Do you need an international driver's license for rental car in spain?

Jan 4th, 2007, 05:44 PM
  #1  
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Do you need an international driver's license for rental car in spain?

My husband and I are in our 30's and have US driver's licenses. Do we need an international license too if we want to rent a car in Spain? I checked out skycars.com and if I understood it correctly, we have to have once. Do all rental places require one?
cd75 is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 06:16 PM
  #2  
 
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Lots of different opinions on this topic!

I have rented cars in Spain (and France & Italy) many times and have NEVER been asked for one. However, last time, the rental agency agreement said I needed one, so I renewed mine. Once again, I was not asked for it at the rental agency.

Personally, given that it only costs a few $$ and takes a few minutes to do, why not do it? While the agencies might not require it, if you are in an accident it might make things easier.
OReilly is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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First of all - it is not an international driver's license. it is an international driver's permit. It does not allow you to drive anywhere - it is merely a translation of your license. Few if any rental agencies ask to see one. The only time you need it is if you are stopped by local police.

An IDP is required in some countries (such as Italy). I can't tell you for sure if it is required in Spain - but for only $10 I personally would get one. Again - you will not need it to rent a car - but it sure would come in handy if you have a fender bender in some tiny Spanish village.

Cheap insurance IMHO . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jan 4th, 2007, 10:24 PM
  #4  
 
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It's required to legally drive in Spain as checking with the AAA will confirm.

Just because a hire company doesn't ask for one doesn't mean the police won't.
alanRow is offline  
Jan 4th, 2007, 10:31 PM
  #5  
 
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Most rental agents in Spain and just about every other country on the planet will rent you a car without one, but if you get in an accident I pity you if you don't have it on you. Spend the $15 at your local AAA office and put that worry to rest.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Jan 5th, 2007, 01:05 AM
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Second the above, and get an official IDP at the AAA. Don't waste your money on those overpriced things on the internet.

hopscotch is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 03:41 AM
  #7  
ira
 
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Hi CD,

See www.aaasouth.com/travel_drivers.asp#idp
for info on obtaining an IDP.

If you have a digital camera and a printer, you can make your own photos.

ira is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:32 AM
  #8  
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Thanks so much for all your help. I'm going to get one.
cd75 is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 05:48 AM
  #9  
 
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An interesting thing about the International License is that it expires after one year. I have never been able to understand why if it's purpose is just to provide a translation of your ID why it should expire in 1 year. The language will still be the same in a year. I live in France 6 months each year and it is not required here.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 08:48 AM
  #10  
 
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LarryJ--I was told that it was one of the compromises in the International agreement that created the IDP. That some countries were concerned that the "foreign" license would expire or be cancelled, but the person would still have an IDP if valid for longer than a year, and the home country police wouldn't be able to tell that the individual did not actually have a valid license.

So, to reduce this possibility, they made it valid for only one year.

RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 08:54 AM
  #11  
 
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That makes no sense. If that was their concern they would need only to require you to show both an IDP and your home driver's license. You need not understand English to check the dates of validity on a driver's license and if you had lost your license due to DUI or whatever you would not be able to produce a license. The French seem to be smart enough to grasp this concept.

Larry J
LarryJ is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 09:02 AM
  #12  
 
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LarryJ--apparently some countries were concerned that their police would not be able to identify/compare to the regular license.

Hey, I didn't create the policy, I'm just reporting. Maybe not everyone in every country in the world has as much confidence in the abilities of their police forces as do the French.
RufusTFirefly is offline  
Jan 5th, 2007, 09:04 AM
  #13  
 
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In my other life, I worked for a rental company. We were required to ask for an international driver's permit but only really asked for one if the driver's license was in a foreign language. The permit is just that, a permit. But as previously posted, its a good idea to have one--you just don't want to run into trouble. Make sure you still have your local driver's license with you.
Kealoha is offline  
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