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I forgot my international driver permit

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Aug 30th, 2016, 03:22 PM
  #1
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I forgot my international driver permit

Hi,

I messed up and forgot to get an International Driver Permit. I am renting a car in Croatia and driving into Bosnia and Austria.

Can I get by with just my Canadian driver license?

Brian
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Aug 30th, 2016, 03:30 PM
  #2
 
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This is an evergreen topic here and you will get all kind of answers - nothing definitive- see if you can have someone send your IDP if they can find it to you in 2 days.

Contact your car rental company and see what they say.

I believe IDPs are available in Europe at some places but not sure - where years ago.
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Aug 30th, 2016, 03:39 PM
  #3
 
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It depends on what "get by" means.
For renting, often no. The rental company makes money irrespective of whether you have one or not. When you get stopped by police, yes.
Do a google search to find people mentioning being asked to produce IDP when stopped by police in Croatia.
greg is offline  
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Aug 30th, 2016, 04:34 PM
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The purpose of the IDP is the translation thing - it has no real official validity, is not binding, not mandatory. Just ask a cop who has nothing to do on a street corner, anywhere.

From the AA website:

[begin quote]
Why Carry an IDP?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information. It translates your identification information into 10 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don't. Most countries highly recommend an International Driving Permit.

An IDP gives you peace of mind while you're out exploring the world - even if you're not planning to drive! [end quote]

In all the years of carrying one I have never ever had to show it, to anyone, and once or twice when I volunteered it to someone with only marginal English and me not knowing their language, they looked at it as if it were a document from Mars. So don't sweat it - if the cop can read your DL data (about the birthday - volunteer to show your passport and point to the date...), you're good.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 05:30 AM
  #5
 
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According to many other posts on this subject some countries apparently require it or an official translation of your home license.

But like michel in years of driving I have never been asked for it and never have had one after the first few years.

And some car rental companies do many say demand it.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 05:36 AM
  #6
 
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Agree. Have rented dozens of cars in various countries and have never been asked for IDP. Stopped once or twice over the past 30 years or so and never asked to show the IDP. Unless I hear convincing evidence for getting yet another one, I may just forego it for my upcoming trip to Spain. What is going to happen if you do not have one...carted off to jail?
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Aug 31st, 2016, 06:04 AM
  #7
 
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We were asked for it when we rented a car in the Czech Republic, and once when we were pulled over by the Slovenian police (who let me go with no fine). It's only 15 bucks. If I was worried about paying 15 dollars for an IDP, I probably should rethink my vacation plans.

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Aug 31st, 2016, 06:20 AM
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Unless I hear convincing evidence for getting yet another one, I may just forego it for my upcoming trip to Spain. What is going to happen if you do not have one...carted off to jail?
_____________________________________
Ill advisable Eks. Some Spanish rental agencies now ask for it and if you get stopped by Spanish police, they could get cranky. Also in Spain, if you wear glasses, they police might ask to see a second pair.

Just go to the AAA at B'way and 62nd.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 08:07 AM
  #9
 
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If Spain requires it, why would you risk the consequences, even if unlikely, in order to save $15?

I suspect some countries may require it more than others because it is less likely their police (or rental car people) will be able to easily read and figure out your native license if it is in English.

For example, these are the terms of Europcar in Spain, they say they require it. So why would you go there and not have one to save a little money, on the hopes that you might get someone who wouldn't care?

< 1) your normal driver's license, issued by your country of residence and held for a minimum period according to local legislation or conditions. It will be requested at every rental. In addition to your normal Driving Licence, your International Driving Licence is also mandatory if your driving licence is written in a language different to the one of the renting country and/or in characters that can not be read in the renting country. Note that your International Driving Licence is valid only if accompanied by your normal Driving Licence. Driving Licences must be valid in the country of rental.
2) your identification document such as your passport (or your national identity card)
3) your valid credit card with an expiry date after the due check-in date. If you use a Europcar prepaid voucher as mean of payment (with a specified value or the mention 'Group & Days apply'), you must also present a credit card for those charges which have not been prepaid (such as extras, refueling charge, deposit). Please check the list of accepted credit cards in the country rental conditions.
NOTE: Points 1) and 2) are applicable to all additional drivers, if any>>
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Aug 31st, 2016, 08:21 AM
  #10
 
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I know this is off-topic, but I think it's worth mentioning to prevent another possible financial headache: Croatia and Austria aren't neighbouring countries. You'll have to drive through Slovenia or Hungary to reach Austria, depending on your itinerary. Hopefully you're aware that you'll need to buy a vignette for Austrian highways, but note that Slovenia and Hungary also use a vignette toll system. Do not forget to buy one for whichever country you'll be transiting through, as controls are common and the fines are steep. You probably won't be asked for an IDP during your trip, but your car probably will be checked for the vignette toll sticker.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 08:44 AM
  #11
 
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Well...with border crossings between Austria and its neighbors (and their neighbors) not being entirely and completely EU-friendly these days, I will share my limited experiences as one with a US license, an Austrian residency card, and an Austrian-tagged personal vehicle.

Returning from a weekend in Trieste in October last year, and with DDog snoozing in the way back of our wagon, I was stopped when entering Slovenia and asked how long I had been in Italy, and to where was I heading. I did not have to present any paperwork.

Crossing from Germany into CZ in late spring (heading out from Passau), DH and I (and with DDog in the vehicle), were stopped and asked to show registration paperwork while traversing through some tiny village near the border. We were in a rental car at the time, as our personal vehicle was being treated for accident damage.

In May we traveled to Corfu and rented a car with our US licenses and Austrian residency cards. On the very first day our rental was hit. Paperwork ensued, but nothing was made of our US license/Austrian residency combo.

On our long weekend getaway last month that had us traveling into Germany, the lane is still reduced to one near the border close to Salzburg, and all vehicles are passing through under police inspection at 30kph. Trucks and panel vans seemed to be the transportation of interest at the time, as the pullover area was crowded. Passenger vehicles seemed to be traversing without issue.

The few Euros or whatever it takes to obtain an IDP is just peace of mind. In Austria the ÖAMTC can offer the IDP; I would imagine that other countries have a similar service. Why not spend the few Euros to avoid a hassle?
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Aug 31st, 2016, 12:51 PM
  #12
 
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A Fodor's thread from 2011 says Croatia don't require IDP but car rental agencies there did - quote from Croatia Tourist Board but 5 years old.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 01:40 PM
  #13
 
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Ok, ok....it's not the $15 it is the pain of getting over there and the fact that I seem to have bought one every year or so and never been asked for it. Why can't they make them valid for a few years? I always think of it as an AAA scam but I'm open to opinions of those with more experience.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 01:54 PM
  #14
 
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I've never had to show an IDP either.

I had one some years ago when going to ... Canada and didn't show it to anyone there. I've rented cars in the US, Mexico, Marocco, St Martin and about everywhere in Europe (EU) + Latvia, Romania, Slovenia.

Been stopped by police in US, Canada, Mexico, Marrocco, Tchecoslovakia (in that time) - never was asked for it.

S(ome years ago I rented cars without my permit at all, but now I'm being asked each time).

Probability of being asked is slim, and I don't see why it would matter one bit in case of an accident.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 02:53 PM
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I always think of it as an AAA scam but I'm open to opinions of those with more experience.>

for $15 I doubt it's a money maker for AAA- maybe for whoever originates the IDP - anyone know who originates the IDP?

If I had a year-old IDP I would take it and not buy a new one perhaps - or anyone that matched your license because that is all that is needed - a recognized translation of your license into other tongues.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 06:10 PM
  #16
 
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I forgot my in May on our trip to Poland, had a no deductible car booked with AutoEurope. Without the IDL I would have been responsible for the full loss of the car. I decided to forego the rental and used the trains.

My brother hit a deer, also in Poland, last April. The first question from the police was to see his VAlID IDL.

If you are caught driving without one in a country that requires one you will be effectively not licenced to drive, responsible for all the costs and all the damages.

Mark
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Aug 31st, 2016, 06:15 PM
  #17
 
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If you have one and forgot it, have it send over ASAP. If you forgot to have one issued, forget the car rental.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 08:40 PM
  #18
 
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I always think of it as an AAA scam but I'm open to opinions of those with more experience.
____________
Yeah, those AAA people are the real 1%ers. Com'on you're experienced traveler.

Be there next week and have my IDP.
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Aug 31st, 2016, 08:52 PM
  #19
 
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The IDP has cost $20 for quite some time, at least a year.

The value of an IDP for licenses in another script like Arabic or Chinese is obvious. For a country like Italy to accept EU licenses in English (UK, Ireland, Malta) without an IDP but require translations for US licenses in English is preposterous.

And the USA has at least 55 different licenses (states + DC + PR + Virgin Islands + Samoa + some Indian tribes issue driver's license) so the IDP is not a translation of any US license, but a phrase book of possible terms that might be used.
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Sep 1st, 2016, 01:40 AM
  #20
 
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For a country like Italy to accept EU licenses in English (UK, Ireland, Malta) without an IDP but require translations for US licenses in English is preposterous.>

EU driving licenses are standardized, so translations aren't needed. The police officer just checks the same fields as he would on an Italian license.

US driving licenses need to be supplemented by the IDP because the US isn't party to the Vienna convention on road traffic.
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