IDP

Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:06 PM
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IDP

where is the cheapest place to get an International Drivers Permit for Germany on the internet or in person?
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:12 PM
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rex
 
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AAA? Are we to count the cost of you getting to that place? I think you have to go in person.

Where are you?

By the way, a common consensus is that you never really need one, or at least not 99% of the time. Certainly, the car rental counters never seem to care, in the slightest.

Best wishes,

Rex
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:25 PM
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First of all, I don't believe you need one for Germany. You do need one for Austria and Italy and probably some other countries.

Second, Rex's idea of the "common consensus" is indeed indicative of the common consensus, but that consensus is dumb. Just because car rental companies don't require it or you never get stopped and asked for it, doesn't mean it is not the LAW of the country you're visiting that you need it. We've had this debate a thousand times on this forum, and apparently even some well-traveled people haven't learned from it.

The IDP is nothing more than a translation of your driver's permit from the USA (I'm assuming that's where you're from). That translation is required in several European countries. IF you get into an accident or get stopped by police - which, given the European proclivity lately to do random roadside stops for no reason at all is fairly likely - you will need to produce either a translation of your license in the language of the country you're in or an IDP.

For the $10 AAA will charge you to get it, it seems well worth it to me.

Of course the car rental companies don't care - they'll never even mention it. Why would they?
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:28 PM
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For what it's worth, I did say "A" common consensus, not "THE" common consensus.

It is also against the law to drive over the speed limit in many countries, and in the fifty states. "A" common consensus is that it's okay to do it within moderation.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:38 PM
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There's no good analogy to driving within the speed limit. Sure, you can drive 5 miles over the speed limit and never get stopped or fined, but if you get stopped in Austria and asked for your IDP, it's not a matter of degrees, it's whether you have or have not got the document. You can't have or have not the IDP "within moderation."

"The" or "A" consensus is irrelevant. It's the LAW in certain countries that you must, as a foreign driver, hold an IDP. Whether or not you ever use it or are asked for it is completely irrelevant.

As a self-described "tour director," Rex, I should think you would be particularly aware of this issue.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 06:53 PM
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I ran out of gas on the Autobahn, in Germany. When the Polizei stopped to check out my car, I was glad that I had my IDP, which he did ask for, in addition to my US driver's license.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:07 PM
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rex
 
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<<You can't have or have not the IDP "within moderation." >>

No furhter argument on this point.

So, this is my last "for what its worth"...

I did answer the question. AAA. It's where I have gotten mine in the past.

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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:10 PM
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Rex, just for the record, I have never used my car insurance for a claim in over 20 years. Should I drop it, since I've clearly never needed it?

An IDP is quite similar. You may not "need it" or even "use it", but if you do have a problem where it is required, then like insurance, you'll be very sorry you don't have one. I can't imagine traveling without one in a country where it is required by law.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:22 PM
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Okay. So I have made myself the target for the night.

But for what it's worth, financially responsible people who are prepared to shoulder the liability do have a legal alternative to insurance, and could indeed cancel it.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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According to the following website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/...driveralrt.htm ,

The U.S. Department of State has authorized only two organizations to issue IDPs to U.S. residents. The organizations, the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA), are permitted to sell IDPs only to people who are at least 18 years old and only to those who have a valid driver's license issued by a U.S. state or territory.

An IDP translates your state-issued driver's license into 10 languages so you can show it to officials in foreign countries to help them interpret your driver's license. IDPs are not intended to replace state-issued driver's licenses and should be used only as a supplement to a valid license when traveling in a foreign country. In addition, IDPs are not proof of identity.

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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:27 PM
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Actually Rex, you couldn't cancel your insurance if you lived in Florida (and many other states). Having insurance is required to even get license plates for the car.
But come on now, you're really stretching here. No one was being overly critical of your position here. But there was similar thread just a few days ago and the VAST majority of responders all agreed that it would be foolish not to have an IDP in a country that requires one, especially since they only cost $10 or are even free to most AAA members.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:50 PM
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Especially for someone who touts himself as a "tour director." Come on, you need every assurance you can muster to take people's money and take them touring in Europe these days.

If Rex were to offer one of his tours, as he has in the past, I for one as a prospective tour participant, would want to know if he had a valid IDP. I wouldn't sign on unless he did have one.
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Old Feb 10th, 2004, 07:56 PM
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Okay, I have learned two things here tonight. Financial responsibility (without insurance) is an option in Ohio, wher I lived from 1982-2003. It is not an option in Indiana where I live now.

And I have looked at a few dozen posts her on the subject of an IDP over the past few years - - because I felt certain that the "consensus" has changed here over the past few years - - that a less "mandatory" view has been expressed by numerous people (including Patrick, Bob Brown and others) in years past.

What I learned that the opinion about IDP in Austria is clearcut, as StCirq said. It is less clear cut for Germany (and Italy and France). The original question did refer to Germany.

I am always pleased to learn something here.
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