international drivers license

Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #1  
maria
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international drivers license

Is it really necessary to have an international drivers license in Spain? We are debating whether or not we should spend the $20 each and get one.

Thank you for your advice!
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 09:34 AM
  #2  
Art
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Maria, no you don't have to have one. However, when I was in Spain 2 years ago many people did not speak English. THe Intl license gives transaltions of your license and also has pictures of international road signs to assist you in understanding them.

You can get them at AAA for $12.00 each.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:03 PM
  #3  
JP
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According to the Spanish tourist office (www.okspain.org), it is required.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:16 PM
  #4  
Marilyn
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It's my understanding that there can be problems if the policy cannot understand your drivers license. Also, they may confiscate your original license and it would be better to lose the international one in the long run. M.
 
Old Jun 3rd, 2002, 12:30 PM
  #5  
Amy
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I agree with Marilyn. Get the international drivers license. You don't want your real US license in the hands of officials outside of your own country. (I am assuming you are from the US.) FYI, it is illegal for any country to seize or confiscate your US driver license. Do not allow anybody to take possesion of it while outside the US.

Unfortunately I get pulled over all the time here in Latvia (speeding/illegal turns/random stops...I am still learning the Latvian street signs!) and I NEVER show them my US license. They only get my int'l driver license. If they seize it, I have a couple spares at home!
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 03:57 AM
  #6  
maria
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Thank you all for posting. I love this site because my questions are always answered so quickly!
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 04:04 AM
  #7  
Kay
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We always get one even though we have never been asked for it. Don't take a chance, when on vacation, you don't want to spend your time straightening out a problem that could have easily been avoided for a few dollars. FYI, driving in Barcelona is a little nerve racking, but we just did it! We are currently in Deia, Mallorca and it is really beautiful! Have a great trip, take care, Kay
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 04:50 AM
  #8  
Karen
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How about Italy? I don't think we need one, but would you advise it anyway? Also, can you apply in Italy when you arrive, or do you have to get one here in the US before departure? Thanks for any info.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 05:55 AM
  #9  
abc
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maria, at our local AAA, the international driver's license is only $10, though maybe it is $20 where you are. We used digital photo pics, so we didn't have to go to one of those 1-hr. photo places and pay for 2 photos. The $10 was definitely worth it for our peace of mind. I haven't been to Spain, however; this was for Italy and France.
karen, definitely get this done before you leave for Italy, if you decide to get one.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:13 AM
  #10  
JP
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Italy requires that a US or Canadian license be accompanied by a translation (either IDP or one purchased from the Italian auto club). See http://www.italiantourism.com/transp.html
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:19 AM
  #11  
Joanne
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We always get the license too. Have never needed it, but we had it if necessary.

Incidentally, Maria didn't say it would cost $20.00 each; $20.00 for both. We pay $10.00, but think the picture is extra, probably accounting for the $12.00 charge.

We went to Italy in early May and, as always, had the license if we needed it.

j
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:23 AM
  #12  
Louis
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Rented a car in Florence last April with a Quebec drivers' licence written in French only.

Was never asked for anything else. No problems at all.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 08:38 AM
  #13  
Marilyn
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If you are an AAA member they take the photos for nothing and the license costs $10 (at lease where I live). M.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 11:17 AM
  #14  
Bob Brown
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Although the original question pertained to Spain, the topic is one that tends to mutate and spread to other countries. So, I learned directly from the Austrian tourist bureau in Vienna that an international license is required for Austria. In fact, the word "mandatory" was used.

I had one last year, and never showed it. But you never know.
 
Old Jun 4th, 2002, 02:42 PM
  #15  
Terry
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My husband and I were in Italy in May. He got an international drivers license because he is the only one of us who drove. We were pulled over once in Florence because we were in a restricted area (only for service trucks, etc.) My husband showed him his international drivers license. The officer didn't speak English so went and got the other officer who did speak English. He told us the problem and we told him we were looking for our hotel. Turns out were were a couple of blocks away and he told us how to get there. My husband and I were both convinced the officer was nice to us because of the international drivers license. It shows we have respect for other countries and are not arrogant Americans who feel we don't need to follow the rules. We were glad we spent the $10 at AAA to get it. It gives you peace of mind.
 
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