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International Drivers License in Germany--is it necessary?

International Drivers License in Germany--is it necessary?

Old Jan 14th, 2000, 11:24 AM
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International Drivers License in Germany--is it necessary?

Help! We're going March and renting a car and I just learned about possibly needing an International Driver's License from AAA. Is this really needed? Anyone rent a car in Munich before without one?

Thanks for the help!
Old Jan 14th, 2000, 01:06 PM
wes fowlere
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If you do a text search here you'll find extensive comments about such licenses.
I am a frequent traveler to Europe and travel extensively by auto. I've always gotten an IDL. It costs $10.00 plus the cost of two passport photos, a minimal expense for the peace of mind it offers. You may never need to show it at auto rental counters; never have occasion to use it. It some areas of Europe, depending upon the nature of the incident, i.e., accident with extensive personal injury or property damage, the police may confiscate your driver's license. Better to surrender the IDL rather than your stateside license! If traveling in remote or rural areas, as I frequently do, I have found police with limited or no knowledge of written English who are "comfortable" with the IDL. No hassle, no problems, no on the spot fines. Youo must simply decide whether peace of mind is worth $10.00!
Old Jan 15th, 2000, 10:18 AM
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We always get one. Had the chance to used it three times. In Spain, during what seems like a routine road check, we handed over the IDP. The Policeman did not speak a word of English, but was very familiar with the format of the IDP and we had no difficulties getting by. In Italy, same story, but this time the policeman spoke English. I asked him about the use of the IDP and he told me excatly what Wes previously stated; if they had seen the need to take our permit away,they would had taken the IDP, instead of the States' license. In Paris, my husband drove 200 feet on the wrong lane before realizing his mistake and getting back on the right track. A street policeman stopped him. We handed over the IDP; he let us go with a word to pay more attention to street signs....

Worth the $10.00 (AAA) if you ask me...
Old Jan 15th, 2000, 04:31 PM
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Both replies above have good information; and I usually do have a "valid" IDP when driving abroad. However, to answer directly the question that you ask: Yes, I have picked up a rental car in Munich; and No, you do not need an IDP to do so. You will need your State-Issued Driver's License; and most auto rental agencies will not accept an IDP as your "only" license. So far as I know, an IDP is not required at all in Germany. However, technically, one is "required by law" in Austria; I do not know what, if any, penalty there is if an Austrian police-person asked to see yours and you do not have it. Also, if you do drive into Austria, be aware that there is a requirement to get a road tax sticker at/near the border; it cost about $10-$15 for a 1-2 week period. These stickers are available at most gas stations on the Austria side of the border; and most will take credit cards (V, MC). Typically, there are signs telling the motorist that they are required; however, if you are not aware that they are required, you may not notice or understand the significance of the signs.
Old Jan 15th, 2000, 10:02 PM
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Hi! I'm not trying to be different froim the rest. I don't believe it is required in Germany. I have never used it in Germany just my US license. I did need it in Czech Rep and had it then. Check with the Travel Office of germany. It is usually included in one of the brochures they mail. alan
Old Jan 16th, 2000, 12:37 AM
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My two cents' worth: I agree with the reasons for having one. I've also never had one though, and have rented cars in many parts of Europe, including the one I'm driving right now in the Czech Republic. Massachusetts was fine.

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