Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

International Drivers License need in Europe

International Drivers License need in Europe

Old Aug 14th, 2016, 04:16 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 36,842
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"Perhaps you should tell Europcar in Italy, who will clearly rent cars to American customers without requiring an IDP or even requesting to see one. If it is "the law" in Italy, then why aren't all rental companies in Italy, especially one of its leaders, making it mandatory before releasing a vehicle?"

It is also mandatory to wear your seat belts in Italy, but I don't think Europcar gets in your rental and makes sure you buckle your seat belts. Nor do they follow you and make sure you don't speed. Let's be honest. The car agency only cares about renting you the car. Why should they care if you are driving according to all the rules? There is NO law that says you have to have an IDP to rent a car -- only to drive one.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 04:31 AM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 19,737
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Neo: >>The car agency only cares about renting you the car. Why should they care if you are driving according to all the rules? There is NO law that says you have to have an IDP to rent a car -- only to drive one.
vincenzo32951 is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 05:33 AM
  #43  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 76
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>Not having one could lead to serious repercussions if Things Go Wrong, the cost is minimal so why are people so stupid to defend not having one<

dotheboyshall,

I do not recall a post defending not having an IDL where required! Perhaps you should be more careful with your "stupid" comment. Further, you cite "serious repercussions" although you can not cite an example (the point of this thread btw). How can you be so authoritative about the repercussions when no known example exists, at least in this forum? There are many laws on the books which are never or rarely enforced, like spitting on the sidewalk. If this forum is any indication, it appears there are no documented adverse repercussions for going without the permit- although I do not want to be the first to find out.
Boolanger is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 05:53 AM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>the cost is minimal so why are people so stupid to defend not having one>here is a page from the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure andTransportation>There is NO law that says you have to have an IDP to rent a car -- only to drive one.>If you go against advise then expect a fine.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 05:57 AM
  #45  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
So, if the law is enforced rarely or not at all, it's okay to ignore it?
Mimar is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 06:16 AM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,651
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
The new international format for drivers licences doesn't even have any explanatory words, because the authorities know what the information is in each box. Here are a few examples:

France: https://www.frenchentree.com/wp-cont...dia-france.jpg

United Kingdom: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2014/...9932002382.jpg

Washington state: http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-...3/09/WA-DL.jpg

Arizona: http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/456a...rs-license.jpg

If you come from a place that uses this format, there is no need for an IDP.
kerouac is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 06:48 AM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 60,835
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They haven't changed the requirement in Italy yet to account for these.
jubilada is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:02 AM
  #48  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 76
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>So, if the law is enforced rarely or not at all, it's okay to ignore it?<

Mimar,

Spoken like a true compliance officer! Perhaps the better question to ask: Why IS the law never or rarely enforced?

"It is the lazy man who abides by the letter of the law while a thinking man abides by the intent of the law".
Boolanger is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:37 AM
  #49  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,651
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
They haven't changed the requirement in Italy yet to account for these.

I don't think any country would be foolish enough to require that the new numbered format be recopied on the IDP -- which I'm sure you know now uses the same numbered format. For one thing, EU rules would take precedence over national rules in this case, because that is one of the many things that the EU does correctly -- unifying and simplifying (and discarding) the old mishmash of laws to be respected across the continent. Yes, I know that some people are nostalgic for the old crap.
kerouac is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:45 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 60,835
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm not nostalgic, I just haven't seen any change in the requirement. Until I do, I'll spring for the twenty bucks.
jubilada is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:53 AM
  #51  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,651
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
There are probably still laws on the books saying that trousers are forbidden on women. I know it is the case in France.

Other U.S. states issuing the new format are New York, Vermont, Michigan and Minnesota.
kerouac is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 07:57 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,056
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I will add that you may also need to present your government issued driver's license when you rent your car.

We were in Sydney, Australia at the Hertz counter doing our paperwork when a young woman came in to rent her car. She had her International DL, but not her driver's license from home.

They would not let her rent the car. We felt so bad for her - her vacation plans were completely ruined, as well as her traveling companions.

>
halfapair is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 08:14 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 262
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
>>I will add that you may also need to present your government issued driver's license when you rent your car.>>

May also need? I believe presentation of your government issued driver's license is mandatory for all rental car companies around the world. The language is readily available and unequivocal. It does not require a search.
wesleymarsh is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 08:33 AM
  #54  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,651
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
The only valid license is your government issued license. Nobody would ever trust something copied by an automobile club.

I would like to point out that I looked up the Italian rules which mention the necessity of an IDP OR a certified translation of your license if you are not from the EU.

The format of the "enhanced license" (as the new format is called) IS a certified translation of any required words.

1. family name
2. given names
3. birthdate and place of birth
4a. date of issue
4b. date of expiration
4c. issuing authority
5. license number
7. signature

There are other numbers for various needs, but those are the main international ones. If you look at a new IDP, all you will see are those numbers and no words or translations.

A lot of additional things would never be written on an IDP anyway. I have a friend who just got a license in Brazil for the first time, since he has lived there for 5 years. He proudly showed me his license which includes the name of both his father and mother as "additional information." This might be important in a country where a million people might have the name 'Luis Da Silva' and even have the same birthdate.

The rules -- even Italian rules -- exist only to make sure you have a valid license. The new enhanced format complies completely with the law.
kerouac is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 08:46 AM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 49,560
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Halfapair: an IDP isn't even valid unless accompanied by a valid US license. It says so at least twice on the IDP, at least the one I have. It's not a license, so of course you can't just drive with it. You must always have and present your actual license before you can drive away in a rental car. And plenty of rental car outfits won't even mention the IDP, even in countries where it's the law to have one. Not their responsibility to do so.
StCirq is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 02:38 PM
  #56  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,766
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The IDP has been issued in the numbered format for at least 18 years, since I last got one before getting my Italian license. The first Italian license I got, 17 years ago, had the same numbered format.

Italy has, if anything, tightened its laws on the the need for an IDP. They used to have a number of non-EU countries who were exempt from the requirement, precisely because they used a standard EU format for their licenses. There doesn't seem to be any exemption now for non-EU countries.

Also, it's only in recent years that I've heard of car rental agencies in Italy requiring an IDP. There have been recent reports on TripAdvisor forums of people complaining that they were denied a car rental because they hadn't got an IDP.
bvlenci is offline  
Old Aug 14th, 2016, 08:49 PM
  #57  
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 23,651
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 1 Post
This would imply that the Italian law is used as a scam rather than being useful.
kerouac is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2016, 02:03 AM
  #58  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 7,766
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I really don't understand what you mean Kerouac. What benefit could accrue to the Italian state from IDPs issued in another country? I'm sure the intention of the law is to assure that a foreign license can be deciphered by a policeman, based on the fact that the IDP is in the same numbered format as an EU license.

From my experience renting cars in the US, and having to personally translate my Italian license for the rental agent, I think it's a useful law.

I knew you would jump into this topic sooner or later, because you have a long history of attacks on the very idea of an IDP. Why it engenders such rancor is beyond me.

It's required by law, it costs very little, and it's potentially useful. Why don't you begin attacking truly useless Italian laws, like the ones limiting public wifi? Or the need to photocopy your passport to get a SIM card?
bvlenci is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2016, 03:39 AM
  #59  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 10,320
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
bvlenci, I agree with kerouac at least to the point that it is being excessively bureaucratic.

The ID Translation (I refuse to call it a permit or a license) doesn't add any new information, it simply serves to map any given idiosyncratic format this more or less standard information, to a standard format. It's a clerical transposition, nothing more. Calling it a license or permit only serves to confuse many people who somehow believe it is somehow superior to their local license because of the 'international license/permit' labeling. Anyway, as kerouac indicates, various jurisdictions are already starting to migrate to standard international formats anyway.

And it is a bit of a scam, at least to the extent of the claim that it 'expires in a year.' The ID translation only rearranges information by the primary local authority, it doesn't add anything new. Any updates would only be necessary if the format of the primary drivers license changes, which hardly ever happens. So one ought to have to buy this thing only once or maybe twice in one's lifetime, max.

Primary drivers licenses may be revoked or suspended for various traffic infractions, but that important information is reflected by ones needing to bring one's main driving license with one, NOT by any 'current' ID translation.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2016, 04:09 AM
  #60  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 60,835
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If it is a scam, it should benefit the Italian government. Do you think they get a kickback from AAA?
jubilada is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -