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International Drivers License - Where do I get one?

International Drivers License - Where do I get one?

Apr 28th, 1999, 03:57 PM
  #1  
MikeB
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International Drivers License - Where do I get one?

Tell me where I get one of these.
 
Apr 28th, 1999, 04:42 PM
  #2  
wes fowler
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Mike,
You can get licenses at any branch of the Triple A (AAA) auto club. You'll need two passport sized photos and have to pay a $10.00 fee. If an AAA office is not near you, you can contact them by phone or mail and they'll send you the form to complete and return.
 
Apr 28th, 1999, 06:25 PM
  #3  
Bob Brown
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Are international licenses really needed anymore? I drove around for 2 weeks with only my regular USA license. Avis was quite satisfied with it.
 
Apr 30th, 1999, 07:56 PM
  #4  
peter
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For what it is wrth our local CAA, Canadian equivalent to the AAA, issues the international driver's licence. They indicated that one was necessaryfor Italy but not France, the two countries that we are conerned with. It only costs something like $10 in any event
 
Apr 30th, 1999, 08:53 PM
  #5  
Kirby Sanford
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Do you need one in Germany or Austria?
 
Apr 30th, 1999, 11:46 PM
  #6  
John
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The "Internatioanl Drivers License" is not a license. You don't take any written, oral or driving test to get one it can't be used without a standard drivers license from your national country. It is nothing more than a translation of the information on your drivers license into several different languages to aid officials in other countries who may not be able to read your local language.

The United Nations, in 1949, decreed that anyone with a valid driver license from their own country could drive anywhere else in the world with that license without having to get a local license in whatever country they are visiting. It's only common sense. How would you get a drivers license for Germany, Italy or France, for example, if you were only going to be visiting there for a matter of a few days, or weeks? You would have to take a written or oral test in the local language and a driving test. As it turns out, other countries (at least the European ones) allow you to use your own local driving license for up to 12 months in their countries. For longer periods, you are suppose to get a local drivers license.

Here's what Hertz lists for driver license requirements for the following European countries .... Austria,Denmark,
Germany, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium,
France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom.

"All customers must have been licensed to drive for at least one year at the time of rental. A National License (your standard driving license from home)must be presented at the time of rental. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is also required if the National Driving License is not in Roman Alphabet.(i.e., Japanese) An IDP is recommended (not required) for translation purposes and may only be used in conjunction with a National Driver's License". My words in parenthesis.

So I interpretated this to mean that if you have a US drivers license, an IDP is not required. A police officer or anyone else can ask if you have an IDP for whatever reason, but it is not required. They have no legal right to
fine you or arrest you if you don't have one.

There are a number of advertisements on the internet concerning the need or requirement for an international drivers license who take some liberties with the language and imply or explicitly state that everyone must have one with prices ranging from $10 to $150. These are nothing more than a "ripoff".

I have rented cars many, many times in Italy, France, Germany and Switzerland and have never been refused because I did not have an international drivers license. I have also been stopped by the local police for traffic & parking infractions and also involved in an accident in france and did not need an international drivers license. I have lived in Germany for one year and in France for one year and was not required to have a local licencse from either country or an international license.
 
May 1st, 1999, 07:46 AM
  #7  
Paulo
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A Drivers License varies from country to country but basically it shows an expiration date (most often regarding health/sight checkup), the cathegory of vehicle one is licensed to drive and if eventual restrictions apply (mandatory glasses or contact lenses, etc.).
If you are stopped by a police officer that isn't able to translate these 3 pieces of info into his language, he may take you to the police station to clarify matters. If you have and IDP, there are no matters to clarify.
John is right by stating that a police officer doesn't have the legal right to either fine you or to arrest you (strict meaning of the term). But he has the legal right to ask you to accompany him to the police station and, in fact, there are reports out there that this occurs from time to time (most of them in Spain, some in Italy - it happened once with me in Italy, though I was able to talk myself out).
What are the chances this may occur with you? Very slim ... depending on which countries you're going to drive and which borders (location) you're intending to cross (there are still places in Western Europe where the culture of forcing difficulties to enable one to sell facilities is in effect) chances are higher.

Paulo


 
May 2nd, 1999, 02:39 AM
  #8  
larison
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we just returned from two weeks of touring the countryside of italy, and only needed our u.s. drivers licence. the chances of you being pulled over are very slim (you stand out more if you drive too slow!). drive like the locals, and have fun!
 
May 2nd, 1999, 10:18 AM
  #9  
john
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AAA ...$10.00 good for 1 year.

 

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