IPD required in France?

Feb 19th, 2014, 09:58 PM
  #21  
 
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Kerouac,

This is the text that refers to tourists: Si vous séjournez en France pour une courte période (vacances par exemple), vous pouvez circuler avec votre permis de conduire non européen. Il doit être valide, rédigé en français ou être accompagné d'une traduction officielle ou d'un permis international.[my emphasis]
Michael is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 10:03 PM
  #22  
 
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Yes, it's very clear that the IDP is not a requirement.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 19th, 2014, 10:05 PM
  #23  
 
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In addition, there is no requirement to have ID on you in France when strolling around -- that is another ridiculous myth.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 19th, 2014, 10:22 PM
  #24  
 
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and for what reason?

It´s makes an interesting story Michael when trying to convince people to obtain IDPs but I have rented from Europcar in Montpellier countless times and have never been asked for anything other than my US drivers license and passport. Your account is second hand, maybe third hand, and I have a difficult time believing someone could not rent a car without an IDP unless that someone was from Korea or China.

What is far more important, if someone should be in an accident, is that they know what a Déclaration de Main Courante is, have a blank copy on hand (every rental car should have one), and know what to do with it. What´s include in a completed Déclaration de Main Courante will have far greater bearing on any subsequent legal proceedings than whether or not someone has an IDP.

We are obsessing over the wrong issue.
Sarastro is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 04:45 AM
  #25  
 
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Am I missing something? Doesn't that last sentence in Michael's post translate to:

"It must be valid, written in French or be accompanied by an official translation or an International Driving Permit"

So, my New York driver's license in not written in French and the only official translation that I can obtain to accompany it is an IDP.
joannyc is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 06:19 AM
  #26  
 
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What is your definition of an "official translation"? If you think you need an IDP, you had better get it notarized in France for the translation to be accepted as official.

Just stop thinking that France is like North Korea! The only reason that the rules appear to have been tightened is because of all of the Russian and Chinese tourists coming to France now. They possibly need an official translation unless the information also appears in English, with the French authorities will accept without comment.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 06:19 AM
  #27  
 
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with = which
kerouac is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 06:51 AM
  #28  
 
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Iris, stop trying to be reasonable.

There is also anecdotal information that may be obsolete, if the law changed two or three years ago.

In Spain, for example, you do not need an IDP until you need one. You do not need it to rent, but if you get an officious cop you will need one.

As Iris noted for a few bucks, why take a chance and ruin a day or two of your vacation.
IMDonehere is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 07:36 AM
  #29  
 
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>>>Everyone suggests that AAA will charge you $15. That's never been my experience as it is $15 for the IDP which must be accompanied by a current photo--add $8 for a total of $23. <<<

You can take your own photos to use.
kybourbon is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 09:44 AM
  #30  
 
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Okay, everybody who thinks that France is the same as North Korea, get an IDP and enrich a rich organization.

Then complain about how expensive your vacation was.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 09:46 AM
  #31  
 
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It would cost more than $23 to get an official translation. Translators charge by the word, but for something with as few words as a license, they'd charge a flat fee, and it wouldn't be cheap. And you'd likely have to pay for the notary as well.

Get the IDP.
StCirq is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 10:11 AM
  #32  
 
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The French text above clearly says that either an official translation OR an IDP is required.

I don't know about France, but to get an official translation in Italy, you have to find a list of official translators issued by the local court. After translating (usually very badly) your document, the translator has to take it to the court and swear an oath saying that the translation is accurate and that the documents were furnished by the person named. It all takes several weeks and cost over €50. (It's probably gone up since I had it done.)

You could also have the translation done through your nearest French consulate, but, believe me, that would be much worse.

Or you could take your license and a few photos from a machine at the mall to a nearby AAA and get the IDP in 15 minutes at a cost of $15. (Up from $10 when I had to do this before moving to Italy over 15 years ago.)

It was also true in Italy that the law requiring an IPD existed for many years, but that car rental agencies didn't ask for it, although police officers often did. However, that is changing rapidly, with many rental agencies now refusing to rent a car unless the license is accompanied by an IDP.
bvlenci is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 11:49 AM
  #33  
 
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Then again, when I exchanged my California licence for a French licence, I did the translation myself and it was accepted without the slightest hesitation because the person in the office could see that the information was simple and clear -- just like any policeman can see.

I really am beginning to think that a lot of you should get an IDP because your guilt and fear would clearly set off the warning bells if you were stopped on the road for any reason.
kerouac is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 12:31 PM
  #34  
 
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I really am beginning to think that a lot of you should get an IDP because your guilt and fear would clearly set off the warning bells if you were stopped on the road for any reason.

Exactly! That is why I always get one no matter which country I'm visiting. Guilty conscience. I blame my childhood.
Leely2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 01:32 PM
  #35  
 
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I think you'll end up in the slammer anyway. ;-)
kerouac is online now  
Feb 20th, 2014, 02:39 PM
  #36  
 
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You're most likely correct.
Leely2 is offline  
Feb 20th, 2014, 03:17 PM
  #37  
 
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This thread reminds me of the TSA searches at airports. The TSA official might be way confused and not know the rules, but if you argue, no two ways about it, you lose!
Whether the IDP is required or not, if you argue with an official about it, you will lose.
cynthia_booker is offline  
Feb 21st, 2014, 05:36 AM
  #38  
 
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Hi I'm renting a car in France soon and emailed Europcar to check about the IDP, here is the response I received;

Dear Customer,

Thank you for your email.

As long as your driving license is written in english, this will be eligible to rent the car in France with Europcar.


Best regards

Ludivine PIVARD
Europcar International Reservation
Quality to Customer
http://www.europcar.com
eveleigh4 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2014, 06:49 AM
  #39  
 
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eveleigh4: >>As long as your driving license is written in english, this will be eligible to rent the car in France with Europcar.<<

As has been mentioned several times -- often the rental agency doesn't care one way or the other. It is the French authorities who require you have an IDP. If you are stopped and don't have one, you might or might not be in trouble. But it is the law that you have one.
janisj is offline  
Feb 21st, 2014, 07:09 AM
  #40  
 
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More anecdotal input, but last Oct. I went to Gendarmerie in Uzes (b/c someone in our family group was convinced that our car had been dented while parked over night--not--, but that's another story!), and I provided my car rental documents as well as my PA drivers' license (maybe they asked for passport, too-can't remember), and not a word was said about an IDP.

Have we heard from anyone who was actually asked for an IDP recently?
grandmere is offline  

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