IPD required in France?

Mar 21st, 2014, 06:53 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 21,785
I have gone to the trouble of getting those IDPs an estimated 2 dozen or more times, for use when driving a rental vehicle in France, but also in Spain and Italy.

I would almost never bother with them, until I began reading threads on Fodor's that spoke of the necessity of carrying one, "just in case."

The annoyance is not just the cost, although over the years I've paid a couple of hundred $$). More important is the time spent (several hours to travel by bus from home to AAA office, wait for the processing, return home by bus, etc).

More annoying is the fact that the document is valid only for one year, and cannot be renewed.

I have NEVER been asked to present one, not by rental agencies, not by police.

By this point, it almost feels like a very minor scam...imagine the money this rakes in for AAA!!

I wonder how many frequent visitors to France actually bother to obtain this piece of paper.

I believe Kerouac is an expat who drives often in France.

One of the most pertinent posts on this thread is the one by Eveleigh, who took the time both to contact the rental agency and to post their response here.

Is there anyone here who has neglected to obtain this document and has suffered in any way by this failure?????? Anyone who has been penalized in a routine traffic stop, or after an accident, for not carrying the IDP?

Many thanks..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 07:31 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 63,552
>>So you cannot legally drive when you come back home until you go to the Secretary of State and reinstate your home license.

Nah this does not sound possible. If you land home on a Friday you can't get a license until Monday.<<

Of course one can - one drives on their European license until they get a new US license. Just as Americans can drive in Europe on their US licenses. How long the grace period is depends on the specific jurisdiction/state.
janisj is online now  
Mar 21st, 2014, 08:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,298
In the UK you can drive for up to a year on your home license. To change generally requires a driving test unless you are from a select group of countries.
jamikins is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,519
Well janis if I want to buy a beer or cash a check - so you think my French license as a Michigan resident will pass muster -no of course not again we in Michigan at least need licesne ID for a myriad of uses besides driving.

And yes Michigan allows any ferriner 3 months to drive on their old license, sans translation. Each state of course makes their own rules on this.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 21st, 2014, 08:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,893
Funny. I'm still waiting for Bob to weigh in and tell us that IPD meant Invasive Pneumococcal Disease, and this is a thread about vaccines.

Beyond that, it's one of the most obsessive threads I've seen on Fodor's, next to whether shorts are permitted on the streets of big cities, of course.

Is there any tourist who landed in jail or paid a hefty fine in France (or Italy) for driving without an International Driver's Permit?
NYCFoodSnob is offline  
Mar 21st, 2014, 08:47 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 76,519
And it would cost me about $100 or so to get a new license upon return and probably even more to get a French one - I'd just keep my Michigan one and use it forever in France and no one would care I suspect.
PalenQ is online now  
Mar 21st, 2014, 07:01 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,551
Wow. Who'd have thought it? What a wonderful thing, the internet!!

Thank you, Sarastro, I had no idea that even existed. Really good to know it. I'll print that off, and stick it in the backpack. Amazing. Thanks, again.
tomboy is offline  

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