Photo for International Driver Permit

Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 11:50 AM
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Photo for International Driver Permit

My husband and I are driving around Provence and the Riviera for 10 days in September. I have always gotten International Driving Permits at AAA. We have a basic membership so these are not free and the photos cost too I think. Does anyone know a cheaper way to get the photos? Is AAA the only place to get an IDP? I know there have been debates about whether they are needed in France. I'm a bit cautious and don't want this to worry me the whole 10 days. However I'd like not to pay more than I need to if someone out there has found a cheaper way to get this.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:01 PM
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I got my photos at Costco. I think they are about $5 for two. I took them to AAA and applied for my IDP. Easy
Sorry. I always use AAA only because that is the only place I know of.
I think it was $15, I am a member and I had the pictures.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:01 PM
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AAA is the most convenient if not the only place to get the IDP. Yes, it charges a lot for the picture, so check with Walgreen's (or your local equivalent), although I suspect that the price will be in the same range.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:19 PM
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Take a selfie, crop it to the correct dimensions, upload it to Walgreens or CVS for printing 2 copies. Pick up the pics and take them to AAA.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:22 PM
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France does not require the IDP (for now).
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:33 PM
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Several official sites say that a US license is valid with a notarized French translation, but recommend using an IDP.

http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article376

http://photos.state.gov/libraries/fr...es-driving.pdf

I doubt any one will ask, but I would get one.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:38 PM
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>>France does not require the IDP (for now).<<

yes it does -- -- per the Embassy of France in the USA website. Actually they require a notarized translation of the license -- which the IDP satisfies.

>>You may drive with a valid U.S. driver’s license if it is accompanied by a notarized translation in French. It is strongly recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit. You must be 18 years of age or older to drive in France.<<

http://www.ambafrance-us.org/spip.php?article376

Just go to Walgreen's or take a selfie.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Always wise to have an IDP.

IDP with photo is about $22 US dollars.

As a person that cuts coupons, let me know if you find it any cheaper!!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 12:46 PM
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It is a useless expense and not required. The "official" rules are to prevent people from trying to use a licence in Chinese only. Laws concerning discrimination prevent them from saying that specifically, but believe it or not, the French police have actually gone to school and can read a licence in English.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:02 PM
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<i>It is a useless expense and not required.</i>

Probably under normal circumstances. But rub the cop the wrong way, or maybe he got up on the wrong side of the bed, and it would be better to have the IDP. Consider it similar to not having the proper documentation if stopped in the States, except that in this instance you will not be able to provide the documentation after the fact.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:04 PM
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That's true, but what expense?

Twenty two dollars vs the expense of the whole trip.

We have rented cars for our 27 driving trips in Europe and have never gone without an IDP.

Do not think that local Police do not look at an IDP.

While not often, it has happened to us and they look at the IDP.

To say that all Police in France are versed in English is a huge stretch.

So, listen to all opinions and make a decision.

Cost of an IDP vs the expense of the trip for ME is a ZERO if doing a cost comparison.

Whatever you decide, have a great trip.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:05 PM
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kerouac: the French embassy says one needs a notarized translation - you may think it is unnecessary but the Ambassador thinks it is . . .

(This will now likely degenerate into a tipping-type thread)
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:06 PM
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In the grand scheme of things is a few dollars more or less for a photo and an IDP really going to affect your trip? When you compare the price of it to the airfare? Or even the car rental?
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:31 PM
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Wow! I love Fodorites. This is a good mix of responses. Your differing opinions are appreciated. I have gone back and forth myself while researching what to do before I posted.
Tomorrow I call AAA for exact cost to me. Next I will call Walgreens as I don't belong to Costco. I'll let you all know what I find out.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 01:46 PM
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$2 discount at Walgreen's here

http://photo.walgreens.com/walgreens...9-000060f58474
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:05 PM
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I got my IDP in New Jersey in June at AAA. $23.55 with photos included, probably $22 plus tax.

Walgreens charges $10.99 using the coupon link above for 2 photos (regularly $12.99).
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:07 PM
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My state and maybe yours have recipricol agreements with France to honor each other's driving license without further adieu.

kerouac lives in France - he knows of what he speaks - others are just quoting something from some Embassy without knowing anything else.

Save your time and money - I have driven in France many times and been stopped at checkpoints where all driver's must show ID - not uncommon in France and no one ever batted an eyelash at my Michigan driver's license.

My son is in France right now with his Michigan driver's license and says he had a checkpoint the other day and no one batted an eyelash - techincally maybe but practically take kerouac, a French resident, more than others just mouthing things they Google.

Like kerouac says French cops ain't idiots... well
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:07 PM
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let us know what you find out for cost. Are you a AAA member? I have to send my husband to get one next. I was surprised it was only $15, i thought we paisd more like $70 the last time we did this, so I wonder if it is different for member vs non-member.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:09 PM
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And if techincally the Embassy says you need a translation that's all - no picture needed besides the one on your real driver's license. IDp is just a certified translation - any certified translator could do the same. so forget the photo - nothing nowhere says you need a separate photo - ask your car rental company if they require it however - probably not but ask.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2015, 02:20 PM
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Let's not make an international diplomacy incident out of this. Our car rental broker said not necessary, but Avis in Bordeaux (where we're picking up)said yes, so we got them. Also at AAA, have no idea how much DH paid. In the context of this long trip, it matters nil. Some people think European countries will not rent cars to those over 70. Not France (not that I am close yet!). But if someone without authority is left at the desk when you're there and says it's necessary, your choices are few. Or if you're caughting driving down a pedestrian zone and the gendarme wishes to punish you, voila! (Actually we did this in Spain but were not ticketed.) Make it stress free for yourselves as best you can! We are taking selfies for print-out at kiosks should we choose to purchase Metro tix in Paris, one version of which requires pictures. Can't hurt whether we get that card or not.
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