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Vintagejoe Feb 28th, 2001 05:07 PM

What is the law in Italy re: a foreign driver being required to have an international driver's permit?
I have heard yes and no. What have you heard about this issue? Any personal experiences to share?

kam Feb 28th, 2001 05:15 PM

Technically, an international license is just a translation of your US state license so the police can read it in their own terms. I guess it's supposed to be required, but in 30 years of driving in Italy I have never been asked for one or fined for not having one. I do speak a bit of Italian, however, and was once pulled over because they thought my car might have been stolen (actually it belonged to a relative). Fortunately, we had enough Italian to deal with this. I think you can get one from your AAA and the charge is minimal, so if it worries you, go get it.

SharonM Feb 28th, 2001 05:19 PM

Joe, <BR> <BR>Before I moved to Portugal (for a year), I picked up a relatively cheap ($25.00? don't remember)international drivers permit from AAA. Though not required, I felt it couldn't hurt to have a backup if pulled over or in a wreck...sometimes little things help. <BR> <BR>To answer your question. An Intl. permit is not required in Italy. <BR> <BR>Happy driving!

Rex Feb 28th, 2001 05:23 PM

Hello, Joe! <BR> <BR>We haven't heard from you since the thread about the "best way to learn essential Italian" - - did you ver actually see this thread (topping it right now) - - things move "to the bottom" very fast here! <BR> <BR>I think there is the technical answer (which I don't know at all) and then there is the practical answer. <BR> <BR>There may be various technicalities which require you to have an international driver's license (which is really nothing more than a tranlation of the information on your existing driver's license - - and the international is NOT valid without the existing driver's license on you at the same time) - - under certain circumstances - - like if you are involved in an accident, or commit a crime, or whatever. I was once told that technically, our local police (Westerville, Ohio) could issue a citation to any European driving with a foreign driver's license withOUT an international driver's license. <BR> <BR>The practical answer is that car rental companies never ask for one, and it seems to be only "urban myth" that you need one. Allegedly, if you are ever stipped for some infraction (or an accident) you might be asked to surrender your license - - and you could surrender the international license and keep your existing state license. This makes no real logical sense, and I have never met anyone who has actually had this experience. <BR> <BR>But the final flip side is that they cost very little (in money) and virtually nothing (in hassle or inconvenience to obtain - - at your local AAA). If you can think of any opeace of mind that will come from getting one - - go ahead and do it. <BR> <BR>Best wishes, <BR> <BR>Rex <BR>

SharonM Feb 28th, 2001 05:35 PM

Rex, <BR>I almost mentioned the car rental aspect, but the more I thought about it, I have known of no occassions where an intl permit is required. <BR> <BR>I WAS going to mention that, indeed, you must have a regular drivers license to drive. period. (regardless of your citizenship) <BR> <BR>I'd also carry copies of your passport and insurance coverage.

StCirq Feb 28th, 2001 07:23 PM

The LAW in Italy requires that you have either a valid international driver's license (easily obtainable through AAA) or a translation of your USA driver's permit into Italian. To make things very clear, you don't need this information to RENT a car (no one will even ask you, in all likelihood), but should you get stopped by the police in Italy (and you might for no reason - we got stopped last summer at a random checkpoint in the middle of the country near Gaeta and were told our 10-year-old son ought not to be wearing his seatbelt in the traditional manner, but with the shoulder strap slipped down to his waist - go figure), and you don't have the translation or the international driver's license, you'll be issued a fine. I believe it's $20 at AAA. Easy enough to invest in to be safe.

SharonM Feb 28th, 2001 07:31 PM

Thanks, StCirq. <BR>I didn't realize that a translation was actually required in Italy. <BR>Sorry for the misinformation. <BR>I guess I was (wrongly) basing my knowledge upon other countries. <BR>Again, thanks for clarifying that for joe. <BR> <BR>

Art Feb 28th, 2001 07:37 PM

I got my Intl Licence at the Auto Club last year for $10 or $12, don't remember which. <BR>

christina Mar 1st, 2001 01:59 AM

ciao a tutti <BR> <BR>yes, you need it defenitivly. it's the translation from your driving license into different languages. i need the same when i visit canada or the us, and i know for sure that i will pay a nice ticket in the states if i would not have the int. drv.lic. the same is here, if you don't have the translation you have to pay a ticket. it's very hard to find a carabinieri who speak another language then italian (a lot of italians speak only italian) and the law here need to have the translation. <BR> <BR>aproposito seatbelts in the back: even if you don't see it here, but it's a law that you have to wear it even in the backseats. maybe you will not pay a ticket if you will be stopped but you got for sure one, if you don't wear them in the front seats! if you plan to rent a car with childern, why don't you bring a safetybelt who is adaptable for the normal belt for children? it's a triangle and there you put the normal belt through and your child will not be harmed on the wrong places (neck) if there should be something. <BR> <BR>tanti saluti! <BR> <BR>christina

christina Mar 1st, 2001 02:01 AM

scusate mi! you asked for foreign drivers: if you are european you don't need the international driving license. <BR> <BR>christina

Richard Mar 1st, 2001 12:21 PM

I'm informed that the only western european country which requires an Int's drivers license, is Austia. Other than that, your valid U.S. drivers license is good to go!!!!!

Doug Weller Mar 1st, 2001 01:48 PM

Richard, what StCirq said is correct. You need something that is a translation of your licence into Italian. Think about it -- if they can't read English, you could be showing them almost anything! <BR> <BR>Get an International driving licence if you don't have a recent one from an EU country (mine is a pink card plastic card with my picture and the EU symbol on it). <BR> <BR>Doug

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