International Driver’s Permit

If you’re considering renting a car internationally, it can be handy to have an international driver’s permit or license. An international drivers permit (IDP) allows you to drive a vehicle in another country, as long as you also have a valid drivers license issued by your state. An IDP is recognized as valid identification in over 175 countries. Many major car rental company require an IDP for international rentals.

An IDP is not required in Western Europe or pretty much any place that uses our alphabet, but if you may be going to Eastern Europe or some other places I would not forget to get it.

In the United States, International Driver Permits (IDPs) are only issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the National Automobile Club. The State Department recommends against purchasing an IDP from other outlets. If you are a AAA member just go to the nearest office and you will pay $15 for it. If you are not a member I would still use their service but be prepared to be treated well or badly, depending on which office you go to. I have been to one in Massachusetts where they were very courteous, and to one in Florida where they regarded me as pocket lint…

The IDP is valid for one year.