Traveling with Your International Driver's
LICENSE AND WHY it's IMPORTANT
Do you know what is IDP?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that, as the name suggests, transforms your national driver's license into a piece of paper that may be used in any country in the world. Your driver's license information is obtainable in ten other languages in addition to English. These additional languages include Arabic, German, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Italian Portuguese, French, and Spanish. Your driver's license will be translated into the language that is spoken by the local authorities of the country that you are traveling to in order to fulfill this requirement. Even if you have an IDP, you are still expected to always have your standard driver's license with you at all times. After January 1, 2021, British drivers will no longer require an International Driving Permit (IDP) to operate a motor vehicle inside the European Union (EU), Switzerland, Iceland, or Liechtenstein. Both automobile rental companies and private drivers are subject to these restrictions throughout the EU. Although there are a few notable outliers. In order to legally operate a motor vehicle in the European Union (EU) and Norway, drivers who possess just an older paper license will need to apply for and get an International Driving Permit. It is believed that over 3 million individuals in the UK are still using paper licenses; if you are one of them, you may switch to a photocard license. However, if your license was granted in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man, you will additionally require an International Driving Permit. A valid International Driver's License may still be needed when renting a vehicle in the EU, therefore it's important to find out whether or not the rental agency you're considering really needs one before making your reservation. In the event that you need an IDP, we will inform you at the time of booking. The UK government website includes a list of nations and the sorts of International Driving permits necessary if you do need one for any of the following reasons. We will keep you updated on any changes to the IDP policy requirements before your scheduled move-in date. Is there another piece of paperwork that you need me to bring with me? It is possible that you will also need to bring your car's log book (V5C) and your insurance certificate if you are bringing your own vehicle. Even if a person's car already has a European plate, which is a number plate that displays both the EU flag and a GB sign, it is possible that they may be needed to attach a GB sticker on the automobile. Before entering a foreign country, drivers of privately owned automobiles may also be needed to present evidence of third-party liability insurance coverage, sometimes referred to as a "green card." There has been no official announcement on the topic, and the process of getting one will be up to your insurance carrier in terms of both how it will be done and the fee involved. Make sure that you are protected while you are away on vacation by getting in touch with your service provider before you go. The InternationalDrivinglLicense.us recommends that motorists "should give extra time 44approximately one month before you fly" for their insurance company to complete their request and, if necessary, mail them their Green Card paperwork. This is in accordance with the statement that motorists "should give extra time — approximately one month before you fly." A green card may be needed to legally operate a motor vehicle in a member state of the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA). There is a possibility that Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Switzerland are also in need of it. It is not necessary for you to have a green card if you are driving a car that is licensed and insured in the nation in which you are staying, such as a local rental car.
Do Verify Your Driving Eligibility
One of the first things to check is if driving a car is even possible in the country you'll be visiting. You should verify with the embassy of the nation in question (see the list of embassy websites here) to find out the specific criteria for using your U.S. driver's license abroad.
Avoid Taking A Chance
Since driving laws, regulations, and practices differ from country to country, it's important to do your homework before hitting the road in a foreign country. You should know ahead of time if you'll be driving on the right or left in the country you're visiting. Find out what the rules are about using a cell phone, carrying identification, honking your horn, etc. Don't forget to write down the numbers for the local police and emergency services just in case. Finally, learn about safety considerations, such as prohibited regions to enter and whether you're mandated to carry any emergency supplies in your vehicle.
Warning: Don't drink and drive
Even if you're probably well-versed in the laws regarding intoxication while operating a motor vehicle in the United States, you should know that these regulations vary significantly from one nation to the next. Some countries have zero-tolerance policies, while others mandate that drivers always keep breathalyzer kits in their vehicles. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is illegal in most countries, so it's best to abstain entirely if you're traveling abroad. The combination of impaired perceptions and judgment with driving in unfamiliar settings is a recipe for disaster.
Do Hold Onto Reproductions of All Critical Documents
When leaving the United States and traveling to a different country, you should always bring multiple copies of your driver's license and your IDP (with you, in your luggage, in your carry-on, etc.).
Watch Out For References!
It's a common misconception that if you don't pay a citation when you're abroad, it won't follow you back into the United States. A local law enforcement officer may demand payment at the time of arrest, or they may issue a ticket with payment details. If you are ticketed by a camera, the rental car agency may process the citation and send it to you once you return to the United States.
Regardless of the process that was used to issue the tickets, it is in your best interest to pay them as quickly as possible. It's possible that disregarding them will result in harsher sanctions. If you attempt to leave the nation while you have a pending source, you run the risk of being denied entrance.
Why Get an International License to Drive?
An IDP license performs a surprising number of functions for such a basic document. For example, it translates the details of your driver’s license into ten different languages (useful even if you aren’t renting a car). It’s necessary to rent a car and drive in some nations. And it’s a document that will be accepted by authorities in other countries. (But, let’s be clear, it’s not meant to replace your ordinary driver’s license. Please remember to bring that!)
Your IDP license is unlikely to be requested very often. For instance, in the vast majority of nations, you can rent a car and not have to worry about showing an IDP (or even a driver’s license!) However, the consequences for driving without one are severe in countries that mandate its use.
A person might be detained and even deported from Japan if they commit a serious crime there. Research the destination’s driving regulations before booking flights and lodging.
There was a lot of research done on this, by the way. The rules for using an IDP license are not widely known. One example is Florida’s 2012 statute mandating IDPs for all non-U.S. citizens operating motor vehicles within the state.
The only catch was that nobody thought to alert the tens of thousands of Canadian “snowbirds” who spend the winter in the state every year. As a result of all the chaos, the law was scrapped just a few months after it was passed.
In case of emergency, just take along an IDP license. It’s simple to get, doesn’t cost much, and can come in handy in many different scenarios. You’ll have it on hand in case you ever need to use it to drive or hire a car. Zero hassle, zero clutter!
Hold On And Fasten Your Seatbelt
At all times whether operating or riding as a passenger in a motor vehicle, you must wear a safety belt, regardless of the rules in your jurisdiction. If you're not feeling confident behind the wheel, don't go anywhere.
Don't get behind the wheel in a foreign country unless you are confident in your ability to do so. Taxis and public transportation are among the many options available.
Use a travel agency to help you plan your trip.
Does this whole thing sound baffling to you? Because, you know, it kind of can be! The travel management business your company uses can assist you in several ways, including obtaining necessary paperwork and outlining relevant legislation. Any questions?
The regulations of the road apply regardless of whether you have a valid driver's license, an IDP, or any other kind of identification. You must obey all applicable laws, including those about alcohol use, speed restrictions, and traffic signs. There are no examinations to show that you know the difference between an on-ramp and a detour for construction, so car rental firms will presume you know what you're doing. Do your homework before you start! In any case, the car rental agency employees would be more than pleased to direct you to a peaceful area where you may get acquainted with your new ride and the local traffic patterns.