In this article, we’re going to answer the most frequently asked questions about the International Driving Permit, how to get one and how much it costs.
What is an International Driver’s Permit?
As the name suggests, an International Driving Permit is an official document that enables the holder to drive in other countries. Keep in mind that the validity of your IDP is dependant on the validity of your driving license.
Basically, an IDP is a multi-language translation of your driving license. It includes a picture and some pivotal information about the holder.
Driving internationally without an IDP can result in some serious fees. You should also know that having an IDP is one of the requirements for renting an automobile and legal driving in over 140 countries.
An IDP doesn’t enable you to legally drive in all countries. To find out which countries recognize International Driving Permits, click here. You’ll notice that China isn’t one of these countries, and so it’s imperative to have a driver’s license that’s issued by China to drive there.
How to Get an International Driving Permit?
The process of getting an IDP varies from one country to the other, so it’s advised to check with representatives from your country’s main office that’s responsible for issuing driving licenses.
There are only two organizations in the United States that are authorized to issue an IDP: the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA) and the American Automobile Association (AAA). Any other organizations that claim to offer IDPs are likely running a scam.
You can apply for an IDP online, or you can visit your local AAA or AATA office. Alternatively, it’s possible to mail the application to the AAA or AATA, along with the needed documentation. Click here to find your local AAA office.
If you live in the UK, you can easily obtain an IDP from your local post office branch. You’ll need your regular driving license, a recent passport-size photo, ID or passport, and the application fee.
In both the United States and the United Kingdom, you need to be at least 18 years of age and own a country-issued driver’s license that’s valid for the next 6 months.
How Much Does It Cost to Get an IDP?
The application fees vary from one country to the other and from one organization to the other. It costs around $15 in the United States to submit an IDP application and around €35 in countries of the European Union.
How Long Does It Take to Get an IDP?
There really isn’t a standard amount of time for an IDP to be issued. This also varies from one country to another because every country utilizes different solutions.
In the UK, you can acquire an IDP from a post office that issues out IDPs almost immediately. In other countries, you may need to apply for it online and wait a few days for it to be delivered.