How Do I Get My International Drivers Permit – A Permit Guide

Are you trying to get your international drivers permit? Find out how in this guide. As an expat, you’ll have to get around freely, and public transportation may not be accessible. You might have to drive in a foreign country as the designated driver. Since every country’s law is different, you’ll have to comply with the country’s unique rules. If you’re staying somewhere for less than a year, you might not need to obtain an international driver license translation. While so many countries have regulations that allow driving with a domestic license, having an international driver’s license translation to make international travelling as smooth as possible.

Get Your Permit, from AATA or AAA

When you’re searching online, it will say “International Drivers Licenses.” However, these are not the official documents and don’t extend your driving privileges to foreign countries. They are just an international drivers license translation. Your international driver’s license will help you rent a car. However, they aren’t recognized as a valid form of identification.

The main thing you want is the IDP. These are documents that are used to translate your identity in multiple languages. Your driver’s license and your IDP – which you need to have on you when travelling to a foreign country – gives you the ability to drive in around 100 countries. Including many where having a foreign driver license might not be acceptable.

IDP Age Restrictions

To obtain an international driver’s permit, you have to be 18 years old and have a valid U.S. domestic license. You’ll have to drivers license from any US state, complete the application, and pay the fee. There is no practical or written test required for this process.  

Official International Drivers Permit is a booklet, about the size of a passport. Also, it has “The United States of America” printed on its cover. And the seal of the American Automobile Touring Alliance or American Automobile Association is in the middle of the IDP.

AATA and AAA are the only two organizations that are authorized by the U.S. State Department to create IDPs. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), both organizations charge less than $20. If any institution attempts to sell them at a higher price, chances are they’re a scam.

Tips on Driving in a Foreign Country

Here are a few tips to follow when you’re driving in a foreign country.

  1. Contact the embassy of the country ahead of time. This allows you to determine what’s needed to drive there legally.
  2. Obtain your International Driver’s Permit. Keep it with you at all times when you’re driving internationally.
  3. If you’re visiting a country where driving is predominantly done on the left, such as Australia, India, and the UK, practice driving there first. Start by driving in a rural area before driving in heavy traffic. Don’t start driving in a crowded location.


To conclude, you need to get your international driver’s license translation. To do this, make sure that you’re applying from AATA or AAA to ensure that it’s valid. This will give you the freedom to drive in any country and receive assistance when needed.  Do you have any questions about getting your IDP? Tell us in the comments below.

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