What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?
An International Driving Permit is proof that you hold a valid driver's license in your own country. It translates your license into about a dozen languages, so that authorities of the country you are visiting can read your license in their own language. It is "an official translation of your domestic driver's license."
What languages can an IDP be?
The IDP can be printed in the five official UN languages (English, French, Spanish, Russian, and Chinese) in addition to German, Arabic, Italian, Scandinavian languages, and Portuguese.
How can I Obtain an IDP?
An IDP is easy to acquire if you go to the right place, it doesn't require a driving test nor does it cost much. However, applicants must:
- Be 18 or older,
- Have a recognized driver's license,
- Submit two passport-type photos, and
- Make their application on an official form provided by the issuing authority.
An IDP cannot be post-dated, extended, or renewed , and is valid for only one year from the date of issue. The driver must repeat the entire application process each time a new IDP is required. The IDP must be applied for in the country of origin and cannot be used there in place of a regular driver's license.
What is the Importance of an IDP?
An IDP is useful because local traffic police may not be able to understand the language on your normal driving license while chances are they may be familiar with at least one of the languages on the IDP. Countries where English is the spoken language do not require an IDP in the U.S. However, some insurance companies and many other jurisdictions often require IDPs to cover drivers. In addition, insurance coverage may be cheaper if you have already been issued an IDP. Holding a US driver's license, however, will most likely reduce your insurance rates even more.
Where can I get an IDP?
Contact a reputable Automobile Association in your home country for more info. In Canada , the Canadian Automobile Association is the official issuing authority , and in the UK the Automobile Association devotes a section of its website to the issuing of IDPs. However, they cannot issue them to holders of foreign driving licenses . Beware of various scams on the internet claiming to sell IDPs.
Can I get auto insurance with an International Driver's Permit?
It is possible to get auto insurance with an IDP. Once the IDP is no longer valid (after one year), you are required to get a Pennsylvania Driver's License for auto insurance.
For information about International Driving Permits per country, feel free to visit: http://drivers.com/article/207/