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International Drivers License Requirements You Need to Know

"Many countries do not recognize U.S drivers licenses. Most countries accept an International Driving Permit (IDP)"

By: Tom Ellerbe
Many countries do not recognize U.S drivers licenses. Most countries accept an International Driving Permit (IDP) The IDP is honored in more than 150 countries around the world. Auto clubs can provide a listing of these international destinations. The International Driving Permit functions as an official translation of a U.S. drivers license into ten foreign languages. The IDP permits are not intended to replace the valid U.S. state license and is used only as a supplement. International Driving Permits are not valid in the country where the IDP holder resides.

You can obtain an International Driving Permit from an automobile association authorized by the U.S. Department of State. Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (1949) authorizes the U.S. Department of State to empower organizations to issue the International Drivers Permit to those who hold a valid U.S. drivers license. The department has designated the Automobile Club and the American Automobile Touring Alliance as the only authorized distributors of the International Drivers Permits.

U.S. citizens should review the road safety section of the Department of States Country Specific Information. This data is available for every country in the world. The road safety section provides an overview of road conditions in specific countries. You can learn about local requirements for drivers licenses, road permits, and auto insurance. Some of this information can be as simple as whether you can turn right on a red light or if you are permitted to use a cell phone in the car.

Many countries have "no tolerance" policies concerning driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol; criminal penalties can be severe. International road safety continues to be a matter of growing concern to governments, international organizations. To apply for an International Drivers License: Contact the Automobile Club or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (National Auto Club)

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