1Choose Your License
2Driver Information
3Payment & Shipping

Traveling with Your International Driver’s License AND WHY it’s IMPORTANT

international driving license international driving license the USA

Most of the time, when we plan a vacation abroad, we focus on all the enjoyable activities that will be involved, such as sightseeing, dining at local restaurants, and discovering new cultures. However, suppose you’re planning to travel by car. In that case, it’s an excellent way to consider being ready for a few less-than-ideal scenarios you could encounter when driving in foreign countries.

It’s possible that local law enforcement may pull you over for a traffic infraction or that you will get into a car accident while you’re on your journey. An international driving license can be very beneficial in situations like this.

A U.S. driver’s license is rarely accepted on its own in other nations. A legitimate identity must be shown, and an international driving license is necessary and recognized in 186 nations worldwide. Although the Canadian government kindly notes that “if you have a valid license from your home country, you’ll probably be able to use this to drive in Canada for a short time after you arrive,” you don’t need one if you’re going to our closest neighbors. If you want to stay for a lengthy duration, you must get an international driving license. You may drive in Mexico with an American license.

Remember that an overseas driving license isn’t meant to replace your reliable U.S. driver’s license. If you are pulled over by the police in a nation where such licenses are required for international drivers, you will be required to provide both that license and your state-issued U.S. driver’s license.

What an International Driving License Can Do for You

Of course, no one will know whether you’re running a vehicle in a nation where having an international driving license is legally bound until you have to deal with the local authorities while you’re on the road. Many individuals have driven abroad without ever being pulled over by the police. This may tempt you to take a chance and forego obtaining a prior overseas travel authorization. Before you act, stop and think.

There are numerous compelling reasons to get an international driving license if you want to drive while traveling to a foreign country. Here are a few advantages:

  • Lowers or removes the possibility of receiving a fine: To legally operate a car in many nations, every non-resident driver must have an international driving license. If you are stopped by law enforcement and don’t have one, you risk receiving a hefty fine.

  • Contact with local officials is more accessible: This is beneficial in nations where English is not widely spoken. Your U.S. driver’s license information is shown in ten languages on an overseas driving license.

  • Major rental vehicle companies want it: Are you going to hire a vehicle while you’re on vacation? If so, be aware that the majority of significant rental vehicle businesses demand that customers provide a current foreign driving license. This is true even in nations where obtaining this certificate is not legally needed for foreign drivers.

  • Gives comfort to the psyche: It might be distressing for some individuals to think about the potential of receiving a consequence for breaking the law. You may drive confidently, knowing you are following the law if you have an international driving license in a foreign country.

For your advantage and protection, many foreign nations need you to have a Driver’s License (IDL), which is a travel document governed by the United Nations.

As long as they have a current domestic driving license, IDL holders can drive without additional inspection in any contracting nation apart from their own. The countries that have ratified one or more of the UN’s international agreements on traffic are known as contracting governments. Before you go, research the IDL needs of your location. In many nations, it is necessary to hire an automobile.

A criminal or civil infraction may be committed if these criteria are not met, and there may be significant repercussions. If you drive without an ID and file a claim for loss or damage incurred while driving a motor vehicle overseas, your travel insurance coverage may be excluded.

Which States Accept International Driver’s Licences?

An international driving license is recognized in 186 nations, from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. While some countries do not legally accept an American driver’s license, they realize an international driving permit. While some jurisdictions recognize a U.S. driver’s license, others want the local interpretation of an international driving permit.

You should be aware that in Brazil and Uruguay, you must get an Inter-American Driving Permit in place of an international driving permit. It costs the same as an international driving permit, performs the same duties, and is available from the same sources.

One Final Point

When driving in another nation, remember the customs and rules there. Driving behavior might vary significantly from what you are used to in the United States. The embassy or consulate of the nation in the United States or a vehicle rental agency at your destination abroad is a good source of information. Additionally, you may utilize these resources to learn about tourist-unfriendly places, so you can avoid driving through dubious districts.

When traveling abroad, you also need to be prepared to employ your observation skills, so drive carefully and pay attention to how the traffic flows and how the people behave along their roads. You’ll want to comprehend their driving technique to avoid doing anything that results in an accident.

Obtaining an overseas driver’s license is as simple as that. Happy traveling and safe driving!