Do You Need an International Driving Permit (IDP)? | Why You May Need It & Where to Get One

Do You Need an International Driving Permit (IDP)? | Why You May Need It & Where to Get One


Hey there, it’s Ernest from Trip Astute.
In this video, we’re discussing International Driving Permits, or IDPs,
and whether you need one when renting a car abroad. (light chiming music) Renting a car when traveling
can be a confusing experience, especially when it comes to understanding what you
need. Do you need extra insurance? Can you get an automatic vehicle? What are the
mileage restrictions on your car? One of the questions that seems to come up a
lot is whether you need an International Driving Permit, or IDP for short. The IDP
is a small passport-like booklet that you can get prior to your trip that
functions as your international driver’s license. Answering the question whether
you need one is similar to many travel questions. The answer is often: “it depends.”
You’ll want to check with the country you are visiting to see whether they
require one. Some countries like Japan are really strict about having an IDP if
you’re a foreigner and want to drive in the country. Other countries have
restrictions like maximum distance or insurance coverage limits if you don’t
have one. Some may even require one if you’re planning to drive a car for an
extended period of time, like a non-resident living abroad. I
would say that most English-speaking countries do not require one. So, if
you don’t need one, should you still consider getting one? I think it’s worth
exploring. The benefit of having an IDP is that your driver’s license becomes
immediately recognized if you were to have a traffic incident abroad. For
example, if you would have an accident while driving in Korea, and the police
were to arrive on scene, they may not recognize or be able to read your local
driver’s license from the US or Europe. The IDP translates your driver’s license
into ten languages, which can really help to break down communication barriers and
resolve potential misunderstandings. If you are in the US and decide to get one,
you will need to contact the American Automobile Association, also known as
AAA, or the American Automobile Touring Alliance, or AATA. I’ll include a
link to both organizations. You’ll need to fill out the application, provide two
passport-size photos, and pay the $20 application fee.
Keep in mind too that you don’t need to be a member of either organization to
get an IDP. And that’s our travel tip. Have you ever encountered a situation
where you needed or wish you had an IDP? If so, please share your experience below.
Also, let us know if you have any questions. If you enjoyed this video or
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Tips” playlist for more videos like this one. Until next time, travel safe and travel
smart.