AAA Travel

International Driving Permit

Car parked on stone road in Europe
Planning to drive overseas? Get an International Driving Permit

You might hear an International Driving Permit (IDP) referred to as an international driver's license or international permit. They’re inexpensive, easy to get through AAA, and honored as a form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide. The permit contains your name, photo, and driver information translated into 10 languages.

 

Reasons to get an International Driving Permit

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It's valid in most countries

Some countries don't recognize U.S. driver's licenses, but do recognize IDPs.

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It can reduce language barriers

An IDP will show your name and driver information translated in 10 languages.

It might be needed to rent a car

Some countries require an IDP in order for visitors to rent a vehicle.

International Driving Permit requirements

Each country has its own requirements for visitors who want to drive. Some, like Canada, recognize U.S. driver's licenses. Others require an IDP and a few require separate documents. 

 

AAA recommends bringing an IDP along with your U.S. driver's license to help avoid many potential hassles, especially if you're traveling in a country where English isn't the primary language. Even if an IDP isn't required, you may encounter traffic police or other officials who can't read your U.S. license, but can read one of the IDP's 10 other languages.

 

AAA is one of the only organizations authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue International Driving Permits in the United States. You don't have to be a member to get an IDP from AAA.

 

How to get an International Driving Permit

At AAA branches

Visit any full-service AAA branch to get an IDP same day.

 

You'll need: 

  • A completed IDP application. Download the form and complete it ahead of time or in a branch
  • 2 original passport-size photos with your signature on the back. Get passport photos at a AAA branch. Members save at least 30%.1
  • A check or money order for the $20 application fee, plus tax where applicable
  • A current driver's license from your home state or U.S. territory 

 

By mail2

If you're in the U.S., but can't visit a branch, you can apply by mail. Send your completed application, 2 original passport-size photos with your signature on the back, application fee (check or money order only), and a photocopy of both sides of your valid driver's license to your AAA branch. For expedited return service, please include additional U.S. funds with your application.2

 

You can also apply if you're already overseas by mailing all of the above to:

 

AAA/IDP

Attn: Mailstop #28

1000 AAA Drive

Heathrow, FL 32746

 

Important notes

  • An IDP is only valid when accompanied by your physical U.S. driver's license
  • You must be at least 18 to apply for an IDP
  • IDPs are valid for 1 year and aren't renewable
  • IDPs may not be issued more than 6 months in advance of desired effective date

 

 

 

Frequently asked questions

Do I need an IDP in Canada or Mexico if I have a U.S. driver's license?

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No, U.S. driver's licenses are considered valid by Canada and Mexico for visitors on short-term tourist trips. (You'll still need a passport to enter either country, whether or not you're driving.)

U.S. auto insurance is valid in Canada as long as you're only visiting, but if you're driving your own vehicle into Mexico, you'll need to buy Mexico liability auto insurance. U.S. liability insurance is not valid in Mexico. 

How do I get the IDP application?

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Pick one up at a AAA branch or download the form

How do I get passport-size photos for the IDP?

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Get a set of 2 passport photos at any AAA branch. A set is $10 plus tax for members at the Classic level of benefits, and $15 plus tax for non-members. Rates for Plus and Premier members vary.  Learn more about AAA member discount on a set of 2 passport photos.

 
 

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