How to Obtain an International Drivers License.

How to Obtain an International Drivers License

Imagine yourself driving through France or Tokyo freely armed with an international drivers’ license; these documents allow for this freedom and are recognized in over 150 countries worldwide.

To apply for an international drivers’ licence in the US, one needs a valid U.S. driver’s license as well as two passport-sized photos of themselves and two passport-sized photos taken within 30 days of turning 18. The fee is $20.

Let us discuss the procedure to obtain an international drivers license in detail.


An international drivers licence (IDP) allows you to drive in other countries. It contains official translations of your national driving licence, and is issued through AIT/FIA organizations which have been authorized by their governments to issue IDPs.

To qualify for an IDP, you must be a permanent resident in your home country with an active driver’s license that will remain valid at least six months past the start date of your trip. Two passport-style photos must also be submitted as well as an age requirement of typically 18 years to ensure you can navigate foreign roads safely.

Acquisition of an IDP may seem cumbersome and time consuming, but it could save you from incurring costly fines and possible legal complications. Furthermore, an IDP allows access to car rental agencies abroad which do not accept American licenses.

American Automobile Association (AAA). To obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP), be sure to research it thoroughly, familiarizing yourself with local driving customs and rules in each country where you travel (they can differ widely), since ignorance of law cannot be used as an excuse; even if you do not intend on driving while abroad.


Driving abroad can be an exhilarating experience, whether whizzing along France’s coastal roads or traversing Tokyo’s bustling streets. But to avoid costly fines and inconvenience, always have an international drivers’ license (IDP) on hand – it translates your license into 10 languages to make communicating with local authorities and car rental companies easier – this process is quick, inexpensive, and most countries highly endorse its use!

To obtain an IDP, you will require a valid U.S. driver’s license, two passport-style photos, and an application fee check or money order of at least $40 payable directly to AAA (American Automobile Association) or through an organization recognized by the Department of State as providing IDPs; it should be done no less than six months before travel begins.

An IDP does not replace a national driver’s license and only lasts one year. It must always be carried alongside its domestic equivalent to be valid abroad, though an IDP may not be needed if your domestic license complies with 1949 or 1968 Convention requirements, making it valid in most foreign jurisdictions; otherwise an IDP might still be necessary in countries like Spain and Italy where domestic licenses do not meet these specifications.

Application process

An International Drivers Permit is an invaluable document that serves to verify your valid state or country driver’s license when traveling abroad. It provides translation of your driving record into multiple languages, which may prove especially helpful if your home license doesn’t recognize foreign countries; additionally, many car rental agencies require this documentation before issuing rental vehicles.

Application process for international drivers license is similar to applying for one in your home country: you will need two passport-style photos, your valid driver’s license and completed application before taking them all to a DMV office near you for submission.

As soon as you submit the required documents, your international drivers license should arrive within one day. Please note: the DMV may contact you if any additional information is required for processing your permit online application.

An IDP is only valid for one year; if you intend on staying longer in any particular country, obtaining a local driver’s license should be obtained instead. As requirements can differ depending on where you travel to, research all requirements before traveling – translation companies can be helpful with this process as can be found via search engines like Google or Bing.

Documents required

An international driver’s license (IDL), also referred to as an ID document, allows you to drive in countries that do not recognize your state driver’s license. It translates the information contained on it into multiple languages for car rental companies as well as providing another form of ID in case you become lost while traveling abroad.

While not required in all countries, the United States State Department advises obtaining an IDP. You can obtain one through either American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA), both organizations approved by US State Department to issue IDPs. In addition, many major insurance providers also provide IDPs at additional costs.

IDPs are valid for one year and can be used alongside your regular state driver’s license, however you should still conduct research into the driving laws and customs of each country you visit; ignorance cannot be used as an excuse for breaking them.

To apply for an IDP, you will require a valid US driver’s license and two passport-style photos with white backgrounds measuring 2 inches x 2 inches each. Photos can be taken at local AAA offices at a nominal fee and then submitted along with your completed IDP application and $20 payment.


Securing an International Driver’s License opens up a world of possibilities. Whether you’re a globetrotter or planning an international adventure, the process is simpler than you think. 

Ensure a smooth journey with our comprehensive guide on obtaining your International Driver’s License


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