Washington DC, 4 March 2023 (TDI): The United States (US) Government recently announced that it may require International Driving Permits (IDP) from foreign visitors in order to drive in the country.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an official document that allows foreign citizens from certain countries to drive legally in the US. The IDP is recognized in over 150 countries, including all US states and territories.
An IDP must be obtained from the country of origin and should be carried along with the driver’s home country license. All US states require foreign visitors who plan to drive to have an IDP.
Tips on getting your IDP
An IDP must be obtained before the trip. An IDP is valid for one year and is commonly issued by a local automobile club or a state department of motor vehicles. It is important to apply for an IDP well in advance, as it may take up to 15 days to obtain it.
In addition to an IDP, drivers should also check with the particular state they are visiting, to make sure they are compliant with any other laws and regulations related to driving.
Reasons to carry an IDP
The US requires foreign visitors who plan to drive to have an IDP for several reasons. Firstly, the IDP serves as internationally recognized proof of a person’s authorization to drive, and can also be used as valid identification.
Secondly, the US is one of over 150 countries that are signatories to the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic, which requires that all foreign drivers should carry an International Driving Permit while they are visiting the US.
Thirdly, having an IDP may help travelers gain access to rental vehicles and avoid language barriers.
Things to remember while obtaining IDP
Primarily, make sure that the IDP is valid for the duration of your stay in the US.
You should also check with the rental car company or any other local transportation services to make sure they accept an IDP as a valid form of identification.
Also, make sure you adhere to all other local, state, and federal driving regulations while in the US.
In order to obtain an IDP, applicants must hold a valid driver’s license in their home country, be at least 18 years old, and submit two passport-size photos to the issuing automobile organization.
Once issued, the IDP will remain valid for one year from the date of issue and can be renewed annually.
To conclude, an IDP is not a replacement for a traveler’s home country driver’s license but it does provide an additional form of identification for foreign visitors in the US and may prove useful when dealing with state or local law enforcement.