Planning an International Road Trip
Travelling abroad is without a doubt an adventure, but driving abroad is a whole other story. When you decide to get behind the wheel in a foreign country, you not only get to experience more foreign sites, you also get to experience foreign traffic laws (or lack thereof). When preparing to travel most people think about getting their vaccines and packing their favourite swimming attire, but few consider the possibility that they might be involved in a vehicle accident.
When traveling to a foreign country, it’s important to have a safe, affordable, and efficient way of getting around. If your destination isn’t entirely walkable or lacks a public transportation system, you’ll likely want to rent a car and drive yourself from place to place. Taxis can be costly, and driving offers travelers the freedom and practicality to make the most of their trip. It’s also a great way to see a city and scope out places you’d like to visit. While renting a car can be a great option for getting around, there are several factors you’ll need to consider before you can start driving in a foreign country legally and safely. What follows is a guide containing all of the information you should know before you hit the road.
Just as a passport and often a visa are required to travel abroad, official permission is often required to drive legally in a foreign country. If you intend on driving a car in a foreign country, it’s important to research the legal requirements for foreign drivers.
1. International Driver’s License
First and foremost, you’ll need to determine whether your current driver’s license is valid in the country where you’ll be driving. You can check the government website of your destination country to find out whether your license is recognized and if there are any other criteria you’ll need to meet before you can begin driving internationally.
Whether your current license is valid in another country is often dependent on the type and length of your stay. In some cases, you may be required to take a test and obtain a local license. However, if you’re planning to enter a foreign country on a tourist visa, it is unlikely that you’ll be required to obtain a local license. Apply for International driver’s license at www.idltrip.com
The International Driver’s License translation document helps to interpret your domestic government issued drivers license, useful for car rental and insurance in many countries. As a translation, it gives an advantage for motorists who are traveling overseas allowing them to drive in different territories without experiencing language barriers among other difficulties.
2. International Driving Permits
Depending on the country, your current license might not be sufficient for driving internationally. In this case, you’re probably wondering how to get an international driver’s license. An international driving permit (IDP) can be used to translate your domestic license into another language and help you meet national driving requirements.
You may be required to present an IDP when renting a car, submitting an insurance claim, or getting pulled over. IDPs are regulated by the United Nations and must be applied for prior to travel, in the same country that issued your domestic license. You can usually request the documentation from your local auto club or government office. If you hold a US driver’s license, you can obtain an IDP from the Automobile Association of America (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
What these certificates do:
IDPs and IDLs serve five important functions:
Translation of a holder’s driver’s license into 14 languages, including English.
Certification that the holder is legally licensed to drive in his or her home country.
Indication of the types of vehicles the holder is allowed to drive.
Allow the holder to rent a vehicle abroad.
Valid personal identification even for nondrivers in 150 countries.
For both the IDP and the IDL, drivers must be at least 18 years old with a current, permanent driver’s license. Learner’s permits and temporary licenses are not accepted.
Are you thinking about driving in a foreign country? If so, keep in mind that road conditions, driving laws, pedestrian laws, and other ‘driving norms’ that we are used to, can be very different from those in the country you are from. Poor road maintenance, lack of road signs, and insurance coverage (or lack of on the other party's side) are just some of the things you should consider driving abroad.