Legal requirements. International driving license. International driving license. What these certifications (IDP and IDL) do



International travel planning

Traveling abroad is without a doubt an adventure, but traveling abroad is a whole different story. When you decide to drive in a foreign country, you will not only see more foreign websites, but you will also become familiar with foreign traffic rules (or lack of them). When preparing for a trip, most people think about getting vaccinated and packing their favorite bathing suits, but few think about the possibility of being in a car accident.

       When traveling to another country, it is important to have a safe, affordable and efficient way to travel. If your destination cannot be reached on foot or there is no public transportation system, you will probably want to rent a car and drive from place to place on your own. 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 the city and map out places you'd like to visit. While renting a car can be a great option for getting around, there are a few factors to consider before you can legally and safely start driving in a foreign country. What follows is a guide containing all the information you need to know before you hit the road. 

Legal Requirements

Just like a passport and often a visa is required to travel abroad, an official permit is often required to legally drive in a foreign country. If you intend to drive in another country, it is important to study the legal requirements for foreign drivers. 

1. International driving license

Driving in a foreign country

First of all, you need to determine if your current driver's license is valid in the country in which you will be driving. You can check the government website of the country of destination to see if your rights are recognized and if there are any other criteria you need to meet before you can drive abroad.  Whether your current license is valid in another country often depends 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 are planning to enter another country on a tourist visa, it is unlikely that you will need to obtain a local license. Apply for an international driver's license at

get International Driver's License at

The International Driver's License translation document helps interpret your national government issued driver's license and is useful for car rentals and insurance in many countries. As a translation, this benefits motorists who travel abroad by allowing them to travel across different territories without experiencing language barriers, among other difficulties.

2. International Driving Permits

Depending on the country, your current license may not be sufficient to drive abroad. In this case, you are probably wondering how to get an International Driving Permit. The 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 show an IDP when renting a car, filing an insurance claim, or when you are detained. IDPs are regulated by the United Nations and must be applied for prior to traveling in the same country that issued your domestic license. You can usually request documentation from your local auto club or government agency. If you have a US driver's license, you can get an IDP from the Automobile Association of America (AAA) or the American Automobile Travel Alliance (AATA).

What these certificates do:

IDP and IDL perform five important functions: 1.Translation of the owner's driver's license into 11 languages, including English. 2.Confirmation that the owner has a legal driving license in their country. 3.Specifying the types of vehicles that the owner is allowed to drive. 4.Allow the owner to rent a vehicle abroad. 5.Valid ID even for non-drivers in 150 countries. For both IDPs and IDLs, drivers must be at least 18 years of age and hold a valid, permanent driver's license. Study permits and provisional licenses are not accepted.   

Are you thinking about driving in a foreign country? If so, please be aware that road conditions, driving laws, pedestrian laws and other "driving codes" that we are used to may be very different from those in the country you are from. Poor road maintenance, lack of road signs, and insurance coverage (or lack of insurance on the other hand) are just some of the things you should consider when traveling abroad.

Tips for driving in another country

Here are 10 safety tips you should follow to drastically reduce your chances of being in an accident or, if so, to help you be better prepared.

1. ALWAYS fasten your seatbelt and make sure your passengers are also fastened. If you are traveling with children, always place them in a suitable child seat.

2. If you ride or are a passenger on a motorcycle, ALWAYS wear a helmet, even if it is not prohibited by law.
NEVER drive while intoxicated. Even if it's not against the law of the country you're in!

3. ALWAYS buy liability insurance and a franchise. There is a good chance that if you get into an accident abroad it will be your fault and without insurance you will lose a lot of money.

4. Carry an International Driving Permit or International Driving Permit with you. This is a translation of your driver's license and can be purchased with a quick Google search.

5. Check local traffic regulations before driving.

6. If possible, avoid driving or driving a vehicle in a developing country at night.

7. Find out what roadside assistance is available, if any. If not, have a plan. Don't get stuck on the side of the road.

8. Carry a roadmap with you at all times, don't rely on technology. Carry local emergency numbers with you at all times.

9. As a pedestrian, you also need to know the local traffic rules so you don't get hurt (or worse) doing something as simple as crossing a road.

10. In addition to driving safety tips, be aware of safety issues that may affect you, including car theft and robbery.

A trip abroad can leave memories for a lifetime. By obtaining a proper driver's license and insurance, and practicing safe driving, travelers can focus on enjoying the scenery and experiencing new things.