Travelers who plan to rent a car during an overseas trip require an international driving permit (IDP) to legally operate a vehicle in a foreign country. Although most international car rental companies offer car rental insurance, driving permits aren’t readily available. The international driving permit should be applied for well in advance as it takes nearly 4 to 6 weeks for the permit to be issued by mail. It’s important to use an authorized automobile association for this purpose as there are several international driving permits sold online by unauthorized individuals. It’s best to carefully read instructions and fill out the appropriate application form to avoid delays in obtaining an IDP.
An IDP has to be issued by the same country that issued the driver’s license. Thus if a traveler in possession of a US drivers license requires an IDP while already overseas, the application may be mailed to AAA in Florida, or wherever your home state may be. IDPs are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and since they’re an acceptable form of identification in more than 150 countries, so it’s beneficial to obtain an IDP before traveling internationally. It’s important to remember that IDP’s should be used in conjunction with a valid driver’s license from the country that issued the IDP, as identification.