Nowadays, more and more visitors prefer exploring places that are completely off the beaten track rather than traveling along traditional routes. Those who want to travel long distances at any time are likely to make use of their own car or rent it from a certain company. Today car rental is one of the most popular and convenient ways of traveling within a country. You do not need to wait for a bus or a train anymore.
Whether you decide to hire a car for business trips or pleasure in another country, keep in mind that most car rental companies demand that you meet a few requirements:
Bear in mind that no matter whether you use your own car or a rental car while driving on another country’s roads, a police officer may not accept your American driver’s license. It is recommended that you apply for an International Driving Permit (or IDP), the only accepted name for this document, to avoid confusing situations and penalties. This is the main case when an IDP Application form may come in handy. Consider the detailed guide below to educate yourself before planning your future trip.
The IDP Application form is a document that is normally submitted to the American Automobile Association (also referred to as AAA) to get an IDP. This small booklet contains the translations of the information from your current driving license. The list of languages is translated into Russian, Italian, Spanish, German, and others). There is another location where you can get and submit this document — the American Automobile Touring Alliance (also known as AATA).
If you dare to travel by car without this paper, you will likely be fined when a police officer asks you to pull over. In some countries, penalties are even severer: from putting you under arrest to deportation.
As we have mentioned earlier, an IDP is an important document that helps you communicate with the police effectively when you do not know the language well. Even if the country to which you are planning to take a trip recognizes a driving license from another country, it is better to be on the safe side and apply for an IDP. However, this can be done only in the United States, where your DL was issued. The procedure is not very time-consuming — no more than two days. However, sometimes it can take up to a few weeks. Below we dwell on this issue in detail.
Filling out an application form is only a part of the process of obtaining an IDP by a resident of the United States. Below you can find the information on how you get through this procedure and what other steps, apart from submitting the form under discussion, you are to take.
First and foremost, if you want to drive on another country’s roads legally, you need to file an IDP application form with a local AAA or AATA office. You are welcome to visit the official AAA website or use our form-building software to get the correct template online.
Before you visit the office or send the package via mail, make sure that it includes all the necessary documents: your valid driver’s license (make copies of both sides of the document), an IDP application form, two passport-sized pictures (make sure that they have signatures on the back), and a check that confirms that you have paid a twenty-dollar fee.
If you visit the office in person, the procedure will take much less time. The submission can also be made via mail. However, filing the documents this way will have to wait up to two weeks.
After you get the permit, carry it along with your American DL if you drive internationally. Unless your existing driving license becomes invalid, you can use your IDP for a year.
Besides driving laws in the county of travel, you should also know the U.S. requirements for getting the IDP permit. Before completing the application form, make sure that you satisfy all of them.
The document cannot be obtained by those who are under 18 years old. Furthermore, you are to have an American driving license that has been issued six months before you apply for an IDP.
In case some of the requirements escape your memory, you can find them in the official form. Although the international driving permit application form is not very complex to fill out and contains only one page, some people may need clear instructions to complete the form correctly. So, for a better understanding of how to fill it out, read the following step-by-step guide.
To begin with, you need to choose between two boxes. One of them is selected if you apply for an IDP. The other one is ticked if you need to obtain only an Inter-American Driving Permit. Although these two forms have the same requirements, their names indicate that they have some differences. The main difference is that the IADP is needed when you decide to drive a car or any other motor vehicle in North or South American countries (the list includes twenty countries). At the same time, the IDP is used in any country that recognizes this passport-like document (today, it can be used in 175 countries). Before completing the form, check out the list of countries that allows you to drive legally with the IDP.
The next section is rather extensive as it requires detailed information about the applicant. The first line contains three blank spaces to insert your full legal name (including the middle one). The second line starts with your phone number. Then you can proceed to your physical address (input it in the following order: street, city, state, ZIP code). You are to insert your existing driver’s license number and indicate what state issued it in the next line. Do not forget to write its expiration date.
The next section requires that you write the information about the place you were born (it includes the city, state, or county, and the birth date).
Right below the previous section, you will find two black lines. In the first line, insert the date the document comes into effect. It is necessary because the period it remains valid is limited to twelve months. In the line next to the above-mentioned one, indicate the date you are planning to leave the United States.
This section is optional. You need to fill it out only if you have a foreign address.
This time the boxes below contain the list of motor vehicles for which you need to obtain the permit. There are five boxes in total: a motorcycle, a car for carrying up to nine passengers (a pickup truck, a minivan, others), a vehicle over 7,000Ibs, a vehicle that has eight seats, and a vehicle that has a heavy trailer.
Finally, you are to provide your signature. Otherwise, the permit will not come into effect. By signing the application form, you state that you have read all the requirements and conditions mentioned in the form and agree to follow all the rules. You do not need to ask a notary agent to verify the document. Adding the date of signing is also mandatory.