Betsy Sell: Hello! I am Betsy Sell from AAA Travel, and today we are discussing the basics of international travel. Let's talk about an important piece of documentation, the International Driving Permit, commonly called an IDP.
First of all why do you need one? It's a good idea to carry an International Driving Permit when you travel overseas, even if you are not planning to drive. Why? The IDP is a recognizable form of photo identifaction, which helps communicate with foreign authorities.
Many countries do not recognize a US driver's license; however, most countries accept and may require an international driving permit. Go to AAA.
com and look for information on IDPs. IDPs are honored in more then 150 countries outside the United States. An IDP functions as the efficient translator of a US driver's license into ten foreign languages. But remember, these licenses are not indented to replace a valid US state driver's license and must be used in conjunction with a valid US license.
IDPs are not valid in country you live in. Now how to apply for an International Driving Permit. AAA Clubs are one of the two entities authorized by the United States Department Of State to issue the international driving permits to US residents, who hold a valid US driver's license. AAA can also issue the Inter-American Driving Permit that is recognized in Mexico, Central and South America.
To apply for an IDP, you must be at least 18 years of age. You will need your valid U.
S. driver's liceanse, $15 and two original passport type photos. You will also be required to fill out an International Driving Permit application in advance or at the office.
International Driving Permits may not be issued more than six months in advance of desired effective date. IDPs can also be secured by mail. Just send the following to the nearest AAA office. Enclose your completed application form, two original passport type photos, each signed on the back, a $15 permit fee and a photocopy of both sides of your driver's license, and allow four to six weeks for return mail, unless additional postage for express mail service is included with the application. Digital photographs are acceptable; however, they must be of a certain quality. Please go to travel.
gov for guidelines.
A word of caution: The US Department of State is aware that IDPs are sold over the internet and in person by individuals not authorized by the US Department of State. Many of these IDPs are sold for large sums of money, far greater than what's charged by authorized entities. Go to AAA to be sure you are purchasing from an authorized issuer.
So that's the basics of International Driving Permit. Next I will talk with you about Travel Insurance.