International Drivers License USA – Guide

Are you trying to find out how to get your license in the USA? Find out how in this guide.

road trip international drivers permit

What is an IDP?

Usually called an international drivers permit, the IDP is a booklet that contains multiple translations of your driving record. And it has a photo, which helps foreign authorities identity you in the event you are stopped over.

The American Automobile Association advises everyone to obtain their IDP. Even if you don’t plan on driving while traveling, its accepted over 100+ countries. This means that having an international drivers license usa is an asset if you’re traveling abroad.

How Do I Obtain an IDP?

First, you have to determine if you’re eligible for an IDP. You need to hold a valid driver’s license before you can obtain an IDP. Here are a few requirements you’ll need to follow:

  • Your domestic ID must be valid for six months. If your license expires during a six month period, then you can renew it at your local DMV office.
  • You have to be about 18 years old to receive an international driver’s permit.

Watch Out For Scams

The last thing you’d want is to buy a counterfeit license. When searching for an international drivers license usa, you want one from an AAA or the AATA (American Automobile Touring Alliance).

Don’t pay any organization for an international drivers license. Such offers are scams. Even if you obtain something that seems like a permit, it might not be a legal document.

  • A real IDP is a 4 x 6 inch booklet in size. It has a gray cover, page display, date, birthday, and home address location. This information is separated in 9 different languages in separate pages. If you have questions regarding the validity of your IDP, you should ask your local AAA office.

If you do plan on getting your IDP from the AAA, you have two options. Download the application and send it to a AAA office. You could mail your form to the closest AAA office. Included with your application, you need to have two passport photos for your ID. You can take these photos for a small fee at an AAA office.

On average, you’ll have to pay about $15 for the permit. If you have to pay any higher, chances are the site you’re viewing is a scam. Make sure that you get your drivers license by the AAA so that it remains legally identified when you’re overboard.

Plan to get your IDP at least 6 months before traveling internationally. If you wait until the last minute, get your IDP in person to stop delays.

  • Applications delivered through the mail might be processed for about 10-15 days.
  • There’s no waiting period. So if you plan on going in person, and everything will handle in one visit.


Overall, you have to plan before getting an international drivers license usa. By doing so, you’ll be able to rent and drive cars in international countries. Make sure that you get your license early to ensure that you can drive legally and safely.

Do you have any additional questions about international drivers license?

Tell us in the comments below.


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