Have you ever felt the need to drive across the Great Victoria Desert in Australia? Maybe cruise down the narrow streets of London in a compact car? What about carefully navigating a winding dirt road along the Alps in Austria? These ideas sound adventurous, but the last thing you need is a foreign traffic ticket for not having a country specific or international driver’s license.

With an international driver’s permit, you can avoid getting internationally busted for driving a car. Even driving up that mountainside can put you at risk of receiving a traffic ticket. You don’t want to be caught operating a car without a driver’s license. That’s why we’re showing how to use your international driver’s permit, and the requirements of getting one.

What is an International Driver’s License (IDP)

The DMV states that the international driver’s license, known as an international driver’s permit (IDP), acts as a translation of your current driver’s license. Therefore, you cannot replace your current driver’s license with one that is international. Having an international driver’s permit will allow you to drive and operate an automobile in a foreign country.

On your international driver’s permit, you will find the following information

● Your full, legal name
● Your driver’s information
● A profile photograph

This will act as your identification when you’re internationally cruising abroad. With your international driver’s permit, you might even feel like a super-secret agent.

The Requirements of an International Driver’s Permit

Obtaining your international driver’s permit can be quick and simple. However, that doesn’t mean it always is. The process becomes a whole lot easier when you present the DMV with the correct, necessary information and documentation. Here’s what you’ll need:

Proof that you’re at least 18 years old. This can be done by presenting a driver’s license or an alternative form of identification.

Driver’s license. Talk about two birds one stone. You can check off another item on your list if you present your proof of age with a driver’s license.

Two forms of photo identification. Three birds, one stone? That’s crazy. If you have your driver’s license, this process can be simple. All you have to do is present another picture ID, such as a passport.

Completing the following applications. You must complete an AAA application or an AATA application to continue your IDP process.

AAA application
AATA application

● Application payment. With every government application comes the associated application fee. The fee may change depending on circumstances, however they typically range from $20 to $30.

● Submitting the application. This is often the hardest part for some people. Incorrectly submitting the application has led to the ruin of far greater people, so don’t feel bad if you mess this part up. You can submit via mail or by walking into the DMV.

After completing the requirements, you can apply for your international driver’s permit. Waiting is always the hardest part of any process. But soon, you’ll be cruising behind the wheel on the right side of your car.

Advice for Driving Internationally

The traffic school California offers might not help you internationally, but that doesn’t mean you have to drive unprepared. Practicing road etiquette is universal. Therefore, when in doubt, be polite.

Driving defensively is the best way to be a polite driver on the road. Never drive while distracted or under the influence of a substance. Most importantly, be sure to learn what side of the road the locals drive on. Also, remember not to embarrass us U.S. drivers.