How to Obtain An International Driving Permit (IDP) With AAA?

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To drive overseas (outside the United States), the rental car company requires an International Driving Permit (IDP). The permit basically translates your driver’s license into several foreign languages. It is similar to a passport book you must carry with you overseas if you plan on driving there. 

It is always important to check the driving license requirement in the foreign country you wish to drive, whether your home country’s driver’s license is sufficient, or whether you are required to carry an IDP to hire a car or a motorbike when you get there. You want to avoid getting a hefty fine for driving without an IDP while on vacation, and some rental places will only rent you a vehicle if you have an IDP. 

How to Get International Driving Permit In USA?
International Driving Permit (IDP) With AAA
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    How Long Does It Take to Get An AAA’s International Drivers Permit?

    Obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) is really inexpensive. 

    You can obtain it by mail or simply stop by your local AAA branch, and you do not have to be a AAA member to apply there. 
    Applying by mail can take weeks, so stop by a local or nearby AAA branch is the simplest and fastest method. You will receive your IDP on the same day.

    How to Get An International Driving Permit With AAA in the USA?

    • Locate a local AAA branch. AAA Branch Locator.
      • You do not have to be a AAA member.
    • Bring your current valid US driver’s license to the branch. 
    • Bring 2 passport photos. The AAA office can take a photo if you do not have them. 
      • The passport photo fee can be free if you are a AAA member, or they give you a discounted price based on the AAA location. 
      • If you are not a AAA member, there’s a small charge plus taxes for the passport photo service. In my case, I’m not a AAA member, so I was charged $15 + tax.  
    • At the branch, fill out the International Driving Permit application form provided at the AAA center. The form simply asks for basic information about you, birthplace, city and country, driver’s license number, your address (must match the address on your current driver’s license), dates of intended to travel and to drive, signature… all basic information and the agent is ready to help if you have any questions.
    • The agent then needs to do some paperwork and may inform you to hang around the store while s/he works on it. It should not take long. 
    • Pay a $20 fee plus the passport photo service, if any. Credit cards are accepted. 
    • Sign the last page of your IDP under your photo, and you are all set. 

    The whole process is very easy and simple. The whole thing, including taking my passport photo there, took around 10 minutes in and out of the AAA office with a ready-to-go IDP.

    Important Things to Know

    • The International Driving Permit (IDP) requires your signature on the line directly beneath your photograph. 
    • Your valid US driver’s license must accompany the IDP at all times. 
    • The permit is valid for one year from the date of issue. 
    • The IDP’s front page states the start date and is written by the AAA agent. 

    2 thoughts on “How to Obtain An International Driving Permit (IDP) With AAA?

    1. I just found out about this requirement as I was planning a driving trip in Europe. Did not have one on our last trip but now I know how and where to obtain one. There is even a AAA center in our small town. THANKS for the tip!

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