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Everything you need to know about International Drivers Permit

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Everything you need to know about International Drivers Permit

An important part of travelling is how to commute when you are at your holiday destinations. Most of the travelers opt for public transportation, or means like hiring a cab. These are the most simple means of commuting when you are travelling. But there is also a section of travelers who would like to take the steering in their own hands. Imagine having a rented car and driving to as many places as you would like to. This is the best feeling and gives you extreme mobility.

This is where International Driving Permit comes in picture. In this blog we are going to highlight everything you want to know about International Driving Permit.

What is International Drivers Permit (IDP)?

An International Drivers Permit is an official document that empowers you to drive a motor vehicle in foreign lands. If you are travelling in your home country you will just need a simple drivers license, but when in abroad you will need an International Drivers Permit. In many countries you might just be able to drive with your home country driver license which is only subjected to the agreements and treaties between the two nations.

But remember these treaties change very often, so it is recommended that you carry an International Drivers Permit even in countries where it is not required. An IDP is a perfect legal document to enable you to drive abroad without any further need of motoring tests.

International Drivers Permit is regulated by United Nations, and falls majorly under two agreements, namely the 1949 Geneva Convention and the 1968 Vienna Convention. These both conventions cover almost 98% of the world’s countries. These countries delegate the task of issuing International Drivers Permit to the motoring associations of their countries.

IDP is issued by the worldwide network of the AIT or FIA organizations authorized by governments.

How does International Drivers Permit works?

The main function of the International Drivers Permit is to help the officials of foreign countries to understand the driver’s license of your country of residence. International Drivers Permit establishes the fact that you have a valid driver’s license in your country of residence and that you are eligible to drive motor vehicles.

An international Drivers Permit also highlights the type of motor vehicles you are authorized to drive, and at an overall level ensures road safety norms.

Why carry an International Drivers Permit?

IDP entitles the holder to drive in all the countries that are part of the 1949 Geneva Convention or the 1968 Vienna Convention, as long as they hold their domestic drivers license. In most of the countries IDP is the official document that is needed before renting a car.

Driving without an IDP can cause civil offense, and you might also not be eligible for your insurance claim that had caused due to driving a motor while travelling.

IDP is also a form of identification that consists of your name, photo and driver license information in several languages. It is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries.

What are the details about International Drivers Permit that I should know?

To obtain an International Drivers Permit one should be at least 18 years of age.

Same address that is used in your domestic driver’s license should be used in the address section of your International Drivers Permit. Scanned and photo copy photographs are not acceptable for the application, though you can present a Polaroid picture. Generally while submitting the application for IDP you will need to fill form, provide two passport sized photographs. Photocopy of the front and back of the domestic drivers license along with the application fee.

The application process time of obtaining an International Drivers Permit can range from few minutes to a weeks’ time. It depends on the administration of the organization that is issuing International Drivers Permit in the country of your residence.

If you are driving without an International Drivers Permit in some foreign country, you might be fined, or you might be arrested, or your vehicle might be seized, and you should also be prepared for a civil suit to be filed against you which will enforce a court appearance.

An International Drivers Permit is valid for one year for 1949 Geneva Convention countries and is valid for 3 years for the 1968 Vienna Convention, but in case if you are staying in a foreign country for more than one year, you can reissue the IDP as long as you have a valid domestic drivers license.

In case you do not have a permanent driver’s license but only a temporary one or the learning one, the IDP cannot be issued against that.

If you are stopped by highway patrol or traffic officials of foreign country then you need to produce the IDP and your domestic driver’s license. Remember that IDP is only a complimentary document that accompanies your driver’s license. International Drivers Permit just translates the license you already hold. Remember that it is not a stand alone document.

IDP must be issued in the same country where the domestic driver’s license was issued.

The validity of your International Drivers Permit cannot exceed the validity of your domestic driver’s license. Some countries hold the validity of International Drivers Permit only as long as the duration of the VISA.

It is mandatory to always carry the domestic driver’s license along with the International Drivers Permit all the times while driving abroad.

International Drivers Permit allows you to carry the identification details in several languages, which are Italian, English, Spanish, Russian, German, Chinese, Arabic and French, among others. This is done so you can communicate with the local officials.

International Drivers Permit can also serve as a valid proof of identification in several cases where you are required to surrender your passport. It can serve as a back up mode of your ID.

Always note to apply for the International Drivers Permit at authorities that are approved from the government of the country of your residence.

Drive responsibly!

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