Although many countries do not
recognize U.S. driver's licenses, most countries accept an international
driving permit (IDPs). IDPs are honored in more than 150 countries
outside the U.S. (See AAA’s application form for the list of countries.
They function as an official translation of a U.S. driver's license into
10 foreign languages. Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on
Road Traffic (1949) authorizes the U.S. Department of State to empower
certain organizations to issue IDPs to those who hold valid U.S.
driver’s licenses. These licenses are not intended to replace valid
U.S. state licenses and should only be used as a supplement to a valid
license. IDPs are not valid in an individual’s country of residence.
Before departure, you can obtain one from an automobile association
authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue IDPs.
The Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP)
is issued in accordance with the Organization of American States
Convention on Regulation of Inter-American Automotive Traffic
(Washington, 1943). The IADP is issued for a one-year period. It is
valid for one year from the effective date provided the state license is
still valid throughout that period. It is not valid for driving in the
United States or its territories. IADP must be carried along with the
applicant's regular driver's license.
The Department of State has designated the
American Automobile Association (AAA) as an authorized distributor of IDPs. Many foreign countries
require deposit of a customs duty or an equivalent bond for each tourist
automobile entering its territory, and the motoring associations are
equipped with the necessary facilities for providing expeditiously a
standard bond document (Article 3 of the Convention). The Convention is
not applicable to United States motorists using their cars in the United
Before departure, you can obtain an IDP
by contacting your local AAA office or:
AAA (the American Automobile
1000 AAA Drive
Heathrow, FL 32746-5063
Need additional information?
Contact AAA International Relations.
How to apply for an
IDP and IADP
International Driving Permits Issued by unauthorized persons: The
Department of State is aware that IDPs are being sold over the Internet
and in person by persons not authorized by the Department of State
pursuant to the requirements of the U.N. Convention of 1949. Moreover,
many of these IDPs are being sold for large sums of money, far greater
than the sum charged by entities authorized by the Department of State.
Consumers experiencing problems should report problems to their local
office of the U.S. Postal Inspector, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the
Better Business Bureau, or their state or local Attorney General’s
If you need additional information,
AAA International Relations.
If you are a AAA member, click here.