If you are planning to drive overseas, you may need to first apply for an International Driving Permit, or IDP. An IDP is a document that provides important details from your drivers license in 11 different languages. These languages include: English, French, Italian, Swedish, German, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Russian and Portuguese.
Importantly, an IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries. The IDP is not a replacement for your US-issued driver’s license. Rather it serves as a translation of your driver’s license, and displays your full name, photograph, and driver information.
NOTE: For details about specific driver’s license requirements for your trip, you may want to contact the embassy of the country you’re going to visit.
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How to Apply for an International Driving Permit
NOTE: In most cases, the processing time for an IDP is usually between 2-4 business days.
To apply for the IDP, you must be at least 18 years old. In addition, you will need a valid driver’s license. This means it is not revoked, suspended, or expired. You must:
- Complete the International Drivers Permit Application.
- Submit 2 original passport photos, signed on the back.
- Present a photocopy of your current driver’s license (front and back).
- Submit fees for your IDP. See IDP Fees below.
- Scan and forward your documents to Fastport Passport by email: email@example.com
- Fastport Passport can have your IDP ready in 2 days or less.
Be sure to carry both your IDP and valid driver’s license when traveling abroad. It is valid for up to 1 year from the issue date.
- $20 permit fee.
- $50 service fee, if applicable.
- Shipping fee: $30 for FedEx Overnight Service.
- International shipping fees will vary by location.
Also, you can pay your service fees on the IDP Form.
Additional IDP Information
The IDP is recognized in more than 150 countries as an official identification document.
You must carry this document along with your current valid U.S. driver’s license. Important to realize, an IDP is valid throughout South America, with the exception of Brazil and Uruguay. It is often required when renting a car overseas as well. As such, the IDP will raise your mobility while traveling overseas.
Although some countries are not on the official list of countries that honor the IDP, many often still do. Furthermore, considering more than 150 nations honor this agreement, you may difficulties in finding a country that does not accept it. For example, many people ask about China. China recognizes the IDP now, as well as Hong Kong.
Avoiding Fraud with IDP Applications
Additionally, there are a number of organizations that sell fake International Driving Permits. In effect, you could end up with a fake document which could cost you lots of money and face legal issues in a foreign country.
Unquestionably, please contact the FTC Complaint Assistant if you believe you ordered a fake International Driving Permit.