International Driving Permits/Licences | Australian Frequent Flyer
Australian Frequent Flyer

Welcome to Australia's leading independent Frequent Flyer and Travel Resource since 1998!
Our site contains tons of information that will improve your travel experience.

Joining AFF is fast, simple & absolutely free - register now and take immediate advantage of these great BENEFITS.

Once registered, this box will disappear. And you will see fewer advertisements :)

Login Now to remove this and all advertisements (GOLD and SILVER members)
Not a member? Register Now for free

International Driving Permits/Licences

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
16,712
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
I haven't bothered with an International Driving Licence for, oh, 30 years or so and thought they were irrelevant these days with photo national drivers licences. But reading this story from OMaaT, maybe they are still required for car hire in some places. Looks like Japan is a definite one.


What countries have you been positively asked for an International Drivers Licence when hiring a car?
 

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
13,639
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
You need it for some states in the US.

Years ago I got pulled up for speeding in the woods of Quebec, the cop wanted to see my IDL.... felt good handing it over. Still copped a fine though.
 

flyingfan

Established Member
Joined
Jun 5, 2010
Messages
1,014
Qantas
Platinum 1
Virgin
Platinum
Thailand - not that the permit has a translation in Thai.

Have not been asked for it in Greece, Malaysia, New Zealand, Canada or the US.
 

pagingjoan

Established Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,856
Sardinia.
Essential for most car rental companies, as we found, to our cost, a year or so back.
A huge - and expensive - hassle to find a substitute vehicle, and still make it to the booked car ferry on its last trip for the day. :eek:
 

opusman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
5,867
The only time I've ever been asked for one (and of course I didn't have one) was in Estonia when trying to rent a car. We had to change our plans on the fly and work out how to get to Riga another way. This experience has convinced me that they're worth having even if you never get asked for it - just in case.
 

opusman

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2006
Messages
5,867
Thailand - not that the permit has a translation in Thai.
Interestingly one thing I learned from my experience in Estonia was that the main point of the IDP isn't a language translation (even though this is one of its functions) - it's a class of licence translation. Australia isn't a party to the 1968 Vienna convention on road traffic and Australian licences don't have the standardised category codes which indicate what type of vehicles you are licenced to drive.

More info here: International Driving Permit - Wikipedia
 

RooFlyer

Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 12, 2012
Messages
16,712
Qantas
Platinum
Flights
My Map
You need it for some states in the US.
Interesting! Of the list given here at DO require IDLs:


Note: some answers contradicting that list, underneath it.

... I've hired cars in Alaska, Arizona California, Illinois, Maine, Tennessee and Washington ... that I can remember .. without one. I wonder if its slackness of the hire companies / their rental desk employees Vs a state legislated requirement?
 

Buzzard

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2013
Messages
6,465
I recall reading recently about somebody who didn't have one and rented a car no problem. Until he was involved in an accident.
Think of it as an extra bit of insurance you have to pay for.
 

drron

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
24,020
Definitely needed in Japan.But seeing I will be driving in Japan at least once a year I will nearly always have one on hand.Just need to remember to take it.
 

pagingjoan

Established Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
1,856
I didn't need one for my Avis rental there a couple of years ago 😇
I don't recall at the moment which company eventually - and I mean around two hours later - managed to find an available car that did not require an IDL.
I do recall that it was reportedly the last available.
And we had, as I said, a pre-paid ferry booking, ditto for accommodation some hours away, and an appointment to meet.
Nerve wracking, all round.
All of the local rental companies were adamant on the need for an IDL. (Useless as they may seem. :) )
 

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
13,639
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
Which ones?

I'm at 44 States and never been asked for one. In fact not normally asked for my licence as its loaded onto my Hertz profile in Australia.
google will give you the answer
 

Dr Ralph

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
10,616
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
google will give you the answer
I'm saying Google is wrong. Google doesn't know everything! I thought you may have actual knowledge.

In my extensive experience in the US, there is no need for an international drivers licence. Despite what Google may claim.

I've hired extensively in the US and as I've already stated, in practice, never been asked for an international licence. Been involved in an accident, been pulled over by the police but NEVER needed an international licence.
 
Last edited:

amaroo

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 22, 2011
Messages
13,639
Qantas
Platinum 1
Flights
My Map
I'm saying Google is wrong. Google doesnt know everything!I thought you may have actual knowledge.

In my extensive experience in the US , there is no need for an international drivers licence. Despite what Google may claim.

I've hired extensively in the US and as I've already stated, in practice, never been asked for an international licence. Been involved in an accident, been pulled over by the police but NEVER needed an international licence.
Since you're SCREAMING, this offical USA Government website will put you on the right track.... Foreign Nationals Driving in the U.S. | USAGov

Foreign Nationals Driving in the United States
People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. Some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals, in addition to a valid license from your own country. Contact the motor vehicle department of each state you will drive in for its requirements.
 

banana boy

Intern
Joined
Mar 15, 2019
Messages
80
Definitely you need one to hire a car in Japan - other places seems to be luck of the draw. I've been pulled over in various countries and when I've handed over my IDP the police have looked at me like I am from Mars until I handed over my actual Australian DL.
 

drron

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 4, 2002
Messages
24,020
I'm saying Google is wrong. Google doesnt know everything!I thought you may have actual knowledge.

In my extensive experience in the US , there is no need for an international drivers licence. Despite what Google may claim.

I've hired extensively in the US and as I've already stated, in practice, never been asked for an international licence. Been involved in an accident, been pulled over by the police but NEVER needed an international licence.
I'm at 50 states + DC and have not been asked for one.
But in the states that say you need one if you have an accident or pulled over by police you will find it would have been better to have one.
 

Dr Ralph

Enthusiast
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Messages
10,616
Qantas
Bronze
Virgin
Red
Flights
My Map
SCREAMING
?????????????

Hardly.


Your overly dramatic reaction suggests that you're put out that I've identified that the information you've provided does not appear to be correct.

I've pointed out that the information you might find on the web cannot necessarily be relied upon. That's specifically why I asked if you actually knew from your own experience. From the response you provided, it seems that you have no experience with international licences in the US. It's a shame that you have presented factually wrong information that could mislead others.

On that basis the information you have provided is not accurate.
I'm at 50 states + DC and have not been asked for one.
I'm not quite there yet, but expect to be by mid 2021 :)

Agree, that I've never been asked for one in the US.

But in the states that say you need one if you have an accident or pulled over by police you will find it would have been better to have one.
1 accident in Kentucky. 2 times pulled over for speeding (but no fine ever issued) - 1 in Washington and 1 in New York. But at no stage was there ever a suggestion that I needed an international licence.

I'll continue to travel and hire cars in the US without an international licence.
 
Last edited:

Community Statistics

Threads
85,934
Messages
2,050,409
Members
53,247
Latest member
MCYguy
Top