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International Driving Permits/Licences

DC3

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I checked California as I'm renting there next, found this (their bold type, I'm not shouting 😁 )"The State of California does not recognize an international driver's license (IDP) as a valid driver's license. California does recognize a valid driver's license that is issued in a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) where the license holder is a resident."
The quote is an extract, only. Would you provide a link to your source, so as we can read the rest, please?

The IDP has never been accepted as a drivers licence, anywhere, in any case.

Edit: Just so as it can be read in context. Not saying that you are trying to alter the intent
 
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justinbrett

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The IDP is never recognised as a valid driver's license.
Mostly because it’s not a licence - it’s an International Driving Permit! It does nothing except explain your licence - mostly in way of translation - to the host country. It has no legality in its own right.
 

Brissy1

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The quote is an extract, only. Would you provide a link to your source, so as we can read the rest, please?

The IDP has never been accepted as a drivers licence, anywhere, in any case.

Edit: Just so as it can be read in context. Not saying that you are trying to alter the intent
No problem. The only reason I didn't originally include it was I have difficulty with multiple screens on a phone.

Addendum: the next sentence is clear, "The IDP is only a translation of information contained on a person's foreign driver license and is not required to operate a motor vehicle in California"
But I know nothing, just what I've found on the web. If having an IDP gives peace of mind, then it's worth it just for that (but I won't be bothered getting one)
BTW, Avis Beverly Hills has Mustangs for$us70 single day, I'll be staying at the Hilton opposite which charges $us45/day for parking. Bizarre.
 
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DC3

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... "The IDP is only a translation of information contained on a person's foreign driver license and is not required to operate a motor vehicle in California" ...
Thank you for posting the source. Although it’s a nuisance, and a rip-off, I’ll be cautious and get the IDP for my next USA trip.
 

Austman

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Two of us rented a car in California last month.

The major car rental company wanted to see each Australian Driver Licence but no IDPs.

So check with the rental car company. I mean, they do tend to know the rules of the country/state where they are renting out cars. And they can add their own rules on top of those.
 

DC3

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With my USA trips I rarely would drive in only one state. Even with California I may well go to Arizona/Oregon/Washington etc. On average I may do 4-8 states. So will be getting the IDP to save any heartburn in future.
 

justinbrett

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Two of us rented a car in California last month.

The major car rental company wanted to see each Australian Driver Licence but no IDPs.

So check with the rental car company. I mean, they do tend to know the rules of the country/state where they are renting out cars. And they can add their own rules on top of those.
I am registered with both Hertz and Avis with their respective frequent traveller programs. They have my Australian licence on file and I’ve never had to show an IDP. I’ve rented cars in at least 10 states, probably more, and I can just pick up based on my profile. The very fact they let AustralIans have a US profile leads me to believe you could rent in all 50 states without an IDP. I’m yet to be convinced otherwise. Even mexico doesn’t require IDPs.
 

DC3

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My next driving trip will be USA and Canada. I’ll get the IDP even though I know that it’s a total rip-off.

Edit: In case some rogue highway cop asks for it. Would be a real downer without it.
 
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Jacques Vert

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So check with the rental car company. I mean, they do tend to know the rules of the country/state where they are renting out cars. And they can add their own rules on top of those.
While I agree that this is good advice, I would suggest that you also check with your travel insurance company (assuming you are covered for Rental excess). It would be a bummer if you had an accident and you were not insured because of a clause in the T & Cs 😢
 

amaroo

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While I agree that this is good advice, I would suggest that you also check with your travel insurance company (assuming you are covered for Rental excess). It would be a bummer if you had an accident and you were not insured because of a clause in the T & Cs 😢
This is good advice! There are too many articles like this one....

 
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DC3

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This is good advice! There are too many articles like this one written ...
Yes, good point.

Because some rental agent allows me to take a vehicle from the lot, doesn’t necessarily mean that I am covered, insurance-wise, should possession of the IDP be an insurance condition. I had not really thought about it from that angle. I suppose if we ignore that then we are choosing to self-insure, and accept the risk, maybe?
 
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Renato1

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I've never been required to have an IDP when hiring a car in Italy, though I've always had one.

Carabinieri have pulled me over and asked to see it.

I always get one.

I keep wondering that if I were to have an accident and didn't have one, could the travel Insurance company refuse to pay out?
Not worth the risk, as far as I am concerned.
Regards,
Renato
 

DC3

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I've never been required to have an IDP when hiring a car in Italy, though I've always had one.

Carabinieri have pulled me over and asked to see ...
I would say, from what you experienced, that it is a requirement, otherwise Police would not have asked for it.

Edit: Just because the rental agency did not ask to see it would not absolve the driver of insurance obligations I would think.
 

guesswho2000

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This is an eye opener, I genuinely wasn't aware of this - I've hired cars in numerous countries, and never once had an IDP. Is there anything definitive which says whether you do or don't need one for X county when driving on a licence from Y country (for example, would one be required in Canada driving on an Aussie licence? Would one be required in Chile driving on a UK licence, that sort of thing)?
 

justinbrett

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This is an eye opener, I genuinely wasn't aware of this - I've hired cars in numerous countries, and never once had an IDP. Is there anything definitive which says whether you do or don't need one for X county when driving on a licence from Y country (for example, would one be required in Canada driving on an Aussie licence? Would one be required in Chile driving on a UK licence, that sort of thing)?
The RACQ has a directory but only for Australians - Driving overseas - Australian Automobile Association

It's woefully inaccurate though, it says IDPs are required for Ireland (definitely not) and recommended for the UK (why? The UK government says no).

This is the problem when the whole system is run by non-government motoring clubs that charge fees; there's so much mis-information on this topic. The only way to get truth data is to go to the website of the country or state/province that you will be driving in.

China doesn't even issue IDPs - so countries that mandate IDPs are effectively banning Chinese tourists and business visitors from driving. IDPs are a relic from the last century and I don't think they'll be around for much longer.
 

DC3

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The RACQ has a directory but only for Australians - Driving overseas - Australian Automobile Association

It's woefully inaccurate though, it says IDPs are required for Ireland (definitely not) and recommended for the UK (why? The UK government says no) ... IDPs are a relic from the last century and I don't think they'll be around for much longer.
I agree that the current system is rubbish.

Although I’m not sure where the pressure will come from to abolish IDPs. Certainly won’t be the motoring organisations will it? 😀
 

OZDUCK

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This is an eye opener, I genuinely wasn't aware of this - I've hired cars in numerous countries, and never once had an IDP. Is there anything definitive which says whether you do or don't need one for X county when driving on a licence from Y country (for example, would one be required in Canada driving on an Aussie licence? Would one be required in Chile driving on a UK licence, that sort of thing)?
As others said, you need to check with the relevant country/state/province where you intend to drive. In Canada, for example, here are the rules for the provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia & Ontario. Basically no problem for 90 day visits for Nova Scotia & Ontario while British Columbia gives you a 6 month period.





If in doubt then the cost of the purchase of an IDP is only a minor, if very irritating, cost.
 

Austman

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Is there anything definitive which says whether you do or don't need one for X county when driving on a licence from Y country
Even if there were. Be aware that the rental car companies can set their own requirements for IDPs!
 

DC3

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Took this from TripAdvisor (reference to BC is British Columbia, CAN). Thought that it was funny, but very much to the point:

"Many years ago, in Cornwall, UK, my wife was pulled over by the police, just after she took over the wheel. Her BC DL is in English of course, but the police officer had never seen one.

It was priceless as he kept asking in his Benny Hill type accent (His yokel accent) "What koind of vehicle does this erum license allow ye to droive missus".
" 'Ow do I know it in't fer a steam roller?"
 
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Brissy1

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In practice there is no way a tourist can legally drive/ride in Vietnam, IDP or not. But riding around the mountains near Sapa was worth it anyway. For me the main criteria is not the legality in the country but insurance. Some policies specifically state you must be legally permitted to ride in the country, others don't. So for Vietnam I had to go with a different insurance to my normal (which is my cr card ins).

Non-Vietnamese citizens are only permitted to drive in Vietnam if they hold a temporary Vietnamese driver's licence.

Converting an Australian driving licence into a Vietnamese driving licence

To convert an Australian driving licence into a temporary Vietnamese driver's licence, the applicant must hold a valid Vietnamese residence permit of at least three month's validity.
 

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