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Answered 2015-07-16 18:10:16

An international driving permit (IDP), issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in North America, is a hold-over from the days in which international travel was less common. Because driver's licenses in North America are issued by states and provinces, they are not universally recognized in other countries when officials or authorities in those countries (1) cannot read English; or (2) cannot discern if the presented document is indeed a valid government issued driver's license. Similarly, when travelers from non-English speaking countries travel to North America and present a document issued in a foreign language - sometimes in an unknown alphabet - local officials and authorities can not always confirm that the presented document is in fact a valid driver's license.

An IDP is a translation of your license, together with your photograph and your basic information. It is recognized by all signatories to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic of 1968. It is important to note that the IDP is iit is not a license unto itself - it is merely an official translation of your original driver's license. Therefore, you must possess both the IDP and your originally issued driver's license while driving in foreign countries.

Today, most people find they do not require an IDP, however it is still wise to obtain and carry one, especially if you are planning to drive in a country that does not widely use the Roman alphabet.

The signatories to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic include:

  • Albania

  • Alderney

  • Algeria

  • Argentina

  • Australia

  • Austria

  • Bahamas

  • Bahamas

  • Bailwick of Guernsey

  • Bangladesh

  • Barbados

  • Belgian Congo

  • Belgium

  • Benin

  • Botswana

  • Brazil

  • British Guyana

  • British Honduras

  • Brune

  • Bulgaria

  • Cambodia

  • Cameroons under French mandate

  • Canada

  • Central African Republic

  • Chile

  • China

  • Costa Rica

  • Côte d'Ivoire

  • Cuba

  • Cyprus

  • Czech Republic

  • Democratic Republic of the Congo

  • Denmark

  • Dominican Republic

  • Ecuador

  • Egypt

  • Estonia

  • Faroe Islands

  • Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland

  • Fiji

  • Finland

  • France including French overseas territories

  • Gambia

  • Georgia

  • Germany

  • Ghana

  • Gibraltar

  • Greece

  • Grenada

  • Guatemala

  • Haiti

  • Holy See

  • Hong Kong

  • Hungary

  • Iceland

  • India

  • Indonesia

  • Iran, Islamic Republic of

  • Ireland

  • Isle of Man

  • Israel

  • Italy

  • Jamaica

  • Japan

  • Jordan

  • Kenya

  • Kyrgyzstan

  • Lao, People's Democratic Republic

  • Latvia

  • Lebanon

  • Lesotho

  • Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

  • Madagascar

  • Malawi

  • Malaysia

  • Mali

  • Malta

  • Mauritius

  • Mexico

  • Monaco

  • Morocco

  • Myanmar

  • Namibia

  • Netherlands

  • Netherlands Antilles

  • Netherlands New Guinea

  • New Zealand

  • Nicaragua

  • Niger

  • Nigeria

  • North Borneo

  • Norway

  • Okinawa

  • Pakistan

  • Papua New Guinea

  • Paraguay

  • Peru

  • Philippines

  • Poland

  • Portugal

  • Principality of Andorra

  • Republic of Korea

  • Romania

  • Russian Federation

  • Rwanda/ Urundi

  • San Marino

  • Senegal

  • Seychelles

  • Sierra Leone

  • Singapore

  • Slovakia

  • South Africa

  • South West Africa

  • Southern Rhodesia

  • Spain

  • Sri Lanka

  • St. Lucia

  • St. Vincent

  • States of Jersey

  • Surinam

  • Swaziland

  • Sweden

  • Switzerland

  • Syrian Arab Republic

  • Tanganyika

  • Thailand

  • Togo

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Tunisia

  • Turkey

  • Uganda

  • Ukraine

  • United Arab Emirates

  • United Kingdom

  • United States of America

  • Uruguay

  • Venezuela

  • Western Samoa

  • Winward Islands

  • Yugoslavia

  • Zambia

  • Zanzibar

  • Zimbabwe

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