International Driving Permit - Official Identification When You Travel

International Driving Permit

When traveling abroad, you should be aware that many foreign countries do not recognize your United States driver’s license as official identification. However, most countries do recognize a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) — and, in some countries, it’s a requirement.

Why Carry an IDP?

An IDP is valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance and offers these benefits:

  • The IDP is acknowledged as valid identification in over 150 countries around the world. It’s strongly recommended that you carry one when traveling in a foreign country — even if your plans don’t include driving.
  • Your IDP provides an official translation of your U.S. driver’s license into 10 foreign languages. Carried in conjunction with your valid U.S. driver’s license, an IDP can help you communicate with foreign authorities to get you on your way more quickly.
  • Major car rental companies in foreign countries often require you have a valid IDP before they will rent you a vehicle.

How to Apply

AAA is one of only two private entities in the U.S. authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue an IDP. If you are 18 or older, you can apply for an IDP at any AAA full-service branch location and receive it in the same visit. The application form is available online. You will need to provide:

  • U.S. driver’s license valid for at least six months past the issuance of the IDP.
  • Completed IDP application.
  • Two original passport-type photos. (See guidelines for specific requirements.)
  • $15 fee.

You may also obtain an IDP through the mail; however, you will need to allow 4-6 weeks for processing and delivery. Simply enclose a photocopy of both sides of your driver’s license, two original passport-type photos each signed on the back, completed application, $15 fee and mail these materials to the AAA office nearest you.

Payment Options:

  • At the branch: AAA Members may pay the $15 IDP/IADP fee by cash, credit card or money order order made payable to AAA. Nonmembers may pay by cash, credit card or money order (checks are not accepted). Acceptable forms of credit cards include Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover.
  • By mail: Payment can be made by money order only.

For questions about payment, please contact your local branch office.