In the Convention of International Road Traffic of September 19, 1949, the United Nations established the IDP within international law to facilitate the travel of motorists within foreign jurisdictions wherein language barriers may create difficulties for both motorists and the authorities. All signatories to the law, the United States being one of them, must — and do — honor the IDP. It is an eight page, 5 3/5″ x 3 3/4″ pocket booklet (like a passport) printed in multiple languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Italian, Chinese and Swedish) that has been so widely used and accepted for over forty years that it is recognized virtually everywhere in the world, including the United States of America. It contains your photograph, signature, and other pertinent information.
A little known fact about the IDP is that it is not produced by a government, but rather by a travel association. If you are an American who needs to drive outside of the U.S. and you have a valid state-issued driver’s license, you can go to the Automobile Association of America (AAA) or the National Automobile Club and get an International Driver’s Permit for use abroad for a very nominal fee. Both of these groups are corporations and as such, must comply with state corporate law. However, if there is a problem with your state-issued driver’s license, you may want to read our exclusive “Roadway Report” and see if the IDPs offered through this website would alleviate some of your suffering and distress. The only caution is that, if you are an American, you need to be aware that using an IDP means that you are relying on your Constitutionally protected right to travel. You may want to consider using a Writ to Travel.
Please Note: The IDPs featured on this website do NOT confer driving privileges. “Privileges” are what you get from a state government after you have waived your rights. See The Roadway Report. The IDP is a personal identification that confirms your qualification as an operator of a motorized conveyance. They are not for U.S. residents (please read through the Information Module for an understanding of that).
There are basically 2 different types of IDPs available: Passport size and wallet size. For those outside the U.S. of A., there is the small credit card-size one which states on the bottom that it is not for use in the United States. While impressive looking and convenient, it may not always be recognized as an “official” IDP. The other type is the usual passport size, multi-language, more official type.
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