How to Obtain an International Driver’s License

Back in 1949, the United Nations set up a system for countries to validate each other’s driver’s licenses. Before traveling overseas, be sure to pick up an International Driver’s License, so local authorities can see that your state license is legitimate.

Make sure you’re eligible. To get your own International Driver’s License, you must be at least eighteen years of age, and you must already have a valid state driver’s license. You can’t just apply for an International Driver’s License to get out of waiting in line at your local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Call the AAA. Even though it might be the only time you call them for something other than a tow truck, your local chapter of the American Automobile Association can take your application for an International Driver’s License.

What you need. When you apply, you’ll need to provide a $20 fee, two passport-size photographs, and a copy of your valid state driver’s license. When you visit your local copy center or drug store to get your passport photos taken, have them snap a few extra sets for your driver’s license and visas at same time. You can always use extra photos.

Give it time. It may take six to eight weeks for the State Department to validate your new International Driver’s License. So apply early and be patient.

Avoid internet scams. If you think all of this is too much hassle, and that you can easily get your International Driver’s License online, think again. Unscrupulous folks are charging crazy sums of money for fake licenses. More often than not, the scammers want to use your license and passport photos to commit identity theft. Only the AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance can distribute licenses, and they only cost twenty dollars.

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