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International Driver's License necessary?

International Driver's License necessary?

Old Oct 16, 07, 11:43 am
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International Driver's License necessary?

We're going to Ibiza in the middle of November for a week and are visiting friends. They will make their jeep available to us. Will I need to get an international driver's license? If so, how quickly does AAA produce them? Thanks!
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Old Oct 16, 07, 11:47 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
We're going to Ibiza in the middle of November for a week and are visiting friends. They will make their jeep available to us. Will I need to get an international driver's license? If so, how quickly does AAA produce them? Thanks!
Not sure about the necessity, but AAA in New York City does it same day, in about 20 minutes.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 11:53 am
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I don't know about Spain, but I would definitely get an IDP if you're not absolutely sure that you don't need one (at the rental counter and for the cops). I've been in situations (both at rental counters and with cops) where I absolutely needed the IDP, though none of these occurred in the EU.

Bring 2 passport photos to a AAA office (they charge for them if you're not a member) and pay the ($10?) bucks. Like Fly4SCUBA, it takes 10-20 minutes to get one.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 11:59 am
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http://www.embusa.es/cons/acstraveling.html

U.S. citizens visiting Spain who want to drive in Spain must obtain an international driving permit prior to their arrival in Spain.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 12:08 pm
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Thank you all for the information. I'm a AAA member and will gladly wait 20 minutes for the license. I'll get the pictures taken at Grand Central.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 12:12 pm
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I always get one, every year. I'm never sure why. It's just a cardboard folder with your photo in it that says something like "Please extend all courtesies to this foreign motorist" in about 25 different languages. I figure it can't hurt.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 1:14 pm
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If you have a AAA plus membership, the pictures are free too.
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Old Oct 16, 07, 10:34 pm
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
http://www.embusa.es/cons/acstraveling.html

U.S. citizens visiting Spain who want to drive in Spain must obtain an international driving permit prior to their arrival in Spain.
I know that's the theory -- and I always have one, just in case someone wants to apply it -- but I've never been asked to show it at the rental counter in Spain or any other country. It might matter more if you are stopped by a non-English-speaking police officer.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by Analise View Post
Thank you all for the information. I'm a AAA member and will gladly wait 20 minutes for the license. I'll get the pictures taken at Grand Central.
While AAA members get a discount, AAA is happy to sell them to non-members as well.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 12:34 am
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Supposedly they're required in Portugal. So I went to AAA and dutifully purchased one. But the rental car company in Lisbon never asked for it.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 12:58 am
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In several dozen rentals dating back to 1963 in the UK, Netherlamds, France, Germany, Spain and Italy that I recall, I've nere been asked for one, but had to show my Texas DL several times over the years, the last in Florence a couple of years ago when I sneaked through the barriers into the plaza in front of the Duomo to unload a lot of luggage and a wife with a sprained ankle. The Carabinieri was far easier to convince of the necessity of my intrusion (using my 1960s era Shore Patrol Italian) than was the crazed waiter at the sidewalk cafe who felt I had violated Italian airspece. I hadn't felt as soundly word-thrashed since the A4 pilots stole the bronze 18th century cannon (small) from the entrance of the Italian Navy Officers' mess in Taranto in 1963, a minor international incident with greater repercussions than the Swordfish attack in 1940 in the same naval port.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 1:11 am
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They made me show my IDL in Israel before they would rent me the car. I rented from Hertz.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 2:37 am
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Originally Posted by MapleLeaf View Post
They made me show my IDL in Israel before they would rent me the car. I rented from Hertz.
I never had to show any IDL at the Hertz in Israel (TLV). Nor in any of the other 50 odd countries I have rented cars in. My California DL has worked everywhere.
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Old Oct 17, 07, 5:51 am
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Originally Posted by BearX220 View Post
I always get one, every year.
You mean it's only valid for one year?
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Old Oct 17, 07, 5:58 am
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IDL's are fairly useless unless you're going to a country that enforces the use of IDL's for drivers.

Often these countries tend to be ones where English isn't spoken overly freely. Normally your driver's license from your home town and/or your passport is sufficient.

But as discussed earlier in this thread, if the county you visit requires the card, then get it. Will save many, many hassles with police and/or insurance if they happen.
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