Listed below are the reasons you need one and the actions you must do to get one. Most of us, when planning a trip abroad, get excited about all the cool things we’ll get to do and see, eat, and learn about. But if your vacation will include driving, it’s smart to plan ahead for a few less-than-ideal scenarios you could encounter on the roads of a foreign country. Particularly relevant if you’ll be visiting a place where the official language is not one you speak well.
While on the road, you may get involved in an accident or be stopped by police for a traffic violation. In cases like these, holding a valid foreign driver’s licence might prove to be quite useful.
A driver’s licence issued in the United States is not recognised as legitimate identification in many other countries. The international driving permit satisfies the need for a valid form of identification that is accepted for driving purposes in 186 different countries. The government of Canada respectfully informs visitors that “if you have a valid licence from your home country, you’ll probably be allowed to use this to drive in Canada for a short period after you arrive.” However, if you plan on visiting one of our neighbouring countries, you may skip this step without any trouble. An international driver’s licence is essential if you plan on staying for an extended period of time. If you have a valid US driver’s licence, you may use it to rent a car and drive in Mexico.
Remember that a foreign driver’s licence is not intended to replace your tried-and-true United States driver’s licence. In the case of a traffic stop in a country that requires such permits for international drivers, you will be asked for both the permit and your valid United States driver’s licence.
What makes having an international licence so useful
Unless you get into a crisis with local authorities while behind the wheel, no one will know if you drive in a country that legally requires an international driving permit but you do not have one. This is a very remote possibility. Many foreign visitors have driven in foreign countries without ever being stopped by authorities. This may sway you to take a risk and not get an international permit in advance of your trip. Think this over carefully before moving further.
Obtaining an international driver’s licence is a must if you plan on driving while visiting another country. Several positive outcomes result from doing this action. Some of the benefits are as follows.
Lessens or eliminates the potential for receiving a monetary penalty. Many nations need non-resident drivers to get an international driving permit before they may legally operate a motor vehicle on their territory. It’s possible you’ll face serious consequences if law enforcement officials discover you’re driving without one after stopping you.
Helps people get in touch with local officials
This comes in especially handy in parts of the globe where English is not the primary language. An international driving permit includes translations of the same information found on a U.S. driver’s licence into 10 additional languages. Thus, interactions with the local government should be less stressful as a result of this.