Friday, December 13, 2013

Tip of the Day: Everyone Should Have an International Driving Permit (IDP)

The Tip of the Day is that every foreign traveler should have an International Driving Permit (IDP), even if you're not planning to drive abroad.

First and foremost, an IDP identifies you in roughly 150 countries worldwide, particularly if you've lost or had your passport stolen.

For US citizens, go to the below website for information on how to apply and obtain an IDP through the mail:

http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf

For those of our readers who live abroad, generally an IDP can be obtained by completing an IDP application and mailing it to your national automobile association.

NOTE: International Driving Permits may not be issued more than six (6) months in advance of the desired effective date.

A final and important note: I strongly discourage foreign travelers driving abroad unless they meet all of the following requirements:

1. Possess at least seven years of driving experience, preferably abroad. Driving abroad is NOT for inexperienced drivers;

2. Realize that foreigners who injure or kill locals in foreign countries usually go to jail;

3. Understand all local driving regulations very well;

4. Ideally, speak the local language;

5. Ensure that any vehicle that you do drive in a foreign country is fully-insured, including comprehensive coverage; and

6. Realize that driving a vehicle in a foreign country often exposes you to carjacking as well as corrupt cops who may solicit bribes from you in lieu of a citation or jail.