Short-term tourist car leases
International Driving Permit (IDP)
Contrary to popular belief, the IDP isn't a substitute for a conventional driver's license--it's an official document that certifies the validity of an existing license from your home country. (It's a useful thing to have, but don't get taken by phony "International Driver's License" scams.)
The has been around for decades, but now there's a new wrinkle: For the first time, at least one European country (Italy) requires drivers from outside the EU to have the IDP.
Even in countries where it isn't required, the International Driving Permit is worth having just to make sure that your driver's license is accepted by local car-rental agencies and traffic police.
What the IDP is--and isn't.
Where to buy the IDP:
The International Driving Permit is available from government-authorized organizations (such as national automobile associations) in 150 countries.
To obtain it, you'll need to complete an application and submit it with a photocopy of your driver's license, two passport-size photos, and a small fee.
For a list of authorized vendors in more than 20 countries, see the Where to get International Driving Permits page at Drivers.com.
More articles about driving in Europe:
Last updated February, 2021
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