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International Drivers Permit

International Drivers Permit

Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:08 pm
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Default International Drivers Permit

Does having one of these make ANY difference to drivers license rules and so on, when transferring to the US on a L1?

My initial feeling from looking into it, is that it is totally worthless and a waste of £5.50
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:16 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
Does having one of these make ANY difference to drivers license rules and so on, when transferring to the US on a L1?

My initial feeling from looking into it, is that it is totally worthless and a waste of £5.50
You are correct!

Jim.
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:23 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
Does having one of these make ANY difference to drivers license rules and so on, when transferring to the US on a L1?

My initial feeling from looking into it, is that it is totally worthless and a waste of £5.50
It depends...

The money is wasted if you get the IDP and never need it.

The money is well worth while being spent if you ever get asked for the IDP.

Note that whether you get asked for it or not will probably depend on the person. Whether they are right or wrong to require it is a separate matter, but I viewed the small investment as just that, an investment against hassle and grief, usually at a time when you've enough of those in your life without someone demanding a piece of paper that is technically irrelevant.

Look around the sites relevant to you. Some States DMV sites specifically refer to the IDP, some don't. Check the rules for the State you will be in. Within a month of my arrival I was sorting out cars, insurance, permits, etc. At some places (car dealer, insurance office) I was asked for my IDP. It was far easier to flash the irrelevant piece of paper than argue the toss with individuals who were not going to change their opinion. As a general rule, if your State DMV references the IDP you are probably more likely to be asked about it.

Simplest way to avoid all this is to get a US licence ASAP
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:24 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Good, thought so!

Thanks!
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:27 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Ah, ok. Checked PA DOT site and they do honour it for up to a year, so it gives some leeway I guess, but I still wouldn't hang around in getting the state one!
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 1:30 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
Ah, ok. Checked PA DOT site and they do honour it for up to a year, so it gives some leeway I guess, but I still wouldn't hang around in getting the state one!
I started off in PA. The IDP has some prominence on their site and that is probably why one dealer I bought from, and an agent in an insurance office, both asked for the IDP as part of their paperwork pile while I was getting on the road prior to taking the test.
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 3:10 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

When we moved to PA (around 6 years ago) we went to take the driving test and were "told off" by the examiner for not having the international permit. Apparently we should have been driving with a person holding a PA licence until we took the test in the bsence of one ......he didn't, however, do anything about the fact that we had been driving for a month without one...

checking the current requirements is good advice, but be advised that the persons sitting behind the desk may not be the "best advised".
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 4:58 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

IDP is a waste of time.

It's only handy if you have the old paper license without the photo or a license that isn't in English.

Doesn't matter if your state will recognise the IDP, if they require you to get a local license within x number of days/months, then you'll have to get a local license and as a L1 visa person, you'd be considered resident of the state for driving purposes.
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 5:09 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

PA DMV Site says:

Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving permit for a period of up to one year. If the foreign license and/or international permit expires before one year, the individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in this state.

And the PA Drivers Manual says:

Foreign License Holders: Pennsylvania honors a valid foreign driver’s license with an international driving
permit for a period of up to one (1) year. If the foreign license and/or international driving permit expire before
one (1) year, the individual must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit to continue to drive in this state. All
holders of foreign licenses must apply for a Pennsylvania learner’s permit if they wish to obtain a Pennsylvania
driver’s license.


So although I agree it seems a waste of time, on balance it might be worth the £5.50.
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

The PA DMV also says:

All new residents with out-of-state non-commercial driver's licenses must obtain a PA Driver’s License within 60 days of establishing Pennsylvania residency.

You should check that becoming a resident doesn't trump a foreign license.
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Old Mar 30th 2012, 7:47 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by Nutmegger View Post
You should check that becoming a resident doesn't trump a foreign license.
That's probably the case.

The IDP would be more geared towards the student type person who isn't setting up residence but would be in the state longer than the usual 30/60 what ever days you'd need to get a local license for if you set up residence.
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Old Mar 31st 2012, 1:44 am
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

IDP is essentially an English-language translation of state/national driving license.
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Old Mar 31st 2012, 8:29 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by captainsensible View Post
Does having one of these make ANY difference to drivers license rules and so on, when transferring to the US on a L1?

My initial feeling from looking into it, is that it is totally worthless and a waste of £5.50
You can use the international licenses for vacations but if you are residing in the US you have to apply for a US drivers license and I hate to tell you, take the test. Once you reside here you only have a short time to do this so don't waste time, get the details from your state ASAP. The may be some States with diffent regulations but this is true for Florida where I live.

I was pretty upset when I had to take mine on a small paved area about the size of a tennis court with small orange cones not on the real road. I had driven all over the world and thousands of miles in the US on vacations. I clipped one as the car wasn't one I was used to and failed! I was able to retake the next day and passed thankfully. There is also a written test taken on a computer screen with multiple choice answers.

The good news is a US Drivers License is the most accepted form of ID there is over here.

Last edited by Digitalclips; Mar 31st 2012 at 8:35 pm.
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Old Apr 1st 2012, 11:47 am
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by Digitalclips View Post
The good news is a US Drivers License is the most accepted form of ID there is over here.
What is a US driver's License?
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Old Apr 1st 2012, 3:00 pm
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Default Re: International Drivers Permit

Originally Posted by Ozzidoc View Post
What is a US driver's License?
Yeah, a state license is only really useful in and around the state you're in.

Down this way, a lot of the grocery stores only accept drivers licenses from neighbouring states and then anything else requiring manager approval.

Liquor ID isn't much use either unless you're shopping in a college neighbourhood, as when the missus had one and tried to use it, the shop person had never seen one before and wouldn't accept it
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