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Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

Oregon
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Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

Hello - I have a car reserved through Avis to be picked up upon arrival in FRA. I have heard different opinions about the "International Drivers License" and need to figure out whether this is really just a ploy from the AAA Auto American company, who issues the licence in the US. I have already spent so much money getting ready for this trip, I would like to not have to spend more on a worthless license. I'll be driving the car to Hannover and then to Bruges, Belgium where the car will be turned in.

Any opinions or inside information on this would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks!

San Jose, California
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1. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

It isnt required by law to drive in Germany, but car rental companies can require it if they choose. If you take your own photos to AAA, it costs about 10 bucks and takes less than 15 min.

Colorado Springs...
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2. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

The document is actually called an International Driver Permit and is, essentially, a translation of the data on your Calif. driver's license, and must be used in conjunction with it. Austria requires it, although nobody may ever ask you for it. .

Houston, TX
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3. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

I just rented a car at Avis in Frankfurt and NO you do not need the International Driver Permit, they never asked for it they just ask for your US Drivers License -

By the way AAA only charges $15.00 for the permit

Germany
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4. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

…wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Pe…

This is a translation not just in terms of language but also on the vehicle classes one is allowed to drive.

Have a look on this older - but still valid (!) - German drivers license

fuenf-zehn-sechzig.de/70er/…fuehrerschein.jpg

Now think about the nature of bilateral agreements. As obviously the US won't sign an agreement accepting all valid drivers licences issued by Germany. Germany won't do this either - albeit German police offices don't have the same problems with US issued drivers licenses. While German police will be indeed normally happy with just your US drivers license this is no legal position and police in other European countries has often a more legal than practical view on this.

a) to rent a car

The rental car company has only to check if you have a drivers license valid for the car you want to rent. As they can draw this out of your US drivers licence they won't want to see your IDP.

b) to drive a car (legally)

This is either regulated in the international agreements listed on the above Wikipedia arcticle or by bilateral agreements.

Thus while "To drive in the US, a Belgian citizen must obtain an international driver’s permit (IDP)"

diplobel.us/belgiancitizens/livingus/driverl…

you can be sure that for US citizens applies the same for driving in Belgium.

Las Vegas, Nevada
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5. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

I've never had to show an international driver's permit anywhere in the world when renting a car even when driving with my former Saudi Arabia driver's license which was in Arabic and only translated by me into the Roman alphabet on the back side. It's really amazing, and the numbers including dates are not understandable by most people. So the rental car companies don't really care, but legally you may require one. I always had an international driver's permit along with a valid driver's license to be on the safe side.

Brno, Czech Republic
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6. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

Basically you don't always need an IDP, but it is best to have one just in case (the situation will probably never arise, but you never know) - having one might save you a lot more time and money than the initial $15 and 15 minutes' investment.

And make sure you don't fall for the 'International Drivers License' trick - there is no such thing and it is a scam.

San Jose, California
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7. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

GCEK - Exactly. IDPs are cheap and take almost no time to get. IMO, it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. Like I said, rental car companies can require them, even if it isn't a legal requirement. I've never been asked for one by a rental car company either, but but I know someone who was - in Germany, where it isn't required by law.

Oregon
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8. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

OK then - thanks everyone, I will head over to AAA and get one just to be sure.

-Keri

USA
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9. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

Germany does NOT require an IDP.

But if you think you might do some driving in Austria, or Italy, or other nearby countries that do require it, you should get one. They don't cost much and it took only about 20 minutes for me to get mine--it took that long because I didn't have passport size photos so I paid AAA to take them for me on the spot.

10. Re: Do I need "International Drivers Licence" to rent a car?

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