International Driving Permits

International Driving Permits
“Although many countries do not recognize U.S. driver’s licenses, most countries accept an International Driving Permit (IDP).  IDPs are honored in more than 150 countries outside the United States.  (See AAA’s application form for the list of countries).  An IDP functions as an official translation of a U.S. driver’s license into ten foreign languages.  These licenses are not intended to replace valid U.S. state licenses and should only be used as a supplement to a valid U.S. license.  IDPs are not valid in an individual’s country of residence.
Before departure, you can obtain an IDP from an automobile association authorized by the U.S. Department of State to issue IDPs.  Article 24 of the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic (1949) authorizes the U.S. Department of State to empower certain organizations to issue IDPs to those who hold valid U.S. driver’s licenses.  The Department designated the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (through the National Auto Club) as the only authorized distributors of IDPs.”        
In many countries it is now the law that you must have an International Driving Permit to drive and pick-up a rental car, fine for non-compliance can be quite steep.  Stop by your local AAA office and you can pick one up in about 30 minutes.
The countries shown in dark blue recognize the international driving permit:

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