Road trips are a fun travel option, but if you’re road tripping overseas, you want to be prepared. Some countries actually require an international permit.
While most countries will let you drive with your U.S. license, Travel + Leisure points out that some areas require an International Driving Permit. It’s a $20 document that translates your license into ten languages, making it easier to rent a vehicle. According to the Department of Motor Vehicle website, you have to obtain your permit through AAA or the American Automobile Touring Alliance:
If you plan to rent a car while in a foreign country, you’ll likely need an International Driving Permit…For citizens of the United States, the U.S. government requires you apply for an International Driving Permit with either the American Automobile Association (AAA) or the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
The document is valid for about a year, and the DMV suggests keeping both your international permit and your U.S. license with you when driving overseas. So which countries require (or at least recommend) it? There are about 150, according to AAA. Some of them include Italy, Germany, and Spain. There are different stipulations depending on the country, though.
Your best bet is to check the driving requirements of your destination if you plan on driving, and you can do that here.