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International Drivers Permit

Ok, so more on this topic. We will be renting our car in Milan and returning to Milan. However, we will be traveling into France for 4 days then back to Italy for more of our trip. I am planning to get the IDP for Italy, but do we have to have one for France as well since we are renting in Italy? Or is it all inclusive? So confused!

Posted by
547 posts

The IDP, Internationa; Drivers Permit, allows the holder to drive a motor vehicle in any country that recognizes IDPs.
It's valid when accompanied by your driving license. So both Italy and France recognize IDPs so you need only one.

Posted by
31733 posts


The International Driver's Permit is inclusive for all countries that recognize these, which includes both France and Italy. The I.D.P. provides a translation of the terms of your home D.L. and must be accompanied by your home D.L. to be valid. Each driver requires their own I.D.P.

When driving in Italy, you'll need to be vigilant to avoid the dreaded Zona Traffico Limitato areas that exist in many towns and cities. Violations come with hefty fines, which you likely won't know about until several months after you return home. Also, as you're renting in Italy, you'll have to purchase a portion of the C.D.W. from the rental agency, as that's compulsory.

Posted by
852 posts

As others noted, you will only need one per driver. It is a booklet with a multiple languages and the five identification points on your DL are written on one page with a key so that the authorities can interpret the information with said key by going to the page of their language. You will still need to bring your DL with you as it is not a substitute for it, but rather a translation of your DL.

Posted by
11294 posts

"So confused!"

You won't be once you get it - it will be very clear. If you still have questions, the AAA office where you get it can answer them.

Posted by
3471 posts

Quick and easy to get at AAA, it's a folding cardboard wallet type contraption full of different languages. Does not replace your US license, you'll need them both.

Posted by
1078 posts

Guys, this is (to me) hard to believe: lost my U.S. DL in Paris and had reserved a Hertz car in Avignon to tour Provence. I went to the Hertz counter, told my story, gave him my IDP, and I think he entered the number on the front of the IDP, and he told me I was O.K. to rent and drive my reserved car, because the IDP was "proof" of my DL. I was blown away, however, drove for 8 days, turning the car in at the Nice airport. No idea what could have happened if I was stopped for anything!!

Posted by
31733 posts


Being stopped by police under those circumstances would have been an "unpleasant" and probably costly holiday experience. The I.D.P. is not a license per se, but only a translation of your home D.L. You were essentially driving without a license during your trip, and that could have also affected your insurance had some kind of an "incident" occurred.

Posted by
4535 posts

@JerryG - Your story is another example of how rental agencies don't particularly care what happens to you if stopped by police. People often think an IDP is unnecessary because rental agents rarely ask to see it, even when required by law to drive. But it is the police that would want to see it, and your consequences are with them, not the rental agency.

In JerryG's case it is the reverse. If you had been stopped by police without a drivers license, you would have likely been in a whole lot of trouble, just as if it had happened in the US. Fines at best and most likely you would not have been allowed to continue driving.

Posted by
781 posts

Hertz asked me for my IDP in Rome when I picked up my reserved rental car,I also paid for the cumpulsory insurance when I rented the car here in the US.