international driving license

We are renting a car in Germany and have been told that an IDL is not required there but would like to go to Ruette Austria for 2 days. Do I need an IDL for just that short trip over the boarder?

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14142 posts

It IDP, permit. Not a license, just a translation of your driver's license so that it is easily understood should you be stopped by the police. Get it. This is a case where it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.

Posted by Tom
2876 posts

It's an IDP, and you can only get it at an AAA office. You'll see internet ads for an international drivers "license." Don't fall for these; they're useless and the European authorities don't recognize them.

Posted by Andrea
Sacramento, CA
6030 posts

Even if the IDP isn't required (don't know the answer to that) it is a good idea to have it. As stated previously, it translates your U.S. drivers license. It could come in handy in the event of an accident or some other car situation. It's $15 at AAA. You also need passport sized photos. AAA will take the photos for you if you need them. I think they charge $10 for that.

Posted by Irv
Beverly Hills, MI
525 posts

Everything above is correct starting with get one and hope you never need it. I'll expand to say that an IDP is not required in Germany but it is required in Austria. In Austria, if you are stopped for a traffic violation and you don't have an IDP it starts with a 250 euro fine on the spot and goes down hill from there. Having an accident without one is lots worse. Don' worry, the driving is not hard, have a great trip.

Posted by Steve
Gaston, Oregon, USA
908 posts

...and don't forget that you will need a special pass (called a "VIGNETTE)for driving into Austria. Pick one up at a gas station close to the border, before you drive in. Bring your driver's license and your IDP. Mahalo!

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8198 posts

You only need the window sticker (vignette) if you drive on the autobahn in Austria. If you're only going to Reutte you won't need one. I believe an IDP is required for Austria.

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
504 posts

Hello Kim, If you go into a AAA office, the IDP costs $15. They can take your picture in the office. It is $8 for AAA members and $15 for non-members. You will walk out of the office with permit in hand. You can go online and fill out the form online and print it and save some time in the office.
If you do not have a AAA office convenient to your location, you can send to the nearest office to you and get one by mail. You have to send 2 passport type pictures. THe instructions are all clearly lined out on the AAA website. They will date the permit beginning on your initial travel date. It is valid for a year.