International Driving Permit: Tutorial. Helpful tips for using an International Driving Permit or International Drivers License. Most countries require a 1949 Convention IDP but for certain countries, a 1926 Convention IDP is necessary.
An IDP is a permit for use in conjunction with your driving licence, not in place of it. In some countries, you risk being fined or worse for relying solely on an IDP. Always be sure to check the individual rules in the destination countries that you intend to drive in.
The following information is not to be construed as legal advice. It is word of mouth information only, representing what other successful IDP users have done. If you want or need legal advice, you must see a lawyer, or do your own legal research. Also, if you are a person and/or resident required to have a State issued driver license and registration, you must comply with all laws to which you are subject.
- There is no government on earth that issues an International Driving or Operator’s Permit. They are issued under the authority of International Law and the Law of Nations in accordance with N.A.T.O., and the Convention on International Road Traffic of September 19, 1949. It is International Law and Contract Law between countries that authorizes the issuance of any type of International Driver Permit. Contrary to popular belief, businesses like AAA, PATA and others DO NOT have a monopoly on the issuance of IDP’s. These organizations are actually restricted (as legal fictions) to whom they can or cannot issue IDP’s (to other legal fictions.)
- An International Driving Permit is valid in every country except the country of issue (IDP’s are for international travelers and tourists only.)
- A State issued Driver License nullifies an International Driving Permit in the State of residence.
- Automobile registration in your name nullifies an International Driving Permit in the State of residence.
- Carrying any government or private identification that shows a residence address in your state will nullify an International Driving Permit.
A successful IDP holder DOES NOT:
- Carry any ID in or out of his automobile that is in conflict with his new ID.
- Have an automobile registered in his name. Rather, his automobile is registered in another name, or to a trust, and carries a ‘permission to use’ letter from the registered owner.
- Drive under the influence of any substance that would impair his ability behind the wheel.
- Drive cars which draw needless attention.
- Carry contraband within his automobile which would be in plain view of a police officer (probable cause.)
- Engage in needless conversation (designed to entrap), or answer questions that are not directly related to a traffic stop.
- Become confrontational or disrespectful with police officers.
- Grant permissions to search his car, unless a search warrant is issued.
- Go to court and voluntarily grant jurisdiction to adjudicate the validity of International Law or the Permit. Traffic, Municipal and State courts do NOT have jurisdiction or venue in International Law (unless it is voluntarily given.)
A successful IDP holder DOES:
- Obey the rules of the road, and obey posted speed limits.
- Conduct himself in a courteous manner at all times.
- Drive a clean car in good repair.
- Pay traffic citations which are deserved.
A successful IDP holder’s position if ever confronted is ALWAYS:
I am an American (or, nationality printed on IDP.) I live and work abroad. I am here on vacation. I am a non-resident. I am borrowing the car. If I have commited a crime, then arrest me, cite me, or let me go. Then SHUT YOUR MOUTH, AND ADMIT NOTHING!
Police officers are not trained in Law or International Law! They operate under police procedure and have been given the power of ‘discretion.’ Many officers have no knowledge and have never even seen an IDP. Some may even tell you that an IDP is not valid. Never argue the subject of validity, as police officers hate to appear ignorant. If anything, simply state that the IDP was purchased in the ‘country of issue’, and to the best of your knowledge and belief it is perfectly lawful. Tell the officer that (if need be), you will save your arguments for the judge (if a citation is to be issued.)
Convention on International Road Traffic
|Convention, with Annexes and Protocol, dated at Geneva September 19, 1949; ratification advised by the Senate of the United States of America August 9, 1950; ratified by the President of the United States of America August 17, 1950; ratification of the United States of America deposited with the United Nations August 30, 1950; proclaimed by the President of the United States of America April 16, 1952; entered into force March 26, 1952.
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
WHEREAS the Convention on Road Traffic and a related protocol concerning occupied countries or territories, formulated at the United Nations Conference on Road and Motor Transport and dated at Geneva September 19, 1929, were open for signature from Septem ber 19, 1949 until December 31, 1949;
WHEREAS the said Convention was signed during that period by the respective plenipotentiaries of the United States of America, Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, India, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of South Africa, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and Yugoslavia, and the said related protocol was signed during that same period by the respective plenipotentiaries of the United States of America, Belgium, Denmark, the Dominican Republic, Egypt, France, India, Italy, Lebanon, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, the Union of South Africa, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland;