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International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

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Severn, Maryland
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International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

We just booked a car in my husband's name - he is US American and therefore does not hold an EU drivers licence.

Our booking confirmation from Thrifty says holders of non-EU licences need an International Drivers Permit - is this really necessary? Do they enforce this?

Could I still take over as primary driver even if the car is booked in my hubby's name??

Any comments are much appreciated :-)

Here & There
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for Sicily, Taormina
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1. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Italian law requires an IDP (International Driving Permit) which is a translation of your licence. You will need your regular driver’s licence as well.

Thrift may not permit the rental and the police could fine you.

Your husband is the primary driver and the credit card should be in his name.

IDP required to rent a car in Italy?:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187768-i20-k40692…

Vagabonda

Edited: 17 May 2011, 09:43
Severn, Maryland
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38 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Hi, thanks for your reply - now we have to figure out how he can get an IDP as a US citizen living in the UK!! Oh dear, oh dear...

If we can't get it, could I be the primary driver even though the car was booked in his name? Do you happen to know that??

Thanks for your help!

U.S. expats
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for Windsor, London
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3. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

http://www.aaa.com/vacation/idpf.html

Treasure Island...
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for Ronda
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4. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Good luck on that one. Hubie

Severn, Maryland
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38 posts
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5. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Good luck?? What do you mean?? Are you being ironic because you've had bad experiences?? Gosh you have me worried now...

San Jose, California
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6. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

#1 - Yes, you do need an IDP/IDL. This I can say with utmost certainty as I was once stopped by the Carabinieri during a routine check point - uniformed men standing in the middle of the road with a small red paddle. I handed them my regular license and my passport and he then asked for "more" . I handed him the rental agreement and he wasn't satisfied until I handed him my IDP.

#2 - At the rental counter, you can add yourself as an additional driver. Or change the primary driver. Are you saying that you are able to obtain an IDP in the US?

#3 - Here is a good link to explain getting an IDP in various countries: …about.com/od/seniortravelbasics/f/IDP.htm

Good luck!

Hong Kong, China
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for Hong Kong, Osaka
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7. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

An IDP is absolutely necessary. The rental company may not even give you the car at the counter if you can produce the document. If he is in the States somewhere, he can easily get it from his local AAA.

Illinois
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8. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

I would use the link provided by LauraRW to get the IDP from AAA by mail as long as you have sufficient time (unless he is going to be in the US, in which case he can just get it the same day). I would also get one for you and then if his doesn't come in time, call Thrifty and see if you can either be the driver or change the reservation to your name. I've never had a problem adding a driver, but I don't know how that works if the person who is named on the reservation is not eligible to be a driver since that would not really be adding a driver.

Rome, Italy
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9. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Living overseas for years, I've renewed my IDP multiple times - mostly on trips when we go back to the States. You can set the start date any time you like... so I actually have two in my documents box right now (one starts in August 2011). A few years ago we did not go back to the States and had to use the "online" option. We had it sent through friends with an international APO address. t did cost me over $60 (as opposed to $15) in the States... and took a few weeks if I remember. So it can be done that way!

Then we got smart - and you may be able to do this! We sent electronic files with our 2 passport size pictures (I have a inexpensive program called "Passport Photo"), scanned, completed and signed AAA applications (you can get online), and scanned copies (both sides) of our US driver's license to our in-laws... and they printed everything out and took it to their local AAA office. They got the IDP's and then mailed them to us. Took about a week! Not sure if the "rules" have changed, but the printed photo copies of our DL's worked!

You will need an IDP - it's the law in Italy (http://tinyurl.com/Italy-IDP) and you also want to be prepared at one of those "random" traffic stops (http://tinyurl.com/traffic-stops). I guess worse case scenario... you could cancel the reservation and then you drive!

Severn, Maryland
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10. Re: International Driver Permit - do we need it for Italy?

Thanks, all, for your help!! We'll get the ball rolling I guess. I myself am German so don't need an IDP - but I dont' fancy doing all the driving!!! Good idea to try and get someone in the States to do it for us, if that's possible - we'll look into that (prob best to contact the AAA, they should be able to help, right?)

Thanks again - you 've all been very helpful!!