International driving license

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Martí Micolau
@martimicolau
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Index

  • What is an international driving license and where is it needed?
  • How do you get an international driving license?
  • What is the validity of the international driving license?
  • What the individual American states predict
  • American driver's license

Whether you are organizing a coast to coast, whether you plan to use the car to move around American cities, the topic "international driving license" it will surely interest you. What it is, where it is needed, how to obtain an international driving license, what validity it is and what solutions are recommended to those who are thinking of moving to America (for example, for having been lucky enough to win a Green Card) will be the topics of the present guide.



What is an international driving license and where is it needed?

To use the car inside the Countries of the European Union the international license is not necessary, as it is sufficient to be in possession of the driving license issued by our competent offices.

For those who, on the other hand, travel in Non-EU countries you must be in possession of the international driving license (technically also called international driving permit), according to the model ("Geneva Convention 1949" o "Vienna Convention 1968") chosen by the country of destination.

In the United States of America, the model required is the one compliant with the 1949 Geneva Convention, but we immediately specify that in the USA every single State regulates traffic material: this means that each of the 50 States can decide to allow circulation with only one Spanish driving license or to strictly apply for an international driving license.


In any case, it is certainly advisable to inquire before leaving with the local authorities and, also considering the ministerial recommendations in this regard (Circular of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport issued on 6 May 2015 and also Circular of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport issued on 12 March 2014), have an international driving license.


How do you get an international driving license?

The issue of the international license is the responsibility of the offices of the Civil Motorization.
To obtain the driving license you must:
- pay € 9,00 on current account 9001 (pre-printed bulletin for distribution at post offices and motorization offices) and € 16 on current account 4028 (this is also a pre-printed bulletin for distribution at post offices and motorization offices )
- submit the application on the TT 746 model to the DMV and attach the two certificates of payment of 9 and € 16, with a € 16 revenue stamp. You must also provide two recent photos, one of which authenticated by the municipal offices, and attach a double-sided photocopy of your valid driving license (which you will still need to have with you in the original when applying). - some engines also require a photocopy of the tax code and health card.

Alternatively, you can contact a driving school (or even the ACI) who will carry out the whole procedure independently and will only ask you to present
- driver's license;
- 2 passport photos, one of which authenticated by the Municipality;
- identity document.


The timing for obtaining the international driving license are about 10 days (even if going directly to the DMV takes less time); as regards the price we are around € 100 with driving schools, while by contacting the DMV the cost is lower (around € 50), as there are no commission costs. If you intend to go to a driving school, the advice is obviously to request more quotes to compare the quality / price ratio.

In addition to allowing you to travel in the USA, the international driving license also allows you to drive in other non-EU countries such as Australia or Canada.


In Ontario, one of Canada's most populous provinces, the international driving license is valid for one year; if you do not want to obtain an international license, you can drive with a Spanish license for only one month, after which you must necessarily obtain a Canadian license if you want to continue driving in Ontario.

In Australia, it is generally possible to drive with a Spanish license for a maximum period of three months from the date of arrival; however, Australia is also a federal state, so individual states can regulate themselves as they wish. To avoid, therefore, hassle it is preferable to obtain an international driving license before leaving Spain.

What is the validity of the international driving license?

This is certainly one of the most interesting points when it comes to an international driving license in the United States: even for its validity, every single American state has the possibility to regulate itself as it deems appropriate.


We can, therefore, have states that recognize the validity of the driving license linked to the duration of the visa and others who - regardless of the visa - recognize the driving license valid for 30 days, 90 days, 6 months or a year.

For example, in Alabama and North Carolina you can drive with only the Spanish driving license, in Utah the Spanish driving license allows you to drive for six months, while in Oregon for 1 year.

Other states expressly provide for an international license as the only suitable document for driving (Oklahoma, for example) and still others require a Spanish license accompanied by an international one (New Hampshire, for example).

What the individual American states predict

As for the most important states, in California and Nevada it is possible to drive with only a Spanish driving license provided it has not expired; in Massachusetts with a Spanish license only if accompanied by an international license while in Florida you can drive with a Spanish license for a month, while with an international license for a year.


As for driving licenses whose validity is linked to the duration of the visa, there are states, such as Wyoming or Wisconsin, which provide that the Spanish license is recognized if accompanied by the international license and only for holders of a short-term visa. or ESTA.

American driver's license

If you intend to move to the United States, you need the American license and there is no doubt as, as we have seen, the Spanish and also international driving licenses are either linked to the duration of visas or are of limited duration.

Obtaining an American driver's license naturally interests those who settle for a long period in the States, let's think for example of those who are lucky enough to win the Green Card.

In these cases, therefore, let's see what is the procedure for obtaining an American driving license.

First you need to have the residence permit of at least one year in the States, on SSN (Social Security Number), a certificate of residence in America and, if you are already licensed in Spain, your driving license.

The office responsible for issuing the American driving license is the DMV (Department of Motor Veichles) where it must be supported a theoretical and a practical exam: the theory is composed of both quizzes on signs and road regulations and more practical cases; while the practice is obviously the classic test drive.

By obtaining the American driving license, you will be able to circulate safely on US roads until it expires.


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