Driver’s license translations can come in handy when traveling.
Are you planning a business trip or vacation abroad?
Are you going to be driving or accompanying someone who will be driving?
If so, you should consider having your driver’s license translated.
While many countries do not recognize US driver’s licenses alone, obtaining a driver’s license translation can benefit you in many different ways.
Driver’s License Translation and International Driving Permits
Driver’s license translations are a useful complement to an International Driving Permit (IDP).
An International Driving Permit is available through the US Department of State. It is recognized in 150 countries around the world as a document certifying your right to operate a vehicle in another country. International Driving Permits are available through two US State Department-approved vendors: AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance/National Auto Club.
Remember: An International Driving Permit is meant to be a supplement to your driver’s license, not a replacement of it. You should have your original driver’s license with you at all times.
Driver’s License Translation Advantages
Driver’s license translation has advantages in many situations:
- You may want to drive in a country that speaks a language that isn’t one of the languages included on your International Driving Permit.
- You may not plan on driving, but you may be a passenger of a driver in another country.
- Perhaps you don’t plan on being in a vehicle, but you will be in a country where the primary language is not English.
You will not require an International Driving Permit in any of these situations. However, you should consider getting your driver’s license translated into the primary language of the country you will be in. Then, if you happen to get in a situation where your identification is required, you will be prepared with a document that local authorities can easily understand.
Tips for Safely Driving Abroad
Once you have your International Driving Permit and driver’s license translation, you are legally ready to drive. However, there are more ways to prepare for driving abroad. Exercise care and caution and keep these tips in mind:
- Carry your original US state driver’s license as well as your driver’s license translation or International Driving Permit with you at all times.
- If you can manage, try to research and obtain a copy of the country’s driving laws and regulations before you go. Get acquainted with the major differences in rules.
- There may be a difference in age laws in other countries. Find out the minimum driving age and whether or not there is a maximum driving age.
- Some countries have special permits instead of tolls to drive on divided highways. If you do not obtain a permit, you could be fined.
- Many countries have laws stating that you must use your horn or flash your lights before going around a sharp corner or passing someone.
- Avoid any possible financial and legal difficulties — if you rent a car, you need to get insurance!
- If the drivers in the country you are visiting drive on the opposite side of the road, practice driving in a less populated area before you attempt city driving.
- Plan your routes ahead of time. Have a GPS or an updated map.
Follow these tips and keep your driver’s license translation handy, and your driving experience abroad should go smoothly.
How LLS Can Help
If you want a simple driver’s license translation for passenger or identification purposes, use a reputable translation company. The professional legal translators of Legal Language Services have years of experience translating driver’s licenses and other personal documents for use abroad.