An International Driver's Permit (IDP) can make summer travels more enjoyable by allowing you to drive in a foreign country. Obtaining the permit is easy but beware of fraudulent companies trying to sell you a counterfeit.
Many countries require an IDP if you're planning to rent or drive a car while visiting. Meant to accompany your current driver's license, an IDP costs around $20-a small price to pay to avoid fines or potential legal trouble. There are only two U.S. organizations that issue valid IDPs: the American Automobile Association (AAA) and the American Automobile Touring Alliance (AATA).
A fake IDP is usually called an International Driver's License (IDL). Unauthorized sellers can charge up to $400 either in person, online or through unsolicited emails. Just do a quick web search for "International Driver's License" and many fraudulent sites will pop up. Additionally, many local IDP scammers target non-native speakers in the U.S., promising that the fake document can be used in place of a photo ID or driver's license.
Whether you're planning a surf trip to Costa Rica or touring the English countryside, an IDP gives you the freedom to independently explore during your summer vacation. Before traveling, contact the foreign embassy or consulate to ask if the country requires an IDP. And remember, an International Driver's License (IDL) is not a valid document and you can only apply for a legal International Driver's Permit from AAA or AATA. Happy travels!