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American drivers license in Foreign country

edited January 2009 in World Wide
I heard that an American drivers license isnt accepted in Europe as enough to drive. Is this True? Can I rent a car in Europe with only this or do i need to somehow get an International drivers license? How would I do this?


  • Americans can drive in Europe with their regular driver license. However, in Europe there can be some confusion as each American state issues its own drivers license. It's a bit much for a foreign country to keep track of 50 different American forms of ID. They will be more familiar with an IDP or International Drivers Permit. These can be recieved through AAA or the National Automoblie Club. The permit does not requier any extra tests although you must send in a copy of your existing license and two passport photos along with $15. These are usually not mandatory but might be helpful in a pinch. Keep your passport on you when driving as most police ask for this rather than a drivers permit when pulled over. Remember that most cars in Europe are manual and some crazy countries even drive on the left hand side of the road.
  • edited 9:12PM
    some countries, particularly in europe will require you to prove that you had your licence for more than 1yr. some countries, particularly in europe also force you to prove you address, like a utility bill. europeans have trust issues.
  • edited 9:12PM
    It's also worth mentioning that most European countries won't allow you driving if you're under 18. :)
  • edited 9:12PM
    Why not go to the source for authoritative information! It's so easy really.

    All you need do is lookup the Embassy site for the country you intend to visit, and save yourself the risks of possibly very difficult and costly complications!

    The following is found at :

    Driving in Belgium

    Tourists/temporary visitors

    Tourists and temporary visitors are allowed to drive in Belgium on a valid license from a U.S. state. An International Driver's License is not required but some car rental companies may require one. The same rule applies for bearers of Belgian driver’s licenses who are temporary visitors to the United States.

    International Driver's Licenses are obtainable through the local city administration offices in Belgium, or through the American Automobile Association in the United States.

    It is also advisable that you read up on the rules of the road for Belgium, or I can almost guarantee an accident or at least a huge tension headache.

    The traffic rules are very different from those in the US, and the fines are astronomical! Also the signage is completely foreign to an American.

    Good luk, and enjoy your visits to Belgium and stay safe!
  • edited 9:12PM

    As of January 1, 1999, U.S. driver's license holders must be in possession of a German license six months after entering the country, if they wish to continue driving.

    U.S. citizens planning to stay less than a year, however, may legally drive in Germany for up to 364 days in Germany on their U.S. driver's licenses. However, they must go to their local driver's registration office (F
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