International Moving Guide: Obtaining a Driver's License When Moving Abroad

You'll have a newfound freedom when moving abroad - just don't forget to process your driver's application beforehand.

By Staff

When moving abroad it is advisable to obtain an international driving permit – (even if you don’t plan on doing much driving). This form of identification is valid in over 150 countries and is translated into 10 languages. It can be very helpful as a universal identification, and of course, necessary if you are actually driving.

For those that plan to operate a vehicle, you should investigate the driving laws in your  new country as soon as you arrive. Every country has different rules regarding how long after you arrive that you will need to get a new license and what information you will need to provide to receive your new license.

In some countries a driver’s license from the United States will be honored and in others you must obtain a local license. You may also need an international driving license or international permit. This is just a certification of license and is currently available in nine languages. When you arrive in your new country you will usually be given a grace period before you need to obtain your local license.  You should be prepared to take a whole new test, including a written exam and eye exam and potentially a practical driving test.

If you are moving to a country in which driving is done on the opposite of the road (e.g. England, Japan or Australia), you will want to get some good practice in before you are required to take a practical driving examination.  Even for experienced drivers, these new driving rules will pose some serious short-term challenges.

To obtain a international driving license or international permit, you will need a valid U.S. driver’s license, $15USD , and two passport-type photos  to your local AAA office. You will also have to fill out an application to obtain an International Driving Permit and they may take 4-6 before you receive your license or permit. If you are currently overseas you can mail your completed application to the following office and address:

1000 AAA Dr.
Heathrow, FL
Attn: Mailstop #2

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge