International Driving Permits

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an official document that provides a translation of important information from your driver’s license. The permit contains your name, photo and driver information translated into 11 languages, including English.

International driving permits are recognized in over 150 countries today. Many countries that do not recognize US, UK, Australian or other driver’s licenses do officially recognize an IDP. Additionally, some countries only honor valid US, UK or Australian driver’s licenses when accompanied by a local language translation, satisfied by the IDP.

Carrying an international driving permit along with a valid driver’s license from your home country, can help with language barriers when traveling in non-English speaking countries. The IDP also serves as an additional source of identification. So, buying an IDP prior to your trip can save a lot of potential time-consuming headaches. If you need to communicate with foreign authorities, an IDP can be a big help.

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Guide to Driving in Italy

Planning on renting a car and spending some time driving in Italy? Here are few tips and some helpful information to make your experience easier.

If you have a U.S. driver’s license it is strongly recommended that you buy an International Driving Permit before leaving for Italy. An IDP is simply a translation of your license into 11 different languages. In the U.S. they’re easy to obtain for a small fee from your local AAA office, no driving tests or exams required. This should be carried in addition to your regular driver’s license. You should also have insurance papers, car documents, and any required equipment. Italian law mandates that all cars are equipped with a warning triangle and a reflective vest or jacket in the event of a breakdown; car rental suppliers provide these items for each rental car.

Don’t rely too heavily on your GPS. Double check a map to be sure you’re going in the right direction; not to another town with the same name. Also, your GPS may not denote a ZTL.

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Car Rental and Travel Tips for Italy

With more than its fair share of art, architecture, historical sites, and natural beauty, Italy is a destination we all should visit more than once. Here are some simple travel tips if you are planning to visit Italy.

Your valid United States passport is all you need to visit Italy for up to 90 days. Be sure you have applied for or renewed your passport well in advance of your trip. U.S. passports are valid for 10 years and will cost about $135. It is recommended that you make two copies of the data page - keep one with you but separate from your actual passport and give one to a friend or family member at home (or scan it and email it to yourself and someone stateside).

If you plan to stay beyond 90 days, you will need to get a visa. You should also do this well in advance of your travels. Visas may be obtained through the Italian consulate that serves your state. Don’t leave this until the last minute.

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