People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. If you're a foreign visitor, some states require you to have an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid license from your own country. To find out the ID requirements of the U.S. state(s) where you will be driving, contact that state's motor vehicle department.
An IDP is a form of identification that many countries around the world recognize. It translates your identification into 10 languages and allows you to drive legally in a different country.
If you intend to get an IDP, you must do so in advance of your travel. The United States does not issue IDPs to foreign visitors.
- To get an IDP, contact the motor vehicle department of the country that issued your driver's license.
- You may need both your license and an IDP to rent a car in the U.S. If you’re planning to rent one, find out the rental company's policies and other requirements in advance.
- Beware of international driver's license scams. Scammers may try to sell you a fake IDP. In addition to losing money, you may be subject to travel delays or legal issues if you use a fake IDP in the U.S. You can report international driver’s license scams to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
If you are eligible to apply for a driver's license, you must get a driver's license from the state where you live.
- The residency requirement for obtaining a U.S. driver's license is different in each state.
- Check the requirements and find out how to apply by contacting your state's department of motor vehicles.
- A U.S. driver's license allows you to drive anywhere in the U.S. It is your responsibility to know and obey the laws of the state where you are driving.