Many times, people in the community believe they need international driver’s licenses to drive in the United States. They go to a multi-service agency, and they get an “international driver’s license” and believe that this is an acceptable or real form of identification. In some cases, they believe these documents are actual authorization to drive. This is not the case, and these documents typically have no validity or value.
There are actual documents named International Driver’s Permits, these permits are documents that you apply for in your home country (country that issued your license) you get them from an approved provider in your home country (usually 1 agency per country) before you leave for foreign travel. Some countries require these licenses. The USA as a country does not require an International Drivers Permit/ license but some states do require them.
In Pennsylvania, as of the time this article was written does not require an International Drivers Permit and you are authorized to drive with your foreign driver’s license for 1 year after entering the United States or upon expiration of your foreign license whichever comes first. Other states may require you to have a valid VISA or ESTA to drive with your foreign license and some will require an International Drivers Permit.
Many people believe that getting one of these non-official international driver’s licenses from a multi-service is a good alternative to driving with their passport or their foreign license and that they are a substitute form of identification, but these non-authorized cards are actually fraudulent identification. They can be considered a “Fake or Fraudulent” Id and are not typically accepted even for identification purposes.
If you did not get an International Drivers Permit before coming to the United States it is very likely that any “International Driver’s License” you get from a multi-service or notary once in the United States is not an official document and has no validity.
Abraham Cepeda, Attorney
906 Penn Ave Suite #1
Wyomissing, PA 19610