Do I Need an International Driver's Licence to Travel?

DriveSmartBC LogoMany people mistakenly call an International Driving Permit (IDP) an International Driver's License. Their belief is that the IDP alone allows them to drive here at home and abroad, perhaps even when they do not hold a valid driver's license or they are prohibited from driving.

An IDP is really nothing more than a translation of your current driver's license into other languages for the convenience of the authorities in other countries when you travel. Like a passport, IDP's are in booklet form and include a photo of the driver, their name, date of birth, along with a description of the types of vehicles they are permitted to operate.

The Canadian IDP is translated into ten languages: English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, German, Arabic, Italian, Scandinavian and Portuguese.

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