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How to Buy an E.U. Driver's License Online

Updated July 20, 2017

Obtaining a European driver's license requires citizenship. Fortunately, travellers 18 years of age and older -- with a valid U.S. driver's license -- may apply for an International Driving Permit. An I.D.P. translates your license information into 10 languages: Most countries accept it as a valid substitute for a European driver's license. While websites exist that claim to distribute these entirely online, the United States Bureau of Consular Affairs recommends -- for security reasons -- that you only apply through AAA or the National Auto Club. Neither of these organisations offer exclusively online services, because applications include sensitive materials. However the forms are available for downloading online.

Navigate your browser to the AAA, or the National Automobile Club Website.

Click "International Driving Permit" from the National Automobile Club home page. When the International Driving Permit FAQ page appears, click on the "Download Application" icon. Print the application.

If using the AAA website, click "Travel" from the home page. Then scroll to the bottom of the page to the "Travel Extras" heading. Click "International Driving Permit." On the next page, click the blue "Application" icon, about midway down the page. Download and print the application.

Fill out the application completely, and photocopy both sides of your driver's license. Make sure the photocopy is clear. Sign the copy on both sides.

Put the completed application, the photocopy, two original passport photos with your signature on the back, and £9 together in an envelope.

If using AAA, send the package to the office nearest you. This may be found on the AAA website.

If using National Automobile Club, send to:

The National Automobile Club

1151 East Hillsdale Blvd

Foster City, CA 94404

The National Automobile Club takes 10 to 15 business days, to process an application, from the day it is received. AAA asks applicants to expect 4 to 6 weeks for return delivery. However, they offer expedited application processing. This takes one business day. Applicants requesting expedited processing, must include return postage.

Tip

The passport-type photos may be digital, but must be high quality. Use passport photo specifications for a size and quality reference. If you're uncomfortable putting your information in the mail, applications may also be submitted by walk-in. Just find your local AAA or National Automobile Club office.

Warning

The I.D.P. is only valid when presented alongside your original U.S. driver's license. Always keep both on you at all times. If you receive a traffic citation abroad, the violation will be noted on your U.S. driver's license. Fines and penalties must be paid to the law enforcement agency, or government who issued them. Your I.D.P. remains valid for one year from the date of issuance. You must reapply every year if you want to keep it.

Things You'll Need

  • Driver's license
  • Two passport photos
  • Photocopy of driver's license
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About the Author

Riley Beck began writing professionally in November 2010, contributing pieces to various websites. He created scholarly articles and offered editorial input to the creation of a college website dedicated to the works of Cormac McCarthy. Beck also wrote an in-depth thesis on McCarthy. He graduated in May 2010 from the University of North Carolina, Asheville with a bachelor's degree in English.