By: Drivers.com staff

Date: Sunday, 18. June 2006

Readers of this article should also read
Fake driving licenses a shocker

“Pssssst, hey buddy! Wanna buy a driver’s license?”

Have you received one of these in the mail or on the Internet?

“INTERNATIONAL DRIVER’S LICENSE

Need a new driver’s license?

Too many points or other trouble?

Want a license that can never be suspended or revoked?

Want ID for nightclubs or hotel check-in?

Avoid tickets, fines, and mandatory driver’s education.

Protect your privacy, and hide your identity.

The United Nations gave you the privilege to drive freely throughout the
world! (Convention on International Road Traffic of September 19, 1949 & World
Court Decision, The Hague, Netherlands, January 21, 1958)

Take advantage of your rights. Order a valid International Driver’s License
that can never be suspended or revoked.”

A friendly warning from Drivers.com . . . do not be fooled
by these messages. The arguments above appeal to the larcenous side of human nature, and you might think “I’ll try it, there’s not much to lose.”

Unless,
that is, you get caught in a foreign country with a false or forged document, or at the very least, with an invalid license. Depending on regional laws,
it may be legal for these companies to produce such documents,
and to sell them to you, but it may not be legal for you
to carry them, or to use them as a driving license. Therefore, in the manner
of a classic scam, you get swindled out of your money, and you may
be breaking the law, but the swindler has done “nothing wrong.”

Here’s the truth

  • An International Driving Permit is merely a translation of your regular
    driver’s license into almost a dozen languages.
  • It is not a driver’s license by itself.
  • You must still carry a valid, regular license from your country, even if
    you are also carrying an IDP.
  • Yes, the United Nations created a treaty, now signed by about 150 countries,
    but the IDP is not a license by itself. It is mainly to help police read
    licenses written in other languages.
  • You must purchase an IDP in your country of residence.
  • You must have a legal license from your country of residence in order to
    get an IDP.
  • No, you cannot use the IDP as a “license” inside your
    country of residence.
  • No, you do not get a new, separate driving record with an IDP. They cannot
    be used to hide violations or tickets: these are still recorded on your regular
    driver’s license.
  • Most countries authorize only certain organizations to sell IDPs. Check
    with your local government driver’s license authority.
  • In the USA, only two organizations are allowed to sell real, legal IDPs:
    the American Automobile Association (enter
    your location carefully), and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, which
    offers IDPs through the National Automobile Club.
  • In Canada, the only authorized distributor of legal IDPs
    is the CAA.
    Canadian IDPs are not valid in the USA.
  • In the USA and Canada, the cost of a real IDP is about $10.

The “offshore” scam

Another angle used by some of the fake IDP issuers is to use another country
as the “residence” country. This is an attempt to avoid the restriction that
you cannot use your IDP in the country you live in. This is not to be trusted.
Firstly, the U.S.
Department of State notes: “The Department of State is aware that IDPs
are being sold over the Internet and in person by persons not authorized by
the Department of State pursuant to the requirements of the U.N. Convention
of 1949. Moreover, many of these IDPs are being sold for large sums of money,
far greater than the sum charged by entities authorized by the Department of
State. Consumers experiencing problems should report problems to their local
office of the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Better Business Bureau, or their state
or local Attorney General’s Office.” Secondly, suppose you are driving in California
with a fake IDP from some other country. It shows your residence as being in
that other country. Yet the police officer that pulls you over will also ask
for your registration for the vehicle, and maybe some other piece of ID. If
your car registration shows you to be a U.S. resident, you will be caught in
a lie, and it is a crime to lie to an officer about your residence, according
to Black
Enterprise
magazine. You could end up in serious trouble, and your
expensive International “Driver’s License” will be worthless.

More information

Get more facts about the International Driving Permit and
check our list of information by country.

We’d like to hear from readers who have information or stories about IDP scams.
You can email us at pde@drivers.com.

Further comments to this article have been disabled.

Showing 1 – 426 comments

Johnny539,

Are there any EU/EEA driving licenses that may be legally issued without further testing or a local residence permit in exchange for a US license from Colorado or Tennessee?

sasha woodcock,

i need uk driver liences ? because i lost my own?

Randy,

how can I get the Uk driving license

manu,

what driving school can theach to drive in romanian hire in england

assweasel@,

Realdeal I don’t Understand want your problem is?

You don’t like the graduated license program in Ontario? Obviously you want an Ontario Licence and for some reason cant go in and get one without waiting the required 18 months to become a full driver.

Only 2 reasons I can see for this.
1. You are trying to get One under a fake name and don’t want to wait the 18 months.
2. You’ve been in Prison and were not able to get a Licence when you were 16. Now that your older you don’t want to wait.

I can tell you how to get around either 1 or 2 but this means that the name you are trying to get a license in could never have applied for an Ontario Licence in at least the last 3 years.

Easiest way for you is to Just head over to North Dakota and Get yourself a Licence there. then come back to Ontario and hand that in for a Full Ontario.

That is a perfectly legal way for you to do what you want to do.

a_r_d,

oi bom dia sou portugues e tenho 20 anos algum me arranja uma carta de conduçao de veiculos ligeiros por favor!!!!! urgente

yanis,

i need canada driving lincence

ahmed malik,

Hello ! I do not understand, who you will dend me drivers by cd or whatr ?
regards ahmed

the zoo keeper,

need licence to transport animals and save job animal lovers please help leave e mail details will get back to you

cash money,

uk licence needed asap