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How to Get an International Driving Permit

It's me Mario! Actually, it's Princess Peach! When I tell you the Mario Kart Experience with Tokyo Bay Street Kart in Tokyo, Japan was hands down one of the most incredible experiences EVER, she tells no lies!


If you plan on renting a car and getting around on your own, you need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you go! We would have not been able to do the Mario Kart Experience without an international driving permit. And if it sounds complicated, I'm here to tell you that it wasn't at all!


Mario Kart Experience in Tokyo, Japan

Why Carry an IDP?


Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information. It translates your identification information into 10 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don't.


Another country cannot issue an IDP to be used in conjunction with a US driver’s license. An IDP accompanying a US driver’s license can only be issued in the USA. See ALREADY OVERSEAS


Many countries require an IDP to drive legally. Fines for driving without an IDP can be quite costly. Check countries requirements before travel.


An IDP gives you peace of mind while you're out exploring the world - even if you're not planning to drive!


There are two companies in the United States that issue international driving permits:


I went with AAA. I've detailed below how you can apply for an international driving permit through AAA.


Vector Art


Vector Art

How to Apply for an International Driving Permit


To apply in person at AAA Travel office:


To learn how to print your passport photos at home for free, click here.


Apply by Mail

If you are not able to visit your nearest AAA Travel office, your IDP can be obtained through the mail. Simply enclose the following and mail them to the AAA Travel office nearest you (check locally for payment options):

  • Your completed IDP application form

  • Two original passport pictures each signed on the back

  • $20 USD permit fee***

  • A photocopy of both sides of your driver's license

  • If desired, include additional U.S. funds for expedited return mail service. See USPS.com or Fedex.com for rates.


Voilà! It's as simple as that! And if you apply in person, you'll walk out with your IDP


Checkout my Ultimate Tokyo Travel Guide for more about Tokyo and the Mario Kart experience.




How to apply for an International Driving Permit

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I'm Santeka - a colorful, outspoken Southern woman that landed in New Jersey. Welcome to my corner of the internet where I share travel, food, twirlable moments, DIY pjojects, and fixer upper inspiration all while living my life out loud! My favorite gig is helping entrepreneurs leverage their table to grow their business.

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