Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York’s Rules – Get an international driving permit, which allows you to drive in certain European countries, just in case. Photo: Brian Harris/Alamy

I rented a car through Interrent in Spain to collect in Jerez but when I handed over my outdated paper driver’s license the company refused to give it to me.

Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York’s Rules

Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York's Rules

There was a clause in the small print on my voucher that said “International driving license is mandatory for non-U driving license holders and must be presented with an original driver’s license”.

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I hope this can only be applied to paper licenses but it can be at separate rental offices.

Eventually things worked out as I booked through a broker and after some back and forth, it refunded me as the confirmation email clearly stated that the required documents were a passport and driving licence.

I did some research with other car rental companies, and got different answers about what kind of license they require.

I am going to update my paper license as soon as practical and in the meantime, get an international driving permit for when I travel abroad.

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An international driving permit is an official, multi-language translation of your driver’s license and, according to the government website, you don’t need it to drive in Spain if the trip is for less than six months.

After facing this problem you have contacted other rental agencies to ask their requirements and some have warned that they will not accept your paper license and want a photocard or IDP.

In its terms, Interrent states that licenses without images “will not be considered a valid license … therefore, it will request international permission”.

Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York's Rules

The paper counterpart of the photocard driving license was abolished in 2015 but paper licenses issued before 31 March 2000 are still valid.

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The AA advises that you may need an IDP in some EU countries if you still have a paper driving license (or your license was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or the Isle of Man). If you’re renting a car abroad, contact the firm before you go to avoid a stressful situation at the airport. If you are not sure, get an IDP. They cost £5.50 and are available from any post office.

We welcome letters but cannot reply individually. Email us at consumer.champions@ or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Include a daytime phone number. All letters submitted and published are subject to our terms and conditions.If you intend to drive on a road trip around Spain, you must obtain an international driving license.

Please note that in Spain, since 1st May 2008, driving without a license is a criminal offence, and punishable by imprisonment. Additionally, it can render your car insurance, including compulsory third party insurance, void and void.

It basically translates your existing driver’s license into different languages, and provides some identifying information. In fact, the document contains a picture of you, your name and the date of issue.

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You must use it with a valid driving license issued in your country. It is not intended to replace. It is usually valid for one year from the date of issue (not one year after the date of your arrival in Spain) and is non-renewable.

If you plan to stay in Spain for more than a year, you will need to apply for a Spanish driving license.

Spain is a member of the European Union. And in the same way that we Spaniards are allowed to drive in other EU member countries using our Spanish license, EU citizens can drive in Spain with their national driving license – as long as it’s valid, of course.

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So, if you are Irish, German, French, Dutch or Austrian, just to mention members of some EU countries, you only need to bring your country’s driving license to Spain.

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The European Economic Area, also known as the EEA, is made up of all the countries of the European Union and some other countries that do not belong to the UE. namely Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

So if you are from Norwegian, Icelandic or Liechtenstein, you can only drive in Spain with your country’s driving license.

Now, this is tricky. As a result of the UK’s exit from the European Union, following Brexit, many of the rights associated with membership have also gone.

Until Spain passes a law recognizing UK driving licences, the best advice I can give you is to hold an international driving licence.

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In theory, the Swiss driving license should be accepted in Spain. Car rental companies are unlikely to raise any issues when you show your Swiss driving permit, but it cannot be issued to road police officers.

Under Spanish law, visitors with a 90-day limited stay or Schengen tourist visa may drive a vehicle in Spain if they have a valid national driving license and a valid international driving permit. In other words, you need both licenses.

On top of that, it’s seen as proof to the police and rental companies that you’ve passed a test in your country that officially allows you to drive.

Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York's Rules

You can only apply for an international driving license in your own country and in your place of residence. There is no point in asking for one in Spain, as this method is only available to Spaniards.

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Generally, it requires 2 passport photos, a completed permit application, permit fee and your valid license to apply. If you have any doubts, contact the driver licensing authority back home and they will provide you with all the information you need.

So make sure you have yours in case the police ask you to remove them. You should know that late driving laws in Spain are more restrictive and the police have increased their controls (especially regarding alcohol and speed limits).

In most cases, an international driver’s permit won’t cost you a fortune. Don’t be tempted to save your money. Spanish fines for not having mandatory driving documents are extremely high (and the police will make sure you pay).

This article is part of a complete tutorial about car rental in Spain where you can read all the information you need to organize your road trip across the country.

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Cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only contains cookies that ensure basic functionality and security features of the website. This cookie does not store any personal information.

Auto Insurance For International Drivers: Navigating New York's Rules

Any cookie that may not be specifically necessary for the website to function and is specifically used to collect user personal information through analytics, advertising, other embedded content is called a non-necessary cookie. It is mandatory to collect user consent before running these cookies on your website Now that travel restrictions have been lifted, what’s stopping you from renting a rental car and road-tripping across the country of your choice? Having an international driving permit can ease the hassle for drivers – especially in non-English speaking countries – and give you the freedom to explore cities at your own pace. Plus, losing your way while you cruise and discovering new hotspots with your family or friends is all part of the process.

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But, did you know that you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP) when you are driving in certain countries? If you’re unsure how to apply for one or if you even need one, read on to find out!

The IDP is basically a translation of your National Driving License. It allows motorists to operate their vehicles in foreign countries and is a UN regulated travel document for your convenience and safety. Just remember that while driving, you must have your IDP with your national license at all times.

To get an International Driving Permit in Singapore, you need to go to the Automobile Association of Singapore (AA). It is the only authorized agency to issue IDPs in Singapore. Based on the Convention Road Traffic Code of 19 September 1949, IDPs issued by AA Singapore are valid for 1 year from the date of issue.

If you are new to Singapore, you can drive in the country as long as you have a foreign driving license and an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by an authorized agency from your country of origin.

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