Saturday, July 26, 2008

International Drivers Permits Are Weird

I just went to get my 'International Driver's Permit'. It's important, because we want to rent a car in Italy for a couple legs of our trip. I just think it's kind of ridiculous, and I wonder where the money goes.

I go to AAA, they look at me, check my license, write some stuff in a booklet, paste my picture in, and BAM! I am a legit international driver. For their trouble, I give them $15. I wonder if there is someone whose job it is to provide international accreditation to the driver education programs thoughout the world, and that's where this $15 goes? Just have to wonder. It's definitely a curious program. If all it takes is a picture and my license, why do I have to get another document that has the same information? My drivers license already has my name, address, and picture, and signifies that I know how to drive.


On the other hand, AAA offices are crazy places! There is a lot going on there. I have been a member for years, and the only thing I ever used them for was towing when I blew a tire or had my radiator die. Who knew there was so much more. Call me crazy, but I think that trip planning is actually one of the fun parts of travel, so I wouldn't want to cede those responsibilities to someone else, anyway, but it's good to know there are options anyway...


Johnnie Francis Xavier MacIntyre said...

I believe you need an international driver's licence so that some sort of agency in your home country can certify that you're not a terrible driver or has no driver's licence etc. A lot of people need to get them to drive around other parts of the world... though I think many places will let you drive short term without an international driver's licence.