International Drivers License

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May 18, 2017
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#1
Hi

A friend of mine got an exhorbitant fíne in France because he didn’t have an international drivers license ( normally issued by the equivalent to AAC in each country) I find this ridiculous, personally I have always travelled with my local drivers license.

Can you tell me if this is legal and if not who do you write or call to get this refunded.

Thanks
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#2
Edited, sorry Juan I looked it up it is the law

It is legal and there is no writing for a refund.

It is not a totally ridiculous requirement. The police want to read what the license is and what restrictions are on it in their native language. They do not have time to deal with google translate, and the roman alphabet is not used throughout the world,
 
Last edited:
Sep 19, 2015
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#3
Here is the legal part

Si vous venez en France pour un court séjour (pour des vacances par exemple), vous pouvez conduire avec votre permis. Il doit être valide et être rédigé en français ou accompagné d'une traduction officielle en français ou d'un permis international.

Si vous souhaitez obtenir la traduction en France, vous devez vous adresser à un traducteur agréé.

TRANSLATION

Court Sejour -- Brief stay

If you go to France for a brief stay (for a vacation for example) you are able to drive with your license. The license must be valid and written in French or accompanied by an official translation into French or an International Permit.

Here is the official website of the law in France

https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F1459
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#4
And from the French Embassy

https://franceintheus.org/spip.php?article376

YOU ARE ON A SHORT VISIT OR SHORT BUSINESS TRIP (LESS THAN 90 DAYS)
You may drive with a valid U.S. driver’s license if it is accompanied by a notarized translation in French. It is strongly recommended that you carry an International Driving Permit. You must be 18 years of age or older to drive in France. (More information may be found here).
 
Likes: Neil Maley

AMA

Verified Member
Dec 11, 2014
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#5
You can get an international driver's license from any AAA office for about 25 bucks.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#6
Since I've never met a law enforcement officer who admitted to knowing English, getting the IDP is a smart move. Most of the rental car companies state this in their fine print. It's just not right to expect Europeans to know English. And knowing the French, if your friends spoke little French and did not communicate "in the French way", they got nailed. I'm sorry the fine was so enormous. Travellers today rarely use a real travel agent, so they need to do all their own research ... this is one of those little details that can really leave a bad taste in your mouth.