If you are planning a trip of one year or less, applying for an international drivers license in Spain is important. This license is a requirement of driving in Spain, and without the license, you could face punishment if stopped by law enforcement officials while driving. An international drivers permit in Spain is a translated version of your original license. It is available only to those who are currently licensed in their home country. The license makes it easy for law enforcement (and others like staff at the rental car desk) to learn your name, address and other information without language barriers standing in the way.
The international drivers permit Spain is available to licensed drivers 18 and older. All applicants must have held their license for a six month minimum before applying for the international permit. There is an application that must be completed, as well as a small fee for the license. Because the license is simply a translation of what is already on file, applicants are not required to take any type of road or written tests. The international drivers license in Spain is valid for 12 months and cannot be renewed. Should your time in Spain extend past this 12 month period, a permanent license should be considered. It is also possible to apply for a secondary permit. The license is valid for 12 months following the date of issuance, not the day of arrival in the country.
You will need to present your international drivers permit to the car rental agency when renting a vehicle. This will be one of the first things that you are asked for. The law enforcement officer will also ask for this should you be stopped.
The fee for the license is $15. You can pay this fee via check, credit card, debit card or money order, but cash is not accepted. There are two organizations that you can choose to obtain the license from. This includes AAA (www.aaa.com) and the NAC (www.thenac.com). These are the two agencies authorized to provide permits by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The application must be completed in full and taken in person or mailed to one of these agencies in order to receive your license. If there is an agency nearby, taking the application in is the best option, as it speeds up the process. Mailed applications can take several weeks to process.
Do not begin your driving tour of Spain without first obtaining an international drivers license. You certainly do not want to face trouble while in a foreign country, and this permit prevents that from happening. If you do get pulled over by law enforcement or if you're involved in a fender-bender, carrying an IDP will save you time and minimize delays - something all travelers are sure to appreciate.
We have tried to cover all of the pertinent information concerning the international permit in this article, however, we understand that you may still have questions or require additional information. If so, you can trust our knowledgeable representatives to assist you. Our Spain travel experts are available toll-free by calling 1-888-223-5555. Phones are answered 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, so there's no wrong time to call for information.