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Pssssst: wanna buy a driver's license?

Don't buy fake drivers license


Readers of this article should also read Fake driving licenses a shocker

"Pssssst, hey buddy! Wanna buy a driver's license?"

Have you received one of these in the mail or on the Internet?










"INTERNATIONAL DRIVER'S LICENSE
Need a new driver's license?
Too many points or other trouble?
Want a license that can never be suspended or revoked?
Want ID for nightclubs or hotel check-in?
Avoid tickets, fines, and mandatory driver's education.
Protect your privacy, and hide your identity.

The United Nations gave you the privilege to drive freely throughout the world! (Convention on International Road Traffic of September 19, 1949 & World Court Decision, The Hague, Netherlands, January 21, 1958)

Take advantage of your rights. Order a valid International Driver's License that can never be suspended or revoked."

A friendly warning from Drivers.com . . . do not be fooled by these messages. The arguments above appeal to the larcenous side of human nature, and you might think "I'll try it, there's not much to lose."

Unless, that is, you get caught in a foreign country with a false or forged document, or at the very least, with an invalid license. Depending on regional laws, it may be legal for these companies to produce such documents, and to sell them to you, but it may not be legal for you to carry them, or to use them as a driving license. Therefore, in the manner of a classic scam, you get swindled out of your money, and you may be breaking the law, but the swindler has done "nothing wrong."

Here's the truth

  • An International Driving Permit is merely a translation of your regular driver's license into almost a dozen languages.
  • It is not a driver's license by itself.
  • You must still carry a valid, regular license from your country, even if you are also carrying an IDP.
  • Yes, the United Nations created a treaty, now signed by about 150 countries, but the IDP is not a license by itself. It is mainly to help police read licenses written in other languages.
  • You must purchase an IDP in your country of residence.
  • You must have a legal license from your country of residence in order to get an IDP.
  • No, you cannot use the IDP as a "license" inside your country of residence.
  • No, you do not get a new, separate driving record with an IDP. They cannot be used to hide violations or tickets: these are still recorded on your regular driver's license.
  • Most countries authorize only certain organizations to sell IDPs. Check with your local government driver's license authority.
  • In the USA, only two organizations are allowed to sell real, legal IDPs: the American Automobile Association (enter your location carefully), and the American Automobile Touring Alliance, which offers IDPs through the National Automobile Club.
  • In Canada, the only authorized distributor of legal IDPs is the CAA. Canadian IDPs are not valid in the USA.
  • In the USA and Canada, the cost of a real IDP is about $10.

The "offshore" scam

Another angle used by some of the fake IDP issuers is to use another country as the "residence" country. This is an attempt to avoid the restriction that you cannot use your IDP in the country you live in. This is not to be trusted. Firstly, the U.S. Department of State notes: "The Department of State is aware that IDPs are being sold over the Internet and in person by persons not authorized by the Department of State pursuant to the requirements of the U.N. Convention of 1949. Moreover, many of these IDPs are being sold for large sums of money, far greater than the sum charged by entities authorized by the Department of State. Consumers experiencing problems should report problems to their local office of the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Better Business Bureau, or their state or local Attorney General's Office." Secondly, suppose you are driving in California with a fake IDP from some other country. It shows your residence as being in that other country. Yet the police officer that pulls you over will also ask for your registration for the vehicle, and maybe some other piece of ID. If your car registration shows you to be a U.S. resident, you will be caught in a lie, and it is a crime to lie to an officer about your residence, according to Black Enterprise magazine. You could end up in serious trouble, and your expensive International "Driver's License" will be worthless.

More information

Get more facts about the International Driving Permit and check our list of information by country.

We'd like to hear from readers who have information or stories about IDP scams. You can email us at pde@drivers.com.

Further comments to this article have been disabled.


All Comments (3012)

Showing 3001 - 3012 comments

Mel,

Does anyone here know where you can buy your drivers licence in south afica

Dan,

Note to Jan, above re Canadian driver License online. First, there is no Canadian License. Each province has its own licensing system. I don't know of any province that does not require a test and a DWI is a huge problem.

Ronn,

My email address is collin_pareh@yahoo.com
For those who want to help me, or those who know someone from DMV that could get me a legit DL.

Nicklas,

Hey! I am 23 years old and i need a driver license can you help me whit that?
please mail me
nicklas.bergstrom@gmail.com

Ronn,

I want to drive, I need a California DL, or any state DL. Please help!!

Jan,

I know someone who is losing her license to DWI and getting a Canadian license online. I thought this must be illegal, but she says it is not.

Ed:,

Jet, It's the Department of Land Transport. Prompted by your question we have added information about Thailand's IDP to our list at http://www.drivers.com/article/207/

jet,

What is the authorized organization to handle issuance of IDL for Thailand

Ronn,

Can I use my IDL/IDP issued from my country (Philippines), I am currently in California, I really need to drive, however.. I couldn't get a legit califirnia DL because I am out of status (over stayed). Thanks.

Billy,

I need Help Is there a state in the us I can get a driverslisence,I havent had one sence 1995,revoked in several states.child support and fines.I cant get back on my feet without one.hell another country would work if i could move there with hno money

Bill,

Hey John, Ya gotta put some years on. It's the only way! You can get an international Driver's License to use as an ID but to get a legit one you have to have a legitimate license in some country. The non legit ones can cost you and you could be caught carrying fake ID. NOT a good idea!!

john,

hey i need an id so that i can get into clubs in my country can you help


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