Driving a Car in the US as an EU-Citizen – What you should know and do before your Trip starts

Have you planned a Trip to the US? Lucky you! And, you want to drive a Car in the US? Very nice! As an EU-Citizen you have to think about one specific thing when driving in the US. Your driver’s license! Even though you should hold a drivers license in your home country, this is not enough to be able to drive a Car in the US. Yes, your regular license to drive a vehicle is not sufficient! Just in case you get stopped and pulled over by Police, they will check your valid license and, understandably, they won’t be able to tell if the license you are showing them is an actual one or a fake. With almost 200 countries on this earth, there are way too many licenses around, to actually know how they look like. Therefore, you will need an international drivers license to drive in the USA! But don’t be scared, you won’t need to pass another test or have driving lessons, you simply have to get this international version of your already existing one.

How to get an International Drivers License

At first, I thought, It must be so complicated and expensive to get an International Drivers License. But soon, I was proven wrong. Just a look at a few websites and soon I realized, it’s so easy, at least in my home country of Germany. Here in Germany all I have to do is prepare the following documents, make an appointment (or not even) at my driving license office in the district office, pay a small amount of money and within hours I should be able to pick up the international Drivers License. In particular, you need your already existing EU driving license card, an Identity card or passport in the original and a (new) biometric photograph (35 mm x 45 mm). The fee for this is 15 Euros per license (can vary from region to region!).

What you still have to keep in mind when driving with an International Drivers License in the US

smart fortwo Los Angeles West Hollywood curbside parking
smart fortwo in Los Angeles / West Hollywood curbside parking
driving los angeles traffic 101 hollywood freeway usa european citizen international license
Driving in Los Angeles – Traffic on the 101 Hollywood Freeway

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