International Driving License+ US driving tips

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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM
    If you have no driving licence at all then you really will have to wait until you get there.
    In response to whoever dinged me a red dot for this and said "Do you drive?"

    Yes I do - I have driven in at least 14 different countries (*). And I stand by my basic point (supported by jgl) that learning from scratch to drive in Hong Kong then immediately going to the USA is really not a good way to do things. Just do it when you get there - it will only take a few days.

    (*) (UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Poland, Belarus, Russia, HK, Australia, USA, Portugal, Sweden)

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook
    Hong Kong ( snicker ) must be a 3rd world country then, because for non residents, it is illegal to drive in Hong Kong legally without an international drivers licence.
    I've no idea where you got this from, but you are completely wrong.

    CAP 374B ROAD TRAFFIC (DRIVING LICENCES) REGULATIONS
    Regulation 37 - Visiting drivers from abroad
    (1) Subject to paragraph (2), a visitor who holds-
    (a) a valid international driving permit; or
    (b) a valid domestic driving permit or domestic driving licence, issued in a place outside Hong Kong may drive in Hong Kong, during the period of 12 months following the date of his last entry into Hong Kong, a motor vehicle of any class which he is authorized by that permit or licence to drive notwithstanding that he is not a holder of a driving licence issued under these regulations, but so long as he has attained the age specified in regulation 7 for the issue of such driving licence in respect of the class of motor vehicle.
    (2) Paragraph (1) shall not authorize a person to drive a motor vehicle of any class if he is disqualified from holding or obtaining a driving licence to drive a motor vehicle of that class.

  3. #13

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    Skyhook- according to the link you sent, the international permit isn't required for HK, just 'recommmended', which doesn't seem to mean anything.

    PDLM- If you look at the list from Skyhook, most of the countries simply have and IDP as 'recommended', which means you can drive there without the IDP. Sure, in some countries you will need one, but not in all that many. Why accuse me of arrogance? I simply point out that in the majority of developed countries the IDP will not be required, which is bourne out by the above list. Sure, if the hypothetical Russian policeman pulls you over it's nice to have an IPD with Russian on it, but even then it's not legally required to carry one there.

    Here's a list of countries which have let me hire a care on an Aussie license without an IDP. Whether you regard this is insufficiently experienced I leave to your superior judgement.

    Canada
    US
    UK
    France
    Italy (inaccurately shown as 'required' in the above link)
    Norway
    Sweden
    Germany
    Hong Kong
    Ireland
    South Africa
    Switzerland


  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    Sure, if the hypothetical Russian policeman pulls you over it's nice to have an IPD with Russian on it, but even then it's not legally required to carry one there.
    Well no, in the strict sense of the law. What is legally required is to carry a certified translation of your driving licence into Russian.

    But that's all an IDP is - an IDP is NOT a licence to drive. An IDP serves as a translation of your national driving licence into many different languages, and is only valid in conjunction with your national driving licence.

    So, yes, you could get some other form of certified translation, but that would undoubtedly be more expensive in most cases than simply getting an IDP.

    The EEA and countries where English is an official language is a very particular subset of the world.

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    Italy (inaccurately shown as 'required' in the above link)
    Nope - well again, only if you are being pedantic.

    It is legally required in Italy to have a certified translation of your driving licence if it is not in Italian (or in the EU standard format). Again, this can be an IDP or some other certified translation, but it is illegal to drive in Italy simply using a non-Italian driving licence.

    See this page: IDP and the Law
    and the links from it to the site of the State Police and Department of Motor Vehicles of Italy.
    Last edited by PDLM; 02-06-2008 at 02:17 PM.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgl
    I had an international license for a while... it was the most useless travel document I have ever held.

    .
    Frankly I'd have to agree. I've had various IDP's and NEVER needed them. Have driven in Holland, France, Germany, Hungary, Switzerland, Italy, UK, USA, Canada, Mexico, Malaysia, NZ, Australia, South Africa, Slovenia. Not exactly a short list.

    Having said that, for a small fee and a small inconvenience, an IDP is worth it if only for peace of mind. Although they appear to have very short lives (my Aussie ones were only 12months, which was a pain).

  7. #17

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    I agree with Moving and JGL, and accept where they are coming from in their expereinced points of view.

    And PDLM about 6 years ago during a routine HK police random road block check, I was told point blank that I could no longer drive on my IDP / linked to my Aussie licence, and that i had 2 weeks to go and get a HKSAR version. As we know, IDP's are only issued for a period of 12 months, and my IDP was valid... So why was i told to upgrade my licence ? Or has the law changed since then ?...Reading your current link it appears so .Just like IMMD has changed the work visa laws regarding dependant spouses etc... on then off. and now on again.

    Anyway its not that big a deal to red dot the point on...

    Last edited by Skyhook; 02-06-2008 at 04:03 PM.

  8. #18

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    Skyhook, the 12 months regulation has been around at long I can recall (20+ years). If you are a resident, you must apply for a HK licence. But if you are a visitor, you can drive for up to (not beyond) 12 months on an IDP.


  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyhook
    While we are on the subject of internationl licences, can I use my HK licence in France ? .
    Yes you can, I've rented cars and driven there with my HK licence no problem.

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by PDLM

    There are many countries still which require IDPs, and many more where I would recommend having one (France for example).
    I've driven/rented a car in France with an Aussie, a US and a HK licence no problem.

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