International Moving Guide: Read This Before Getting Behind the Wheel

Drivers License


If you plan to operate a vehicle in your destination country then you may be required to obtain a new driver’s license from that country. You should investigate the laws governing operating a motor vehicle in your new country as soon as the international moving company leaves your home. Every country has different rules regarding how long after you arrive that you will need to get a new license and what information you will need to provide to receive your new license.

In some countries a driver’s license from the United States will be honored and in others you must obtain a local license. You may also need an international driving license or international permit. This is just a certification of license and is currently available in nine languages. When you arrive in your new country you will usually be given a grace period before you need to obtain your local license. You should be prepared to take a whole new test, including a written exam and eye exam and potentially a practical driving test.

If you are moving to a country in which driving is done on the opposite of the road (e.g. Ireland, England, Japan or Australia), you will certainly want to get some good practice in before you are required to take a practical driving examination. Even for experienced drivers, these new driving rules will pose some serious short-term challenges.

Before you leave the United States, an international driving license or international permit may be obtained at the DMV. You can also apply for this permit by contacting:

AAA Distribution Center
13144 South Pulaski Rd
Alsip, IL 60658