Why did Myanmar get removed from the list of countries on the international driving permit issued by the American Automobile Association (AAA)?

Myanmar used to be in 2016-issued international driving permits but it's not on international driving permits currently issued (2019-10-14).

Here is the list of countries in international driving permits currently issued (2019-10-14):

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Here is the list of countries in international driving permits issued in 2016: Myanmar is present in the list.

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According to the first page of the international driving permit this is the list of the "contracting States:

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The AAA online application form for the international driving permit still mentions Myanmar: https://web.archive.org/web/20191015015350/https://www.aaa.com/vacation/application2a.pdf

  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – JoErNanO
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 7:22
  • @FranckDernoncourt did you read the footnote? Countries marked with an asterisk are not "contracting states" but accept the permit nonetheless.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 16:55
  • 1
    Reopening as I can think of few things that are as inherent to travel as the IDP.
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 23:16
  • Please do not post comments after the comments have been moved to chat.
    – Willeke
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 13:00
  • 1
    @FranckDernoncourt curses. I've just tweeted them, will see if there's a response.
    – Mark Mayo
    Commented Oct 22, 2019 at 21:01

1 Answer 1


The IDP (International Driving Permit) issued by the AAA would be according to the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. Myanmar wasn't a party to that, but in June 2019, Myanmar ratified the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, which replaced the Geneva convention. So an American IDP, based on the older, superseded treaty, would no longer be valid.

Note that the AAA form you're linking to says that the list is "as of May 2015."

From a report on the eight-day session of the tenth regular session of the Second Pyidaungsu Huttlaw by the Myanmar Digital News (back in December 2018):

[The] Hluttaw was explained by Union Minister for Transport and Communications U Thant Sin Maung on accession to Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968 and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals 1968. The Union Minister explained that accession to the conventions would results in mutual recognition, support and speeding up of vehicles from convention member countries crossing from one country to another, reduce road and traffic hazards and ease international travel of vehicles.

As the traffic regulations in ASEAN Framework Agreement on the facilitation of Goods in Transit (AFAFGIT) is based on Vienna Convention on Road Traffic 1968 and Vienna Convention on Road Signs and Signals 1968, accession to the conventions will smoothen the implementation of ASEAN agreements said the Union Minister.

Furthermore, accession to the conventions will bring immediate recognition to International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by Road Transportation Administration Department that is not recognized internationally now. Due to this the Union Minister submitted to the Hluttaw to agree on accession to the conventions.

I don't see how keeping up an unofficial acceptance of the older treaty's IDP would have helped any of those goals. Certainly it wouldn't have helped mutual recognition one bit - does any signatory of the Geneva Convention but not of the Vienna Convention, even the US, accept Myanmar IDPs? I don't think so. I don't see why they should continue to accept the older treaty's IDPs when there's only dubious benefit to doing so, and when it certainly does not contribute to any of the aims stated above.

  • 3
    A non-party's ratification of the 1949 convention ratifying the 1968 convention does not imply that the country must stop unilaterally recognizing permits issued under the 1949 convention. There are several other countries, for example Armenia and Costa Rica, that have ratified the 1968 convention without ratifying the 1949 convention, that are listed.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 15:10
  • @phoog the first sentence is hard to parse. As for the second, sure, but there's no compulsion upon them to do so. Whether they do so or not is entirely voluntary. Myanmar might have done so earlier because they thought having some form of IDP would be good for tourism, and now they have one that's actually required by a treaty they ratified. No reason for keeping around something they weren't even a part of.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 15:14
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    A restatement of the first sentence: you said "an American IDP would no longer be valid," but because Myanmar never ratified the 1949 convention the US IDP never had a legal basis for validity. When Myanmar ratified the 1968 convention, that did not change. In response to the last sentence of your comment, there is a reason for continuing to recognize 1949 IDPs, of course, which is to promote tourism from countries that issue them. Presumably this is why Armenia, Costa Rica, and the others do so.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 15:24
  • @phoog "because Myanmar never ratified the 1949 convention the US IDP never had a legal basis for validity", no, not necessarily. They could have chosen to enact a law which allowed just the IDP without ratifying the whole thing, and they could have also chosen to ratify the 1968 treaty and have it supersede whatever related laws they might have had previously. Presumably they could have considered having one valid form of IDP sufficient for their tourism industry.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 15:53
  • 2
    They could have, but unless there is evidence that they did, that is speculation, so not a particularly satisfying answer to the question. To the extent that the answer does rely on speculation, it should say so explicitly.
    – phoog
    Commented Oct 20, 2019 at 16:52

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