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The American Automobile Association (AAA)'s application form (mirror) states:

If you intend to drive in the following countries, be sure to check INTER-AMERICAN DRIVING PERMIT box page 1: Brazil and Uruguay.

However, Wikipedia says that this is incorrect and that the International Driving Permit is accepted in Brazil and Uruguay:

Both [Brazil and Uruguay] signed the 1968 Vienna Convention, making them both parties that lawfully recognize IDP.

Furthermore, from my understanding of the AAA's application form, all other countries that accept the Inter-American Driving Permit also accept the International Driving Permit.

This makes me wonder: Is there any point in getting an Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP) instead of an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

Assume that the International Driving Permit is issued in the United States (but I'm curious to know whether IADP has any upside compared to IDPs issued outside of the US as well).

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  • Perhaps you have this the wrong way round: far more countries recognise the IDP than the AIDP. The Wikipedia pages only list 19 countries which accept the AIDP. These counties are on the America continent and in the Caribbean. The Wikipedia page also explains the reason for the confusion with Brazil and Uruguay. Sep 14 at 7:35
  • @WeatherVane yes, this makes me wonder: Is there any point in getting an Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP) instead of an International Driving Permit (IDP)? Sep 14 at 7:36
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    Why do you think you need one? Why do you think a restrictive coverage is better? Sep 14 at 7:37
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    @WeatherVane that's the point of the question Sep 14 at 7:39
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The Inter-American Driving Permit (IADP) was created by Article XIII of the Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automotive Traffic, signed in 1943 by 21(?) countries in North, Central & South America.

As such, it pre-dates both the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic and the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic which implemented the more widely accepted International Driving Permit (IDP), and so for a period of time the IADP was the only international driving permit available.

Since the 1949 Convention regulates more than just driving permits it still remains in effect for other things, and since it has not been revised to remove the article which creates the driving permit, this permit still exists.

In general there doesn't appear to be any benefit to getting an IADP over the more widely accepted IDP, except for the following:

  • Under the 1968 convention, Brazil does not recognize the IDP as valid for anyone under the age of 18 for any class of vehicle, or under 21 for vehicle classes C (vehicles exceeding 3500kg), D (vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and having more than 8 additional seats) & E (vehicle coupled to a trailer exceeding 750kg)
  • Under the 1968 convention, possibly Honduras might not recognize the IDP for vehicle classes D & DE
  • Under the 1949 convention, Guatemala "Will only permit that one trailer be drawn by a vehicle and will not permit articulated vehicles for the transport of passengers"
  • Under the 1949 Convention, Jamaica won't allow you to drive for reward (operate a taxi, ride-share, etc), as well as the same restriction as Guatemala

1968 Convention Status
1949 Convention Status

Since it appears that none of the signatory countries to the 1943 Convention expressed any "Reservations" or "Declarations" as some did to the 1949 & 1968 Conventions the IADP might technically grant permission for some or all of the exclusions of the IDP.

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  • I've asked an AAA employee and they maintained their claim that Brazil and Uruguay don't recognize IDP. I drove in Brazil with my IDP a few years ago but nobody checked it so no idea whether that's true. Sep 16 at 0:51
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    @FranckDernoncourt - I found a few exclusions for Brazil, Honduras, Guatemala & Jamaica - but nothing for Uruguay.
    – brhans
    Sep 16 at 1:23
  • Thanks for the information! What a mess. Sep 16 at 1:26

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