I know I can get an IDP, but I read in some places that they recognize US Driver's Licenses specifically New York. Can anyone confirm?


According to this USA Today article you can't.

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    No exceptions, if police stops you, they won't allow to continue your travel unless you have a valid license (Spanish license or international). – Ivan Sep 7 '12 at 18:49
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    I live in Spain and I know how traffic police works in Spain. Don't try to drive without an international or Spanish license. It won't work, believe me :) – Ivan Sep 8 '12 at 19:01
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    @Ivan Okay, I edited my answer accordingly. I assume when your say Spanish license your EU license, because I have been driving in Spain with my Belgian license and even rented a car – user141 Sep 9 '12 at 6:54
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    @Ivan: EU licenses are valid in entire EU. Period. No exceptions. Not even for Guardia Civil. – vartec Sep 25 '12 at 14:59
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    Sorry, but I don't agree. This is an image of yesterday: facebook.com/… Police or Guardia Civil in Spain are very agressive people, they come from a dictatorship without any filtering. I repeat: don't make them easy to stop or arrest you. Anyway, you are right: EU licenses are valid in Spain, it's up to you to make it easy or not. – Ivan Sep 26 '12 at 8:17

Afaik, an international license is mostly a multi-lingual translation of your national drivers license. In theory, you might avoid needing one in nations where police commonly speak English, like Scandinavia, Germany, etc., although officers might still demand one, depending upon how national laws are worded, the officer's dislike of foreigners, etc. Spain cannot expect that its police speak English, so yes you'll need the international one. You'll probably still need it even if the officer speaks English because their laws would be written assuming the officer might not speak English.

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