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According to both the Hertz Rental Car agency at Newark Airport and a call to the NJ MVC I do need an international driving permit in addition to my German license when driving in New Jersey. However, according to two local tourist agencies in Germany and most importantly the website of the NJ MVC, http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/Visitors.htm , I do not need but am only advised to have one.

Does anyone know where to get reliable information on this? Maybe even a listing for all states, so when I'm driving around on trips I don't have to go through this for each of the 20 or so east coast states again?

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    Surely if you're going to be driving in several states it's less burdensome just to get the IDP than to do all that research. Also, the police not requiring the IDP won't be very helpful if the rental agency does require it. – phoog May 23 '17 at 14:19
  • @phoog I am getting married in the states soon and some of my guests won't be visiting their home countries before arriving in the US. Also, it would only be me doing the research once which could save a lot of my guests that could still apply for one the burden to do so. Finally, some of those that already did rent a car inquired with their rental car agencies and they did say the IDP was not required. – Bananach May 23 '17 at 14:58
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    You don't NEED it. You are advised to have it therefore basically it is the prerogative of the rental agency whether to rent to you without it or not. As a matter of law, an ignorant police officer can cite you for not having it however it will be thrown out in court if you contest it. – user 56513 May 23 '17 at 16:08
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    USA.gov is your online guide to government information and services. Foreign Nationals Driving in the United States People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. Some states require an International Driving Permit from foreign nationals, in addition to a valid license from your own country. Check with the motor vehicle department of each state you will drive in for its requirements. This is reliable information. It varies on a state by state basis. – user 56513 May 23 '17 at 16:16
  • @Sheik I found that quote myself. But then I didn't find out how or where to "check with the motor vehicle department of each state". That is, for New Jersey I did get information, but contradicting information, as described in the question – Bananach May 23 '17 at 21:54
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The answer is no

My family, friends and myself have rented cars from Hertz, Alamo, National, and Enterprise and never needed the international driving permit.

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By policy of rental car companies, you're required to have it.
Practically, you don't need it it ever. All major car rentals in the US are used to handling German drivers licenses, even the old gray papers.

  • Which part? What about elaborating a bit? – Aganju May 23 '17 at 16:16

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