Last updated on April 30th, 2017 at 05:37 am
International driving licence is a must if you are traveling anywhere outside your country. It applies to Canada as well.
Assuming that Canadian driving licence is good for all countries was and is a mistake.
What is an IDP?
“An International Driving Permit, or IDP, is a special driver’s licence that allows licensed motorists to drive in other countries without further tests or applications. It is proof that the holder possesses a valid driver’s licence, issued by a competent authority, in his or her country of residence.
The IDP provides you with additional photo identification and includes a multilingual translation of your valid Canadian driver’s licence. You must contact the Canadian Automobile Association to apply for an IDP.”
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Our sob story
The first time the police took the keys from us was because Mr. and I decide to make a shortcut on a walking street. We saw and ignored one flimsy sign at our rented condominium.
And we also decided not to pay attention to the fact that there were no scooters on the road that we took.
The second time a police officer approached us was on a highway during a red light traffic light because he knew we did not have an international driving licence.
I am against bribes. If I can avoid them at any cost, I will. However, I had to pay a bribe or a ticket price (if you want to call it that) twice because of my own ignorance.
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Good to know
In Pattaya, Thailand tourists are stopped on the road by corrupted cops (happened once to us) all the time.
The majority of the police in Thailand, do not know rules themselves and hunt for people that are just like them. Usually, they prey on Russian tourist.
Since then I got my IDP and used it in Phuket, Thailand, and Japan. In Japan, without them, I would not be able to rent a car.
Why did I pay the “fine”?
The time it takes to process paperwork to issue one ticket was a very good motivation to just go ahead and give the money. In addition, the real ticket price was very similar to the fine.
What I did was my mistake from the beginning. The only reason I paid directly to the police officers was that the paperwork was too long. For both offenses, we paid 900 THB in total.
How to get an international driving licence.
Canadians are supposed to get an international driving permit within Canada. This licence consists of a folding paper with your picture and a government stamp. It is valid for only one year.
The same applies to other countries. You have to get it from your country, not an embassy.
The process takes not more than an hour and costs about 75$ CAD per person.
Anyone passing or approving your regular licence as the international driving license is lying to you.
In no way, I think my experience should encourage others to give bribes or pay for a ticket with no paperwork. I do not believe in bribery. Bribes add dis-function into an overall government and society systems.
Check out helpful links below for full description and further details.
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