Can I drive in the US with my Philippine license?

Discussion in 'Travel' started by primo1, Mar 19, 2010.

  1. primo1

    primo1 Member

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    Ok I have been googling this for the past few days and I just cant get a direct answer. Some say that you need an International Driver's License in order to drive in the US. But some say that our Philippine driver's license can be used for a few months because of the UN Convention on Road Traffic (if Philippines is part of the treaty though) I cant apply for an IDL anymore coz Im already here in the US. So the question is can I just use my Philippines license without an IDL? I'm specifically here in NJ. Thanks Philmug!
     
  2. xthine

    xthine PhilMUG Addict Member

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    As far as I'm aware of.. In San Jose CA where I stayed for a few months in the past, you can drive with your PH issued drivers license just make sure you have your passport and i94 on you when you drive.
     
  3. alistair

    alistair Member

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    Put it this way—more than once me and my travel companions have been able to rent cars using only their Philippine licenses.
     
  4. rsa

    rsa Member

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    You don't need an international drivers license. Your Philippine license willdo. You cAn even rent a car with your phillipine license
     
  5. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    http://www.state.nj.us/mvc/Licenses/Visitors.htm

    According to their website, you need International Driver's License to drive in Jersey in conjunction with your PH driver's license. But to be absolutely sure, why don't you give them a call.
     
  6. maxx

    maxx Member

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    same here. rented, drove in the US many times already.

    Don't believe the sales talk that you need an IDL.

    As for the need to bring your passport, I have heard of this advice also but I'm not sure if this is really needed because the rental Co's never ask for it. I don't like to bring my passport with me because it might get lost, I just bring a photocopy in my person all the time.
     
  7. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    mmm....I wouldn't be so cavalier. I believe it varies from State to State. Car rental company rules are different from government rules. Let's not mix them up and just because you can rent a car, it doesn't mean that you can drive on U.S. streets.

    My advise remains the same: call the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.
     
  8. Eriction

    Eriction Member

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    I haven't driven in NJ yet but in the other cities I've been to, your PH drivers license is accepted. LA, SFO, Virginia, Iowa, Utah, Phoenix and others were good. Avis gave me the rental car without any hassle. I even got on a car accident once and still no biggie. :p
     
  9. Tuli$an

    Tuli$an Active Member

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    I agree with raypin, laws vary from state to state. The best way is to ask instead of assuming
     
  10. primo1

    primo1 Member

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    Ok thanks guys! Well if ever I do need an International Driver's Permit/License, how do I get one? is it possible na i-lakad nalang ng relatives ko from the Philippines then just ship it here to the US?
     
  11. francis79

    francis79 Member

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    this may help,
    here's the link for international driver's permit

    http://www.aaphilippines.org/news_view.aspx?newsID=26&AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1

    and also, this may help, although this is for california...
    taken from the California DMV Handbook that i have...

    "Visitors over 18 years old with
    a valid driver license from their
    home state or country may drive in
    California without getting a driver
    license as long as their home state
    license remains valid. "

    and also onInternational Driving Permits

    "The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license. California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident."
     
  12. zagu

    zagu Well-Known Member

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    just came back from the US today and yes you can drive using a PH license. I came from California and no problem there...
     
  13. wrkshy

    wrkshy Member

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  14. goriou812

    goriou812 Member

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    What I did was get myself a local, in my case Arizona, drivers license. I have a house there and what I do is renew the license whenever I arrive. You will have to take the written and practical test though. Just bring your passport and drivers license. The expiration of the license will coincide with the date stamped on your passport and I-94
     
  15. Chito Limson

    Chito Limson Unfrozen…
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    Thanks for the lead, Joy… however, reading through the site, it seems I have to be a member of AAP to avail of the international driving permit? Anyway, AAP has a satellite office here at Alabang Town Center, so I'll hop in later and try to find out.
     
  16. spf

    spf Member

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    We asked when we lived in the US - in California an IDL isn't needed - you only need your Philippine license. However, in Minneapolis, the DMV said we needed an IDL. So I believe it's a state-by-state regulation.

    You can get the IDL from the AA office in Quezon City (Aurora Blvd). I don't know if you can ask someone to process it for you. When we applied, they asked for our Philippine driver's license and we just had to pay (forgot how much). That was it essentially.
     
  17. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    @primo1.......NO, not unless your relative knows someone. Look, if it comes down to making a hard choice: drive in New Jersey with only a PH license and hope a State trooper doesn't stop you for anything. What's the worst that can happen? A traffic citation and pay the corresponding fine. But God forbid you figure in an auto accident and you'll be in a heap of trouble other than having no IDL. Just say you came from California and cross-countried to Jersey or somethin'. The important thing is you have auto insurance to cover your ass.

    Drive like a granny and stay out of trouble.........by the way, have you driven in the States before? Then you should have no problems at all.
     
  18. topaz

    topaz Active Member
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    The International Driving Permit issued by the AAP is NOT a driving license. The primary purpose of the IDP is to translate the driver's info on the Driver's License into foreign languages so that it could be understood by officials in foreign countries. It does not replace the driver's license.

    So, in principle, our Philippine Driver's License should be valid anywhere in the US since it is in English.

    However, the NJ DMV requires that tourists should have an IDP together with their country's drivers license to drive in NJ.

    When I rented a car at Newark airport about four years ago, the rental guy asked me to present an IDP and my Philippine Driver's License.
    But in San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, the IDP is not necessary.
     
  19. raypin

    raypin PhilMUG Addict Member

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    In my opinion, it is no big deal even if you don't have an IDL. The worst thing that can happen to you is they will mail you a citation for whatever violation you may have committed while driving in New Jersey. They're not gonna' throw you in Abu Graib prison and be violated by guys named Bubba. So, who cares? You're a tourist anyway. I don't think they'll be hard on you. Just smile a lot and feign ignorance.

    SO JUST DRIVE and enjoy your vacation ;)
     
  20. jpiddy

    jpiddy Member

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    Hmmm. NJ law states that you need to have IDL?

    For what it's worth... I rented a car in Newark last January. Hindi naman ako hiningan ng IDL, just my PH drivers license. I used the car to go to New York, Philadelphia and DC - no hitches. Pero yun nga, if NJ law states that you need IDL... better ask the DMV na lang to be sure.

    And mura lang naman kumuha ng IDL, around 300+ lang (yata). Mas mahal pa yung regular drivers license bec papel lang sya.
     

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