Legality of the International Driving Permit is based on the International Conventions on Road Traffic and Safety that established standards for the International Driving Permit. Four International Conventions on Road Traffic were signed by governments of various countries of the world. They are:
Each new convention contains the revised previous conventions with the International Driving Permit and the certificate at its core and cancels action of the previous conventions for the countries signed it.
All four conventions say that:
- The International Driving Permit may be issued only to the holder of a domestic permit for the issue of which the minimum conditions laid down in corresponding Convention have been fulfilled.
- The International Driving Permit shall only be issued by the country in whose territory the holder has his normal residence and which issued the domestic driving permit or which recognized the driving permit issued by another contracting country.
- The International Driving Permit shall cease to be valid in the territory of another country if its holder establishes his normal residence there.
- Contracting Parties may refuse to recognize the validity in their territories of the International Driving Permit held by persons under eighteen years of age.
According to the Conventions on Road Traffic of 1926, 1943, and 1949, the International Driving Permit
and Inter-American Driving License are valid for one year from date of their issue.
The 1968 Convention on Road Traffic contains some additions about validation of the International Driving Permit, namely:
Information for US residents and citizens
- Domestic legislation may limit the period of validity of a domestic driving permit. The period of validity of an International Driving Permit shall be either no more than three years after the date of issue or until the date of expiry of the domestic driving permit, whichever is earlier.
- Contracting countries may refuse to recognize the validity in their territories, for the driving of motor vehicles or combinations of vehicles in categories C, D, CE and DE referred to in Annexes 6 and 7 to the 1968 Convention, of the International Driving Permit held by persons under twenty-one years of age.