Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automotive TrafficThe Governments of the American Republics, desirous of establishing uniform rules among themselves to control and regulate international automotive traffic on their highways, and to facilitate the movement of motor vehicles among such States,
Have decided to conclude the present Convention in order to effectuate the foregoing purposes, and have agreed upon the following articles:
ARTICLE IIt is recognized that each State has exclusive jurisdiction over the use of its own highways, but agrees to their international use as specified in this Convention.
ARTICLE IIUnder the terms of the present Convention, a motor vehicle shall be defined as any self- propelled vehicle circulating upon a public highway without the need of rails and used for the transport of persons or merchandise.
A highway shall be defined as any public way maintained for and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
An operator shall be defined as any person who drives or is in actual physical control of a motor vehicle upon a highway.
ARTICLE IIIThe operator of a motor vehicle circulating in any State which is a party to this Convention is subject to the traffic laws and regulations in force in that State or subdivision thereof.
A copy of such laws and regulations may be handed to the operator at the time of entering each State, by the customs authorities who are clearing the vehicle for entry, or by any authorized agency.
The Contracting States shall not allow customs measures to be put into effect which will hinder international travel.
Before admission to international traffic, every vehicle shall be registered by the State of origin in the manner prescribed by its laws, or by any subdivision thereof having legal authority to register vehicles.
ARTICLE VIEvery motor vehicle operator before admission to international traffic shall have such driving license as may be required by the laws of his State or such as may be issued by any political subdivision thereof having legal authority to issue driving licenses. In the event that no such driving license is required by his State or any political subdivision thereof, a special international driving license such as is specified in Article XIII shall be valid. No operator shall be admitted to international travel who is less than 18 years of age.
ARTICLE VIIEvidence of compliance with the conditions of this Convention shall entitle motor vehicles and motor vehicle operators to circulate on the highways of any of the Contracting States.
ARTICLE VIIIEach State or its political subdivisions shall maintain central bureaus of registration with facilities for the exchange of information with other States as to registration of vehicles and operators.
In addition to the registration plate or plates of the State of origin or of its legally empowered political subdivisions each vehicle shall display an international registration marker indicating the country of origin. This marker shall be in the form of an oval plate not less than 3 inches (8 cm.) wide by 10 inches (26 cm.) long bearing capital Latin letters painted black on a white background.
Unless otherwise provided by the laws or regulations of the respective States or subdivisions thereof, the size of vehicles and loads shall be limited to the following:
Unless the laws and regulations of the respective States or political subdivisions thereof provide otherwise, the following requirements as to equipment shall be indispensable for motor vehicles admitted to international traffic:
A special international automobile certificate, in addition to the registration required by Article V, may be required for each motor vehicle for admission to and circulation in any individual State party to this Convention, if the State so elects. Provision for the issuance of such certificate shall be made by each Contracting State, and such document shall be issued by the State, or by any authorized political subdivision thereof, or by an association duly empowered by such authorities, or by an authorized representative of either the Contracting State or of one of its political subdivisions, having legal authority to issue such certificates. The validity of such special international automobile certificate shall be recognized by all officials having jurisdiction over matters involving legal ownership of the vehicle. The certificate shall be in the form, of the size, and contain the information prescribed in Annex A to this Convention, and shall be valid for one year from date of issuance.
A special international driving license may be required for each operator admitted to circulation in any individual State party to this Convention, if the State so elects. Such a special license shall be required for each operator who does not possess a domestic driving license as required in Article VI. Provision for the issuance of such international driving license shall be made by each Contracting State, and such document shall be issued by the State, or by any authorized political subdivision thereof, or by an association duly empowered by such authorities, or by an authorized representative of either the Contracting State or one of its political subdivisions having legal authority to issue driving licenses. The validity of such special international driving license shall be recognized by all officials having regulatory powers over automotive traffic. The license shall be in the form, of the size, and contain the information prescribed in Annex B to this Convention, and shall be valid for one year from date of issuance.
A general bond guaranteeing payment of customs charges on any motor vehicle to be admitted to international traffic, due and payable within the country in which such charges may be incurred, may be required by any state party to this Convention.
Each State may establish such requirements as it may deem necessary to record the passage into and out of its territory, of vehicles and operators admitted to international traffic. If such records are maintained, they shall include a notation that the vehicle has complied with the provisions of Articles X and XI.
The hours and routes dedicated to the crossing of frontiers by properly registered vehicles shall be fixed by common consent of the adjacent States and their decisions communicated to the corresponding custom authorities.
Infractions of this Convention shall be punished in conformity with the laws and regulations of the country in which committed.
Any vehicle or operator admitted to international traffic under the provisions of the International Convention for the Circulation of Automobiles, 1909, as amended in 1926, and holding the documents required there-under, will be recognized as fulfilling the requirements of the present Convention.
The original of the present Convention in Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French shall be deposited with the Pan American Union and opened for signature by the American republics. The Convention shall also be opened for the adherence and accession of American States which are not members of the Pan American Union. The Pan American Union shall transmit authentic certified copies to the Governments for the purpose of ratification.
The present Convention shall be ratified by the High Contracting Parties in conformity with their respective constitutional procedures. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited in the archives of the Pan American Union in Washington, which shall notify the signatory Governments of said deposit. Such notification shall be considered as an exchange of ratifications.
The present Convention shall come into force between the High Contracting Parties in the order in which they deposit their respective ratifications.
The present Convention shall remain in effect indefinitely, but may be denounced by means of one year’s notice given to the Pan American Union, which shall transmit it to the other signatory Governments. After the expiration of this period the Convention shall cease in its effects as regards the party which denounces it, but shall remain in effect for the remaining High Contracting Parties.
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