Law Enforcement Guide for Non-U.S. Driver Licenses

Law Enforcement Guide for Non-U.S. Driver Licenses

Updated AAMVA guide details procedures when encountering drivers with international documents

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Following proper protocol during a traffic stop is key to keeping all involved parties safe through completion of the stop. But what happens if a law enforcement officer is presented with a driver’s license or permit that has been issued by another country?

AAMVA updated its Law Enforcement Guide for Non-U.S. Driver Licenses in March 2019. The guide details procedures officers may follow when encountering drivers with international documents.

Initially, law enforcement members approached AAMVA to express the difficulties and challenges associated with identification originating from outside of the United States, and to ascertain the proper procedure to ensure the individual was legally allowed to drive in their jurisdiction. The information was compiled and published in 2011 by a working group, with experts consulted to provide subsequent updates. The guide is meant to be an evergreen document, constantly evolving and being amended to include any new challenges or information that may come about as laws change.

The guide consists of a process flow chart and examples of foreign driving documents one may encounter during a traffic stop, along with links to other sources for law enforcement officers to use when attempting to verify document legitimacy.

Law enforcement officers may not routinely encounter drivers possessing non-U.S. driving credentials, but having this resource available when they do is invaluable. Officers working in certain areas, such as in or around college campuses, large cities with transient populations, or in areas where diplomatic/business travel is frequent, may especially want this guide readily available. Officers need to be aware of the issues and challenges surrounding verification of non-U.S. driving documents and whether or not an individual has the privilege to drive in their jurisdiction.

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