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No need for international licence when travelling overseas

Picture, please: French police check IDs and vehicle papers

It might not sound like much, but if you're travelling overseas it's enough for a couple of coffees in your holiday spot.

The $39 is the money you don't need to spend on the International Driving Permit that has been almost compulsory for overseas travellers for decades. It is now completely redundant, as useful as a choke on a new car.

There was a time when the permit was essential but that was before we moved from plain paper licences in Australia to laminated hard cards including photographic identification.

Car rental companies are completely happy with my "home" picture licence.

Government departments still want you to believe that a permit is needed, together with a trip to your local motor club to buy it, but the on-the-ground reality is different.

No one has asked me for my International Permit since the 1970s. Car rental companies are completely happy with my "home" picture licence.

Three times in the past year I've also been stopped overseas by policemen keen for a look at a new car, most recently the Lexus RC F, and not once have they needed more than a quick scan of my photo licence.

And then there is the colleague who was stopped for speeding in France and presented his International Permit to the office.

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