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RULE §15.91International Reciprocity

(a) International reciprocity. International reciprocity in driver licensing between a state in the United States and another nation is determined, first, by international agreements between the United States and other countries, and, second, in the absence of any international agreement, by individual state laws. The Department of Public Safety complies with all driver license reciprocal agreements. As of March, 1972, the 1949 World Convention on International Road Traffic was in force in the following countries:

  (1) Albania;

  (2) Algeria (DZ);

  (3) Argentina (RA);

  (4) Australia (AUS);

  (5) Austria (A);

  (6) Barbados;

  (7) Belgium (B);

  (8) Botswana;

  (9) Bulgaria (BR);

  (10) Cambodia (K);

  (11) Canada;

  (12) Chile (RCH);

  (13) Congo (RCB) (Brazzaville);

  (14) Congo (CGO) (Kinshasa);

  (15) Cuba;

  (16) Cyprus (CY);

  (17) Czechoslovakia (CS);

  (18) Denmark (DK);

  (19) Dominican Republic (DOM);

  (20) Ecuador (EC);

  (21) Fiji;

  (22) Finland (SF);

  (23) France (F);

  (24) Gambia;

  (25) Ghana (GH);

  (26) Greece (GR);

  (27) Guatemala (GCA);

  (28) Guyana;

  (29) Haiti (RH);

  (30) Hungary (H);

  (31) India (IND);

  (32) Ireland (IRL);

  (33) Israel (IL);

  (34) Italy (I);

  (35) Ivory Coast (CI);

  (36) Jamaica (JA);

  (37) Japan (J);

  (38) Jordan (JOR);

  (39) Korea;

  (40) Laos (LAO);

  (41) Lebanon (RL);

  (42) Luxembourg (L);

  (43) Madagascar;

  (44) Malawi (MW);

  (45) Malaysia (PTM);

  (46) Mali (RMM);

  (47) Malta;

  (48) Mauritius;

  (49) Monaco (MC);

  (50) Morocco (MA);

  (51) Netherlands (NL);

  (52) New Zealand (NZ);

  (53) Niger (NIG);

  (54) Norway (N);

  (55) Paraguay;

  (56) Peru (PE);

  (57) Philippines (PI);

  (58) Poland (PL);

  (59) Portugal (P);

  (60) Rumania (R);

  (61) Rwanda (RWA);

  (62) San Marino (RSM);

  (63) Senegal (SN);

  (64) Sierra Leone (WAL);

  (65) Singapore;

  (66) South African Republic (ZA);

  (67) Spain (E);

  (68) Swaziland;

  (69) Sweden (S);

  (70) Syria (SYR);

  (71) Tanzania; Zanzibar;

  (72) Thailand (T);

  (73) Togo (TG);

  (74) Trinidad and Tabago (TT);

  (75) Tunisia (TN);

  (76) Turkey (TR);

  (77) Uganda;

  (78) United Kingdom (GB);

  (79) United States (USA);

  (80) Vatican City (V);

  (81) Venezuela (YV);

  (82) Viet Nam (VN);

  (83) Zambia.

(b) The countries or territories listed are either direct parties to one or both of the cited Conventions or the U.S. State Department considers them bound as beneficiaries by the signature of a former governor. NOTE: Until further notice, licenses from the following republics of the USSR and countries of the Baltics should be honored:

  (1) Armenia;

  (2) Azerbaijan;

  (3) Belarus;

  (4) Estonia;

  (5) Kazakstan;

  (6) Latvia;

  (7) Lithuania;

  (8) Moldova;

  (9) Tajikistan

  (10) Turkmenistan;

  (11) Ukraine;

  (12) Uzbekistan.

(c) Provisions of international agreements. The international agreements honored by the countries listed in subsections (a) - (c) of this section provide the following.

  (1) Reciprocal privileges are limited to ages 18 to 75 and for a period not to exceed one year from date of entry into the United States or other country.

  (2) Reciprocal privileges are limited to private vehicles. Carriage of persons for hire or goods other than personal baggage of the occupants of the vehicles is not authorized. This excludes all commercial buses, trucks, and trailers.

  (3) Every vehicle must have a registration certificate issued in accordance with the laws of the country of residence and identifying the vehicle and owner. The vehicle registration number must be shown on the rear of the vehicle or on a plate attached to the rear.

  (4) The vehicle must also show on the rear an oval sign or plaque to indicate the country from which it comes.

  (5) Every driver must have a valid driver's permit (license) issued by a contracting country or state or an international permit issued by an authorized authority in the form of a booklet containing identification and photograph of the bearer and pages printed in several languages including English.

  (6) All countries ratifying the agreements are required to communicate to each other information regarding persons operating vehicles under the provisions of the agreement who are liable to proceedings for a driving offense or have been involved in a serious accident as a driver. In the United States, information of this kind should be reported by the appropriate state agency to the Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520, referring to the "Convention on Road Traffic of 1949" or the "1943 Inter-American Convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automotive Traffic."

  (7) The United States Department of State does not issue international driving permits, but authorizes the American Automobile Association and the American Touring Alliance to issue oval United States plaques and international driving permits. In Texas the American Automobile Association issues international driving permits in El Paso, Houston, Fort Worth, and Austin. However, applications are accepted by any American Automobile Association office. The fee for an international permit is $3.00 when issued under the Geneva Convention and $2.00 when issued under the Inter-American Convention. Other governments also authorize their motoring associations to perform these services for their countries.

  (8) A treaty entered into in 1943 between the United States and Mexico exempts any consular officer, members of his family, and employees who are Mexican nationals from paying the required licensing fees provided they are not engaged in any private occupation for gain and are able to show proper identification. The comptroller of public accounts issues consular exemption certificates and these will be accepted as sufficient identification to qualify for waiver of the driver's license fee.

  (9) We must be governed wholly by state law in determining driver license requirements for:

    (A) drivers of private vehicles from countries which do not honor existing international agreements; and

    (B) drivers of commercial vehicles from all foreign countries.

  (10) On this basis, we presume that no reciprocity is extended to residents of Texas unless specific evidence is presented indicating otherwise. In the absence of specific evidence, such applicants are required to obtain a Texas driver license.

(d) Foreign Diplomats in the United States. The United States Code, Title 22, §§4301-4304, provides that the United States Department of State will provide certain benefits to foreign diplomats who are in the United States. It has been determined that a driver's license is one of these benefits. Based on interpretations of the State Department, the Department of Public Safety has been requested to deny issuance of a Texas driver's license to persons in this status due to the requirement that these persons obtain a Department of State driver's license. If any person is identified as having diplomatic status he will be denied a Texas license and referred to the Department of State. Foreign Diplomats are defined as: Ambassadors, Ministers, Minister Counselors, Counselors, First Secretaries, Second Secretaries, Third Secretaries, Consuls-General, Deputy Consuls-General, Consuls, and Vice Consuls. Only family members of Consuls may obtain a Texas driver's license.

Source Note: The provisions of this §15.91 adopted to be effective January 1, 1976; amended to be effective August 31, 1981, 6 TexReg 3011; amended to be effective November 27, 1990, 15 TexReg 6502; amended to be effective December 25, 1995, 20 TexReg 10390; amended to be effective March 31, 1997, 22 TexReg 2968; amended to be effective December 13, 2009, 34 TexReg 8786

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