|Is this worth anything? Fake is Fake no matter what it says!|
I live and practice law right down the road from Cornell University. Every year thousands of new students from countries and places far and wide come to Ithaca, NY to study, research, and teach.
In the first few weeks of each new school term our little NYS DMV office on 3rd street is flooded with young people desiring a NYS license and/or attempting to register a car.
International Driving Permits vs. Foreign Driver's Licenses
First, to make things clear, there is NO such thing as an International Driver's License. There is NO world or recognized and sanctioned global organization that issues an International Driver's License.
There are foreign licenses issued by hundreds of countries.
Second, a international (foreign) license and a international permit are NOT the same thing. They sound so similar, and that is what makes it all so confusing. NYS and most states have a special learner's permit (which does give privileges to drive a car). Even the Cornell website (which guides international students) has it wrong (yes, Virginia even Cornell sometimes gets it wrong).
Obtaining an International Driver's License: We suggest that you obtain a current International Driver's License (also called the International Driving Permit) in your home country, if possible, because it might avoid confusion if the police stop you while driving.
NOTE: It should state get a foreign license and a foreign permit in your own country.
3 Important FACTS about International Permits and Foreign Licenses in New York State.
1. A Permit is Not a Permission to drive when it is an International Driving Permit.
An International Permit is primarily a TRANSLATION. It translates your foreign license into 10 different (recognized United Nations) languages. This is so when and if the police pull you over, ie. stop your car, they can then read and understand your foreign license. One of the most common police stops (motorist detentions) is for speeding. BTW It is very easy to exceed the Ithaca City speed limits.
Remember: 30 mph is the city limit, school zones are posted at 20 mph (most till 6:00PM), and Ithaca College and CU even have many 10 mph zones. If there is heavy foot traffic on Cornell Campus, slower is always better and safer. You can receive a ticket even if driving below the posted limit if the conditions are dangerous (icy/snowy weather) and your speed is UN-reasonable for those conditions.
2. You should always carry three things when driving in New York State:
Your Foreign Driver's License, Your International Driving Permit, and Your INS document (a valid I 94). The INS document I 94 is to show the date you last lawfully entered the United States. It is also an easy way for nonimmigrants to show evidence of a lawful entry to law enforcement.