American Citizens Residing Abroad

The Department of State encourages all American citizens residing abroad to register their presence and obtain up-to-date information on security conditions at the nearest American Embassy or Consulate through the State Department's travel registration website. 

Registration will make your presence and whereabouts known in case it is necessary to contact you in an emergency and enable you to receive up-to-date information on security conditions.

Create an account and you will be able to return to the registration web site at any time to update your permanent residence and contact information. In accordance with the Privacy Act, information on your welfare or whereabouts may not be released to inquirers without your expressed written authorization.

Registration through the web site is not considered proof of citizenship. You many want to keep numbers or copies of your passport or other citizenship documents with a friend or relative in case of emergency.

Driving Abroad

It is illegal to drive without a valid license and insurance in many countries. You should check with the Embassy of the country where you plan to reside, to find out more about driver’s license requirements. A listing of foreign embassies and consulates in the U.S. is available on the Department of State’s website at:

Foreign embassy and consulate contact information can also be found on the Country Specific Information for each country.

Many countries do not recognize a U.S. driver's license. Some, however, will accept an international driver's permit. It is nevertheless a good idea to qualify for a local driver's license as soon as possible, since international driver's permits are not always valid for the length of a stay abroad, and often are only valid if presented in conjunction with a valid U.S. or local license.

To renew a U.S. driver's license, contact the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state.

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