Nineteen online marketers received letters from the Federal Trade Commission staff warning that they may be breaking the law by selling documents that they are falsely promoting as legitimate substitutes for International Driving Permits. The staff letters say the marketers’ ads may make deceptive claims that violate the FTC Act.
Consumer groups and state and local law enforcers have charged that in some cases, the documents are being promoted as legitimate identification to undocumented immigrants in the United States.
In the letters, FTC staff stated that the marketers’ websites appear to be making a variety of false claims about the document they are selling, including that it:
In the letters, FTC staff advises the marketers to review their websites to identify all deceptive or misleading statements, and to notify FTC staff if they intend to remove or revise any claims.
An International Driving Permit, or IDP, is an official document created by international treaties that translates a domestic driver’s license into several foreign languages. Under these treaties, residents of a particular country must obtain an IDP from a governmental agency or organization designated by that country. An IDP issued by an agency or organization designated by a country’s government is the only official translation of a person’s domestic driver’s license. No document issued by any other organization, individual or company meets the requirements set forth in these treaties. The U.S. government has designated only two organizations – the American Automobile Association and the American Automobile Touring Alliance – to issue IDPs to lawful holders of U.S. driver’s licenses.
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