If your driving record is less than perfect, don’t be lured by Internet sites claiming they can repair your driver’s license. It’s a scam, warns the American Automobile Association. According to Bill Hughes, manager of AAA Auto Travel, several Websites are selling international driver’s licenses, targeting people with bad driving records. These permits — normally $10 apiece but now sold for as much as $300 — are not recognized in the countries in which they are issued. “None are recognized as legal driving permits for U.S. citizens residing in this country,” says Hughes.
To get around this, many of the Website companies register the license in a foreign country using a foreign address as the driver’s home address. This only complicates matters, says Hughes. “If you’re pulled over for a traffic stop, the officer will notice the addresses on the license and the vehicle registration don’t match.” It’s a crime to lie to an officer about your residence.
Only the AAA and the American Automobile Touring Alliance are authorized by the U.S. Department of State to sell and issue International Driving Permits and Inter-American Driving Permits in the U.S.
SIT PRETTY WHEN YOU FLY
Your next flight may be more comfortable now that many airlines have installed new seating. American Airlines’ “Next Generation” 777-200IGWs feature lots of improvements. First-class seats recline to a flat bed. Each has electronically controlled leg and footrests. There are oversized and adjustable leather headrests, a computer connection and personal in-seat videos for seats in first class and the main cabin. Business-class seats have more legroom, six-way adjustable headrests, power ports and personal reading lights. American’s Super 80 craft feature six more first-class seats, bringing the total seating to 20.
Continental debuted BusinessFirst, its new business-class concept. New motorized sleeper seats have a 55-inch pitch, 20- to 21-inch width and 90- to 143-degree recline (depending upon craft). All have height-adjustable winged headrests, personal reading lights, in-arm video monitors and laptop power ports.
Singapore Airlines decreased the number of first-class “seat beds” on its craft from 16 to 12, creating more room. Raffles-class (business) seats are wider, with a 52-inch pitch. They have privacy dividers, personal in-seat reading lights and in-seat power ports. In economy class, Singapore has added personal video monitors and adjustable head- and footrests.
Qantas unveiled the new Boeing 747-400 called “Wunala Dreaming.” Major features are first-class sleeper seats that recline to form a 6-foot-6-inch bed, electronically adjustable “Dreamtime” business-class seats and new, ergonomically designed seats in economy class.