International Driving Permit: Drive anywhere!

by Pilar Dujan | September 18, 2023
Road trip with map

When traveling internationally, being able to rent a car and drive can help make the trip go smoother: you can follow your own schedule and avoid public transport. 

However, you can’t do it without an International Driving Permit (IDP). All the information you need about the IDP is here.

What is an International Driving Permit?

The International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that allows a person to drive in another country

It proves that the person has a drivers license in their own country. 

It also shares the information in the driver’s license in 10 languages, so foreign authorities can have a record of the data without it getting lost in translation. 

The International Drivers Permit doesn’t replace the original driving license: they are complimentary, the IDP doesn’t grant any driving rights in and of itself. In fact, the validity of an International Driving Permit can never be longer than the holder’s domestic driver’s license

It’s only available for drivers older than 18 years of age that already have a valid driver’s license. They are valid for one year after the application is approved.

What information is in an International driver license?

This driver license shows your name, photo and driver information, like which types of vehicles you are allowed to drive. 

Every piece of information is available in languages like English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic and more.

Do you need an International Drivers License anywhere?

If you plan on driving in another country, it’s advisable to get an IDP before traveling. It’s accepted in over 150 countries like Japan, Spain, Thailand, Russia, South Korea and Canada.

Keep in mind that even if it’s not mandatory to drive in your destination of choice, it could be asked of you in the vehicle rental place. To be safe, it’s best to have an IDP before arriving.

Cars driving at sunset

Why is having an International Driving License important?

First of all, it’s a legal requirement for driving in a foreign country so, if you travel without an IDP, you could be subject to fines or other complications. It’s also regulated by the United Nations.

It also helps to bypass language barriers since all the important information is in multiple languages. 

Last but not least, it’s a requisite in many travel insurance policies, so having an IDP will help your coverage in case of loss or damage while driving internationally. 

How to get an international driving permit?

The most important requisites to be able to apply are being at least 18 years old and already having a valid driver’s license.

Then you need to find the government-authorized Automobile Club closest to you as that’s where you will apply. 

Fill out the application form online or at the office, provide two passport-sized photos and a photocopy of both sides of your driver’s license. 

After that, you just need to pay the fees and wait for your application to be processed and approved. 

Countries that accept an International Driving Permit

You can drive in the following countries holding an International Driver’s License:

Albania - Algeria - Argentina - Armenia - Australia - Austria - Azerbaijan - Bahamas - Bahrain - Bangladesh - Barbados - Belarus - Belgium - Benin - Bosnia and Herzegovina - Botswana - Brazil - Brunei - Bulgaria - Burkina Faso - Cabo Verde - Cambodia - Canada - Central African Republic - Chile - China - Congo - Costa Rica - Ivory Coast - Croatia - Cuba - Cyprus - Czech Republic - Congo, Democratic Republic - Denmark - Dominican Republic - Ecuador - Egypt - Estonia - Ethiopia - Fiji - Finland - France - Georgia - Germany - Ghana - Greece - Guatemala - Guyana - Haiti - Holy See - Honduras - Hong Kong - Hungary - Iceland - India - Indonesia - Iran - Iraq - Ireland - Israel - Italy - Jamaica - Japan - Jordan - Kazakhstan - Kenya - Korea - Kuwait - Kyrgyzstan - Laos - Latvia - Lebanon - Lesotho - Liberia - Liechtenstein - Lithuania - Luxembourg - Madagascar - Malawi - Malaysia - Mali - Malta - Mexico - Moldova - Monaco - Mongolia - Montenegro - Morocco - Myanmar - Namibia - Nepal - Netherlands - New Zealand - Niger - Nigeria - North Macedonia - Norway - Oman - Pakistan - Papua New Guinea - Paraguay - Peru - Philippines - Poland - Portugal - Qatar - Romania - Russian Federation - Rwanda - San Marino - Saudi Arabia - Senegal - Serbia - Seychelles - Sierra Leone - Singapore - Slovakia - Slovenia - South Africa - Spain - Sri Lanka - Sweden - Switzerland - Syrian Arab Republic - Tajikistan - Thailand - Togo - Trinidad and Tobago - Tunisia - Turkey - Turkmenistan - Uganda - Ukraine - United Arab Emirates - United Kingdom - United States of America - Uruguay - Uzbekistan - Venezuela - Vietnam - Zimbabwe