Which Countries Will Accept an International Driving Permit?

International Driving Permit: Do You Need One?

Do you want to know which countries will accept an International Driving Permit (IDP)? Working or studying in a foreign country can bring complex issues if you intend to drive and own a car without a driving license.

If you don’t know about it beforehand, getting behind the wheel of a car with someone else’s license can have disastrous consequences.

Fortunately, as an international driver, you have several options to legally drive in other countries without worrying about local driving laws. With an International Driving Permit, you can legally drive in most countries without their local permit.

The International Driving Permit will also allow you to rent a car or borrow one from friends if necessary. Let us take look at how to apply for an International Driving Permit.

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit is a license issued by the country where you are physically present. These permits are issued to foreign drivers who travel or live in countries where their own country does not have a reciprocity agreement.

The permit allows the driver to drive in that country and internationally legally.

How to Apply for an International Driving Permit?

Applying for an International Driving Permit is similar in many other countries. However, there are a few differences depending on where you are in the application process.

  • You must fill out your International Driving Permit application form at the post office or online. You’ll need a couple of documents to provide with your application:
  1. A valid international passport
  2. A recent passport photo for your International Driving Permit card
  3. Proof that you legally live in the country where you are applying for the IDP
  4. A valid driver’s license from your home country
  • After completing your form and paying a fee, it will be sent to your country’s licensing authority for processing.
  • Your application will be returned with a letter indicating that your request has been accepted or denied.
  • If approved, you will receive a temporary driving permit that can be exchanged for your permanent International Driving Permit at any police station. Not every country follows this step-by-step process, but some do.

How Many Countries Accept International Driving Permits?

An IDP lets you drive in more than 140 countries, including the USA.

If you want to drive across borders without getting pulled over by police, you must carry one of three forms of International Driving Permits. One is governed by the 1928 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, while agreements from 1949 and 1968 cover the others. You might need multiple permits depending on where you want to drive.

Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive within the European Union (EU)?

You do not need an International Driving Permit if you drive within the EU, because the European Union already offers reciprocal agreements with most countries. However, you will need an International Driving Permit if you plan a trip outside the EU.

Does the International Driving Permit substitute a national driving license?

The International Driving Permit allows you to drive legally in a foreign country. Still, it does not allow you to drive if you leave your country of residence without having your home country’s driving license. 

If you are in the UK and want to drive abroad, the international driving permit is an addition to your British driving licence, not a substitute. It does not replace your current national driving licence; instead, it allows you to drive legally in another country.

Do I need an International Driving Permit to drive in the UK?

You can typically use your full valid driving licence issued in your home country for up to twelve months while in the UK. You do not need an international driving permit besides your licence, but it might help prove legitimacy if your home driving licence is not printed in English.

All drivers in the UK are legally required to have valid car insurance, even if you only plan to drive occasionally or stay in the UK for a few days. If you hire a car, you won’t need to take out your insurance coverage, which will be included in the vehicle’s rental cost.

List of countries that may require International Driving Permits and the type of Permit required

Territory or Country (A-C)Acceptable International Driving Permits
Albania1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Albania.
Algeria1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Algeria.
Andorra1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Andorra.
Argentina1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Argentina.
Armenia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Armenia.
Australia1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Australia.
AustriaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Austria.
Azerbaijan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Azerbaijan.
Bahamas1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in the Bahamas. You need an IDP to stay longer than 90 days.
Bahrain1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Bahrain. You will need an IDP for car hire, and stays longer than 90 days. When you arrive, it would be best to get your IDP certified by local authorities.
Bangladesh1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Bangladesh.
Barbados1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Barbados.
Belarus1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Belarus.
BelgiumYou do not need an IDP to drive in Belgium for periods of up to 6 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Belgian Embassy.
Benin1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Benin.
Bosnia and Herzegovina1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Bosnia & Herzegovina.
Botswana1949 IDP is acceptable for driving (‘car hire’) in Botswana.
Brazil1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Brazil.
BulgariaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Bulgaria.
Burkina Faso1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Burkina Faso.
Cambodia1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Cambodia.
Canada1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Canada.
Cape Verde1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Cape Verde.
Central African Republic1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in the Central African Republic.
Chile1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Chile.
Congo1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Congo.
Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Cote d’Ivoire.
CroatiaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Croatia. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Croatian Embassy.
Cuba1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Cuba.
CyprusYou do not need an IDP to drive in Cyprus for visits for up to 30 days. For visits longer than 30 days, you will need a 1949 IDP. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1949 IDP for any length of visit. Check with the High Commission of Cyprus.
Czech RepublicYou do not need an IDP to drive in the Czech Republic. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Czech Republic Embassy.
Countries that may require International Driving Permits and the type of Permit required
DenmarkYou do not need an IDP to drive in Denmark for periods of up to 90 days.
Dominican Republic1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in the Dominican Republic for stays longer than 90 days.
Ecuador1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Ecuador.
Egypt1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Egypt.
EstoniaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Estonia for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. If you hold a paper driving licence, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Estonian Embassy.
Eswatini (previously Swaziland)1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Eswatini. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your international passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you are involved in an accident.
Fiji1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Fiji.
FinlandYou do not need an IDP to drive in Finland.
FranceYou do not need an IDP to drive in France. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Confirm with the French Embassy.
French Polynesia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in French Polynesia.
Georgia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Georgia. IDP is needed for stays longer than 90 days.
GermanyYou do not need an IDP to drive in Germany for periods of up to 6 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the German Embassy.
Ghana1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Ghana.
GreeceYou do not need an IDP to drive in Greece.
Guam1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Guam for stays longer than 30 days. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your international passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you are involved in an accident.
Guatemala1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Guatemala.
Guyana1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Guyana.
Haiti1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days in Haiti.
HungaryYou do not need an IDP to drive in Hungary for periods of up to 12 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Hungarian Embassy.
IcelandYou do not need an IDP to drive in Iceland for periods of up to 30 days.
India1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in India.
Iran1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Iran.
Iraq1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Iraq.
IrelandYou do not need an IDP to drive in Ireland for periods of up to 12 months.
Israel1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Israel.
ItalyYou do not need an IDP to drive in Italy. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Gibraltar, Jersey, Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Confirm with the Italian Embassy.
Jamaica1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Jamaica.
Japan1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Japan.
Jordan1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Jordan.
Kazakhstan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Kazakhstan.
Kenya1968 IDP needed for stays in Kenya longer than 90 days.
Kuwait1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Kuwait.
Kyrgyzstan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Krygyzstan.
Laos1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Laos.
LatviaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Latvia.
Lebanon1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Lebanon.
Lesotho1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Lesotho.
Liberia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Liberia.
Libya1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Libya.
LiechtensteinYou do not need an IDP to drive in Liechtenstein.
LithuaniaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Lithuania for periods of up to 6 months.
LuxembourgYou do not need an IDP to drive in Luxembourg for periods of up to 6 months.
Macao (Macau)1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Macao.
Madagascar1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Madagascar.
Malawi1949 IDP needed for stays in Mali longer than 90 days.
Malaysia (Sabah)1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Malaysia.
Mali1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Mali.
MaltaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Malta for periods of up to 12 months. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from Guernsey or the Isle of Man, you may need a 1949 IDP. Check with the Malta High Commission.
Mexico1926 IDP is acceptable for driving in Mexico.
Moldova1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Moldova.
Monaco1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Monaco.
Mongolia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Mongolia.
Montenegro1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Montenegro.
Morocco1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Morocco.
Myanmar (previously Burma)1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Myanmar.
Namibia1949 IDP is needed for car hire. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you are involved in an accident.
Nepal1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Nepal.
NetherlandsYou do not need an IDP to drive in the Netherlands.
New Zealand1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in New Zealand.
Niger1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Niger.
Nigeria1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Nigeria.
North Macedonia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in North Macedonia.
NorwayYou do not need an IDP to drive in Norway for periods of up to 90 days. If you hold a paper driving license, you may need a 1968 IDP. Confirm with the Norwegian Embassy.
Pakistan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Pakistan.
Papua New Guinea1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 30 days.
Paraguay1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Paraguay.
Peru1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Peru.
Philippines1968 IDP is needed for car hire in the Philippines and stays longer than 90 days.
PolandYou do not need an IDP to drive in Poland for periods of up to 6 months.
PortugalYou do not need an IDP to drive in Portugal for periods of up to 6 months.
Qatar1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Qatar.
RomaniaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Romania. If you hold a paper driving licence or a driving licence from the Isle of Man, you may need a 1968 IDP. Check with the Romanian Embassy.
Russian Federation1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Russia.
Rwanda1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Rwanda.
San Marino1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in San Marino.
Saudi Arabia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving (‘car hire’) in Saudi Arabia.
Senegal1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Senegal.
Serbia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Serbia.
Seychelles1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Seychelles.
Sierra Leone1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Sierra Leone.
Singapore1949 IDP needed for car hire, and stays longer than 30 days in Singapore.
SlovakiaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Slovakia for periods of up to 6 months. For visits longer than 6 months, you will need a 1968 IDP.
SloveniaYou do not need an IDP to drive in Slovenia for periods of up to 90 days.
Somalia1926 IDP is acceptable for driving in Somalia.
South Africa1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in South Africa. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your international passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you are involved in an accident.
South Korea1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in South Korea.
Spain (including Balearic and Canary Isles)You do not need an IDP to drive in Spain for periods of up to 6 months.
Sri Lanka1949 is acceptable for driving in Sri Lanka. As well as the IDP, you must get a Sri Lankan recognition permit from the Automobile Association of Ceylon (AAC) in Colombo.
St. Lucia1949 is acceptable for driving in St. Lucia. Also, show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
St. Vincent1949 is acceptable for driving in St. Vincent. Also, show your UK driving licence or IDP to the police to get a visitor’s licence.
SwedenYou do not need an IDP to drive in Sweden for periods of up to 12 months.
SwitzerlandYou do not need an IDP to drive in Switzerland.
Syria1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Syria.
Tajikistan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Tajikistan.
Taiwan1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days in Taiwan.
Thailand1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Thailand.
Togo1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Togo.
Trinidad & Tobago1949 IDP needed for stays longer than 90 days in Trinidad and Tobago.
Tunisia1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Tunisia.
Turkey1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Turkey.
Turkmenistan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Turkmenistan.
Uganda1949 IDP is needed for stays longer than 90 days in Uganda.
Ukraine1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Ukraine.
United Arab Emirates1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in the United Arab Emirates.
United States of America1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in the United States of America. If you have an older, paper UK driving licence, you must take another form of photographic ID, such as your international passport. You may need to show an IDP to your insurance company if you’re involved in an accident.
Uruguay1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Uruguay.
Uzbekistan1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Uzbekistan.
Vatican City1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Vatican City.
Venezuela1949 IDP is acceptable for driving in Venezuela.
Vietnam1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Vietnam.
Zimbabwe1968 IDP is acceptable for driving in Zimbabwe.

Related Articles

error: Alert: Content is copyright protected!!