International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an internationally recognised document that allows you to drive a private motor vehicle overseas when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence. The IDP is recognised around the world and is printed in 10 languages, including English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Russian and Arabic.

In some countries, such as Columbia and Pakistan, you must have an IDP in order to drive, whilst in others (such as Australia or Canada) and IDP is not required, but is recommended. Other countries may impose special conditions, for example in Indonesia, the IDP must be certified by the Indonesian Motor Association on arrival. See the list below for IDP requirements by country.

It is important to remember that an IDP should always be used in conjunction with your driving licence, not in place of it. It is illegal in all countries to drive a vehicle without a valid driving licence, and you may be fined (or worse) for relying solely on an IDP. You must apply for your IDP whilst you are in the UK; you cannot do this once you are abroad.

To apply for an IDP, you must hold a full UK Driving Licence or UK Pass Certificate; be resident in the UK; and be at least 18 years old. An IDP cannot be issued to holders of UK provisional licences without a pass certificate.

You can obtain an IDP over the counter at certain branches of the Post Office, and from the AA and RAC in person or online. After you have filled out the application form, you must produce one of the following original documents:

  • your UK driving licence, or
  • your UK pass certificate, or
  • your DVLA confirmation of entitlement to drive

You must also provide a recent passport-sized photograph, showing your full face against a light background and signed by yourself on the back, along with some other signed proof of identity such as your passport. You will be charged £5.50 for this service. The IDP is valid for 1 year from date of issue, and can be post-dated by up to three months so that it is valid from your date of departure.

International Driving Permit Requirements

The following list shows the IDP requirements for countries outside the EU. Generally, UK licences are accepted in all EU countries without an IDP unless otherwise specified below.

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If you are intending to drive in any of the countries listed above, then you should check the specific IDP requirements through the appropriate tourist offices or embassies, and any relevant car hire company before you go.

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