An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an official document that allows drivers to operate a motor vehicle in a foreign country without the need for further tests or applications. It’s essentially a translation of your driver’s license that is recognized in over 150 countries. Here’s what you need to know about getting an IDP.
What is an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit is a document that is issued to drivers who have a valid driver’s license from their home country. It’s not a stand-alone document, but rather an additional permit that allows you to legally drive in a foreign country. The IDP is recognized in over 150 countries, including popular destinations like Japan, Australia, and many countries in Europe.
The IDP translates your driver’s license into several languages, making it easier for foreign officials to understand your driving qualifications. It includes your name, photograph, and driver’s license information, as well as translations into French, Spanish, Russian, and Arabic.
How to Get an International Driving Permit
Getting an International Driving Permit is a relatively simple process. Here are the steps to follow:
- Check if you are eligible.
To be eligible for an IDP, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid driver’s license from your home country, and be able to provide two passport photos.
- Apply for an IDP.
To apply for an IDP, you can either apply online or in person at an approved IDP provider. The process typically takes a few days to a few weeks, depending on the provider and the method of application.
- Provide necessary documentation.
To apply for an IDP, you’ll need to provide a completed IDP application form, a photocopy of your driver’s license, two passport photos, and the application fee. The application fee varies by country and provider, but it’s generally around $20 to $30.
- Receive your IDP.
Once your application is approved, you’ll receive your IDP in the mail or can pick it up in person if you applied in person. The IDP is valid for one year from the date of issue, and it’s recommended that you apply for a new one each year if you plan on driving in a foreign country.
Things to Remember About International Driving Permits
While an International Driving Permit is a valuable document to have if you plan on driving in a foreign country, there are some important things to remember:
- An IDP is not a replacement for your driver’s license, so be sure to carry both with you when driving in a foreign country.
- Not all countries require an IDP, so be sure to check the driving requirements of the country you plan on visiting.
- An IDP does not exempt you from following the traffic laws of the country you’re visiting, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the local driving laws before getting behind the wheel.
- If you plan on renting a car in a foreign country, many car rental companies will require an IDP, so be sure to check with the rental company before you leave home.
An International Driving Permit is a useful document to have if you plan on driving in a foreign country. It’s relatively easy to obtain, and it can save you a lot of hassle and confusion while traveling abroad.
Just be sure to remember to carry both your IDP and your driver’s license with you while driving in a foreign country, and to follow the local driving laws to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.