International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP)/International Driving Licence (IDL) is a legal document that allows you to drive/rent a car in a country you visit. You have to apply for an International Driver’s Permit in your home country. This document is authorized by the United Nations. The International Driving Licence (DL) translates the information in your domestic Driving Licence to several languages such as English, Chinese, Portuguese, French, Russian, Italian, Arabic, German, Spanish and Scandinavian languages. This facility helps the local authorities abroad to understand your driving credentials easily in case of any road mishap, or driving related requirements.

In this post, we will discuss about IDP eligibility criteria, how to apply for International Driving Permit, documents required, facts about IDP, how to renew the document, benefits of IDL, and frequently asked questions.

International Driving Permit Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for International Driving Permit is almost the same for every signatory country. You have to pay a small fee for IDP issuance. The fee differs from a nation to another. Here are the basic eligibility norms for the driving licence:

  • You should have a valid Driver’s Licence.
  • You must be over 18 years of age.
  • Fill up the Form 4 and submit with documents and your 3 to 5 passport-sized photographs.

Steps to Apply for an International Driving Licence

Here is a guide to International Driving Permit application:

  • To apply for an International Driving Licence, you have to fill up Form 4 – Form for the Issue of International Driving Permit. This form is available at RTOs.
  • To apply for International Driving Permit online, visit the official website of International Control Traffic Association. Download the Form and fill up the same. Submit it by paying the required fees and upload the requested documents.
  • In the form, you have to provide personal details such as driving licence number, your name, address, country to which you are going to travel to, etc.
  • If applying offline, carry your existing valid Driving Licence to the nearest RTO along with the duly filled and signed Form 4 and documents.
  • Pay the application fee (Rs. 1000). After processing of the application, you will be handed with the permit.
  • It can take up to 3 to 4 business days to process the driving licence application.

Documents Required

Here are the documents to submit with duly signed and sealed Form CMV-4:

  • Copy of address proof, age proof, and proof of Indian citizenship
  • Copy of valid Driving Licence
  • Copy of air tickets, Passport, and Visa
  • Rs. 1000 application fee
  • 3 to 5 passport-sized photographs
  • Form CMV 1 and 1A stating your medical conditions. This form states your health status.

Facts About IDL

Here are few facts about International Driving Permit Renewal:

  • You can apply for IDL through an Indian transport authority.
  • The application form will be available on RTO website or the local RTO office.
  • You have to submit the application form with documents at the physical regional transport office.
  • The issued IDL/IDP will fall under the RTO jurisdiction where the application is done.
  • If the licence is issued in other state or region, you have to get the address changed to the present location.

Renewal of International Driving Permit

IDL issued in India is valid for 1 year or till your domestic DL is valid, whichever is earlier. If you need an IDP again, then you need to renew it.

  • Apply for IDP renewal online through the International Control Traffic Association..
  • Attach signed copy of your DL (front and back side)
  • Attach your recent passport-size photograph (scanned copy).
  • Attach other documents as needed.
  • If you were issued domestic Driving Licence in 3 months of IDL/IDP application, then you have to take the driving test for a second time.

Benefits of International Driving Licence

Here are the advantages of applying for an International Driving Licence:

  • IDL acts as document that confirms you have a valid DL in your home country. This licence is accepted as driving permit in almost every country.
  • It has a wide acceptance over 150 signatory countries. Only a few countries are not signatories, but even those accept IDL in their territories.
  • This document translates the information in your original Driver’s Licence to other languages spoken in countries you travel to. Thus, the local authorities find it easier to verify your details in the IDP.
  • If you have a car insurance, then IDL will help cover driver of vehicle even if you drive the vehicle abroad.
  • You do not have to take any driving test abroad if you have an IDP.
  • You will be able to rent a car in countries that do not allow the same without an IDL.

Frequently Asked Questions About International Driving Licence

Here are the FAQs on IDP/IDL:

Here is what you have to do:

  • If you lose your IDL within India, then file an FIR immediately.
  • You should also write a letter to the RTO about the same and attach copy of the FIR.
  • If you lose the licence abroad, then you should notify the Indian Embassy and local authority about it.
  • The authorities may provide you with a duplicate document after a proper verification.

If you have a two-wheeler licence in the home country, then you can ride a two-wheeler after renting it on the basis of IDL abroad.

To rent a motorcycle or car when in another country than India, you will need the International Driving Permit as well as the original Driver’s Licence.

An Indian IDP is accepted in several countries. Here are few of these countries:

  • United States of America
  • France
  • The United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Australia
  • Singapore
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Brazil
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • Egypt
  • Belgium
  • Argentina
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Chile
  • Lebanon
  • Netherlands
  • Greece
  • Mexico
  • Russian Federation
  • Spain
  • Bangladesh
  • Peru
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Nigeria
  • Romania
  • Denmark
  • Macao
  • Malta
  • Hong Kong
  • Canada
  • Sweden
  • South Africa
  • Ireland
  • Mauritius
  • Malaysia
  • Norway
  • Austria
  • Finland
  • Italy
  • New Zealand
  • Switzerland

An IDP is allowed in USA if you have a tourist visa for up to 2 months. If you plan to stay in the country for 6 months, and drive a four-wheeler, then you have to take a driving test for a permanent licence.

The WIAA (Western Indian Automobile Association) issues IDL if you reside in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, or Pune. You have to be a member of this Association for issuance of IDP here. The application fee is Rs. 1,500 in this case. You will receive the licence within 2 days.

Your IDL can work as an identity proof in certain cases and subject to conditions in the said country, when you travel abroad.