What is an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit is an official document to be used in conjunction with your existing UK driving licence which allows you to drive abroad. An IDP is recognised worldwide and is essentially a multi translation of your own UK driving Licence, ensuring your driving licence is understood by local officials overseas and that you are legally permitted to drive a motor vehicle.
Do I need an International Driving Permit?
Currently you will not need an International Driving Permit if you are driving in Europe. If you are driving outside of Europe, most countries will require an IDP and there is a simple application process through your local Post Office.
How much does an International Driving Permit cost?
An IDP costs £5.50 (GBP) and is easily available from most local UK Post offices.
Which countries accept an IDP?
Most countries recognise the permit, however some will require what’s known as a 1949 Convention IDP, or a 1926 Convention IDP. You can see an IDP country list and the different conventions for each country here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Driving_Permit
How to apply:
You will need to be over 18 years of age before you can apply. You must apply in person and you will need the following documents…
- Your valid UK Driving Licence. (Photo card or older paper version is OK)
- £5.50 (GBP) cash or bank card payment.
- A passport photograph signed on the back.
- Further proof of ID, preferably your passport.
- A completed application form.
Find out where you can apply using the Post Office Branch finder.
When do I need to apply for my IDP?
You can apply for an IDP up to 3 months before you expect to be driving in another country. Your licence will last for one year. If you are going to take up permanent residency then you should apply for that country’s driving licence as soon as possible and at least before your IDP expires.
Do I still need to keep my UK driving licence?
Your IDP is a supplementary document which is only valid in conjunction with your own full UK driving licence. You must carry these 2 documents together.
Key Facts about International Driving Permits
- You must always comply with the rules and regulations of the country you are driving in.
An IDP does not mean that UK laws apply to driving abroad.
- Your IDP will last for one year, simply reapply at the post office before the expiration date.
If you are planning on becoming a permanent resident overseas, you should apply for the appropriate driving licence for that country.
- The IDP is not a stand-alone document and is only valid as an add on to your existing UK driving licence.
Both should be carried at all times.
- An IDP is officially recognized and sanctioned by the United Nations and can be used as an additional form of identification in over 150 countries. This can be a great form of identification where overseas officials require your details in their own language and also makes for a very useful document should you have lost (or been asked to surrender) your passport.
Becoming a permanent Resident overseas?
If you are moving overseas and are considering taking your car with you then you can find out about car shipping costs, rules and regulations from us here at Autoshippers. Find out more about our international car shipping services here.