International Driving Permits: What You Need To Know

30 September 2016

Words by Carlie Tucker

If you're travelling overseas for work, there are plenty of things to consider ahead of your trip. One of the biggest questions, though, is how will you get around? For those times when self-driving is the only option, an International Driving Permit (IDP) is well worth considering. Not sure what that means? Not a problem! Here's our FAQ that covers everything you need to know.

What is an IDP?

This is a United Nations sanctioned document that provides identification details in nine different languages. It's an accepted form of photo identification and allows you to drive in multiple international countries without any tests or applications.

What is an IDP for?

An IDP is an official form of identification that allows travellers to drive overseas without having to take any further tests or submit further applications. It can also be used as identification in conjunction with your valid Australian drivers license  in non English speaking countries.

Where is it valid?

It is recognised in more than 150 countries, certifying the holder to legally operate a motor vehicle. This includes countries such as Thailand, France, Malaysia, Canada, the UK and USA.

How do I get an IDP?

There are no tests required to get an IDP. You just have to apply. There are a few companies that offer these services, so just make sure you do your research and get one from an Australian Automobile Association (AAA) member.

How long does an IDP last?

An IDP lasts 12 months from the date of issue, or when your associated Australian driver's license expires (whichever comes first).

Who is eligible for an IDP?

There are a few rules on who can apply for an IDP:

  • You must be 18 years or older (learner permit holders do not qualify)
  • Have a valid Australian driver's license
  • Submit two passport-sized photos and the associated fee

How much does an IDP cost?

Associated fees will depend on who you're getting your IDP through. At the time of writing, IDP costs ranged from $35-39 (AUD).

Can you get an IDP online?

Many companies that provide IDPs allow you to download the form online; however, it must be submitted in person or by mail.

Does an IDP provide special driving privileges?

No. In fact, an IDP only certifies that you know how to operate a vehicle and hold a valid license in your home country. To ensure your safety and those around you, you should familiarise yourself with the driving rules and regulations in any foreign countries you may be travelling to. 

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