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International Driving License: Here's What You Need to Know | Driving School near you

Whether for travelling and exploring or work purposes, there may be times when you have to get behind the wheel while in a foreign country. This is where having an international driving license becomes necessary. The international driving license is an official translation for your driver's license issued in your home country, which lets you drive legally in a foreign country.

What is an International Driving License (IDL)?

The International Driving License, officially known as the International Driving Permit (IDP), is a document authorized by the United Nations and issued to people travelling to foreign countries. It certifies that the holder legally possesses a valid driving license in his/her home country. It also translates the document into various foreign languages, so it is easier for foreign officials to verify and understand the credentials. It allows you to legally drive the types of vehicles that are listed in your IDP in foreign nations. The International Driving License contains the name, photo, and driver information, and is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries, along with your original country's valid driver's license and a valid passport.

Applying for IDL in India

Thanks to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, applying for an International Driving Permit is now a very convenient process. Any individual who wishes to rent and drive vehicles in another country on an overseas trip is required to apply for an International Driving Permit.
The steps involved in this process are: -
1. Individuals should visit their nearest RTO with the required documents and the application fee.
2. You can either fill the application form in person at the RTO or fill it online, at the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways portal ( and carry the acknowledgement with you, along with the other necessary documents to the RTO.
3. Submit the documents and pay the prescribed fees. The application and the required documents have to be submitted in person to the concerned RTO by the applicant in both cases.
4. The processing time to get an International Driving License after the submission of documents is usually 3-4 business days.

Documents Needed for Applying for an International Driving Permit

1. Valid Driver's License and its copies
2. Valid Passport and its copies
3. Valid Visa (when applicable) and its copies
4. Copy of your air ticket for verification
5. Valid medical certificate (Form - 1A)
6. Application for the issue of IDP (Form- 4A)
7. Four copies of your recent passport size photograph
8. Prescribed fees and user charges

Advantages of Having an International Driving License
The International Driving Permit,

  • Allows you to drive a vehicle in a foreign country.
  • Is accepted as proof of your driving credentials and capabilities.
  • Is a confirmation stating that you hold a valid driving license in your home country.
  • Can be used as an identity proof alongside your original valid driving license and valid passport. It is quite useful if your original driver's license is not in a language spoken in your country of travel.
  • Is accepted in over 150 countries across the world who are signatories to the 1949 United Nations Convention agreement.
  • Some countries do not allow you to rent a car unless you have a valid IDL.
  • Insurance companies require an IDP to provide coverage to foreign drivers who drive motor vehicles.
  • Does not require you to take any additional driving tests in the countries you are visiting.

An International Driving Permit is valid for 1 year from the date of issue and it is crucial that you apply for one if you are planning to drive on your next overseas trip.

As per the MoRTH notification dated Jan 7, 2021

Applicants will be able to renew their existing International Driving Permits online through Indian Embassies, in case their license expires when they are still abroad. After submitting the documents required and the prescribed user fee, applicants will no longer need to submit a valid visa and medical certificate and will be able to get their international driving permits renewed easily, without hassles.

Important Points to Note:

  • If an individual applying for an IDP was issued their driver's license within 3 months of their IDP application, then they will be required to take the driving test for a second time while applying for the IDP.
  • Only Indian citizens are allowed to apply for an international driving permit through the RTOs or an Indian transport authority office.
  • There are a number of websites and organizations that offer online submission and issuance of IDP documents. Always stay wary of fraud on such platforms and only apply for an International Driving Permit through the official government transport authority in your country, which is the Ministry of Road Transport & Highways portal ( in India.

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