International Driving Permit: how to get one and where you need it

International Driving Permit: how to get one and where you need it
If you're planning to drive a car abroad you'll need an International Driving Permit (IDP) for certain countries. 

This international driving permit is in addition to your UK driving licence - which you also need to take with you if you're driving and/or hiring a car abroad.

Here we will explain everything you need to know about IDP's, here are a few quick links to help you jump to the relevant section:

What is an IDP?

How to get an IDP

Where do you need an IDP?


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What is an IDP?

An IDP is an official document that effectively validates your UK drving licence drive in certain other countries. It is a requirement or recommended in over 140 countries.

  • An IDP is valid for one year
  • You can only get an IDP three months in advance of needing it
  • You can't get an IDP issued retrospectively
  • There are two types of IDP (1949 and 1926) depending on which countries you visit - RAC can issue both. Check the international driving permit requirements of the country you are visiting before you submitting your application - you can find these in the table below.

How to get an IDP

Getting an IDP is a simple application process which you can do through the RAC on this page, however, there are a few things to note before applying:

To be eligible for an IDP you must:

  • Have a full UK driving licence (not provisional) covering the type of vehicle you're planning to drive abroad - be a permanent resident of the UK
  • Be 18 or over

You can't get an IDP with a foreign driving licence unless it's an EU driving licence and you're a resident in Great Britain.

Applying for an international driving permit:

1. Download and print the IDP application form.

2. Complete the IDP form.

3. Include the following:

  • The correct fee - £8 for one application or £16 for two (£5.50 plus £2.50 processing fee per application.)
  • 1 x Recent passport-size photo(s) signed on the back.
  • A photocopy (not original) of your complete UK driving licence, including photocard if applying by post.
  • A photocopy of the page from your passport with your photo and identification details.

4. Send it to:

       RAC Motoring Services
       Travel Administration
       PO Box 587
       Great Park Road
       Bristol
       BS32 4QN

We'll send your IDP first class, please allow up to 10 days before travel for your application to be processed. Your application can be processed within two days if required, we just ask for an additional £6.95 for this service.

Lost your original UK driving licence?

If you cannot send a photocopy of your UK driving licence or complete details on the application because the original is lost or with the DVLA for re-issue etc, you should contact the DVLA on 0870 240 0009**.

Please note however, that there may be delays in getting through during peak periods and the RAC cannot accept any responsibility if such delays prevent us processing your IDP application on time.

Only got a provisional UK licence?

You'll also need a valid certificate of competence to drive.

Where do I need an IDP?

CountryRequirements
AfghanistanYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
AlbaniaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
AlgeriaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
AngolaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
ArgentinaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
ArmeniaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Australia - New South WalesFull UK driving licence or valid International Driving Permit accepted while holder has visitor status.
Australia - Australian Capital Territory (Canberra)International Driving Permit required but only accepted up to 3 months
Australia - Queensland; Western AustraliaFull UK driving licence accepted up to 12 months An International Driving Permit is strongly recommended for all States.
AustriaA pink format or photocard UK licence accepted. Otherwise a UK licence accepted only if accompanied by identity document carrying a photograph e.g. passport.
AzerbaijanA valid UK driving licence is accepted if accompanied by a certified translation into Azerbaijani.
BahrainInternational Driving Permit is required and must be endorsed by traffic authorities.
BarbadosLicence or International Driving Permit must be presented to authorities on arrival for issue of local licence.
BelarusA valid UK photocard licence is accepted. For other UK licences an International Driving Permit is required.
BelgiumPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
BeninYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
BermudaPlease note, visitors aren't allowed to drive.
BhutanYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here
BoliviaAfter 3 months International Driving Permit must be endorsed by "Servicio Nacional de Transito".
BrazilYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1926 to drive here.You should also contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements, and to confirm if an IDP is accepted in practice. It is believed that a GB licence is accepted if accompanied by Portuguese translation available from the Brazilian Consulate.
BruneiAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
BulgariaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
Burkina FasoAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
CameroonAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
Cape Verde IslesAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
Cayman IslesYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here
Central African RepYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here
ChadYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
ChilePink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
ChinaYou need to get a temporary driving permit when you arrive.
ColombiaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
ComorosYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Cote D'lvoireYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
CroatiaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
CuracaoYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
CyprusPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
Czech RepublicPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
DenmarkPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
DjiboutiAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
DominicaLicence or International Driving Permit must be presented to authorities on arrival for issue of local licence.
EgyptYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
El SalvadorAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
Equatorial GuineaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
EstoniaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
EthiopiaThe IDP isn't recognised but you can get a temporary licence from the local authority when you present your valid UK licence.
FinlandPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
FrancePink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
French GuianaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
GabonAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. Pink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
GambiaA temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
GermanyPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
GhanaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
GreecePink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held. An International Driving Permit is required by some car hire companies.
GuineaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Guinea BissauAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
HaitiYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Hong KongPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
IcelandA temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
IndiaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
IndonesiaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
IranYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
IraqYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1926 to drive here
IrelandPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
IsraelAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
ItalyPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
JapanYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
JordanAn International Driving Permit is required. Visitors cannot drive vehicle with normal Jordanian plates without a Jordanian driving licence. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
KampucheaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Korea (South)You will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
KuwaitYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence. Letter from sponsor required for issue of temporary licence. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
LaosAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
LatviaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
LebanonAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
Leeward IslandsYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
LesothoAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
LiberiaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
LithuaniaA photocard UK licence is accepted. Otherwise a UK licence accepted only if accompanied by identity document carrying a photograph e.g. passport.
LuxembourghPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
MacaoYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
MalaysiaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held. An International Driving Permit is required by some car hire companies.
MaltaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
MartiniqueAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
MauritiusAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
MexicoYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
MoldovaYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
MoroccoAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
MozambiqueAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
Myanmar burmaLicence or International Driving Permit must be presented to authorities on arrival for issue of local licence.
NepalInternational Driving Permit valid for 15 days after which local licence is required.
NetherlandsPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
New CaledoniaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
NigeriaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
OmanOn arrival an International Driving Permit must be endorsed by Oman Automobile Association. International Driving Permit recognised for 3 months.
PakistanYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
PhilippinesYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
PolandA valid UK licence is accepted for stays up to 6 months. For longer periods a Polish licence is needed.
PortugalPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
QatarLicence or International Driving Permit must be presented to authorities on arrival for issue of local licence.
ReunionAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
RomaniaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
RussiaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
RwandaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Sabah - EastAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. An International Driving Permit is required by some car hire companies.
MalaysiaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. An International Driving Permit is required by some car hire companies.
Sao Tome and PrincipeAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
Saudia ArabiaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
SenegalYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Serbia and MontenegroAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
SingaporeInternational Driving Permit recognised for 3 months
SlovakiaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
SloveniaPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
SomaliaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1926 to drive here.
South AfricaYou may need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here. Pink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
SpainPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
Sri LankaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
SudanAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
SurinamYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
SwazilandYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
SwedenPink format or photocard UK licence accepted but International Driving Permit required if green licence held.
SyriaYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
TaiwanYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
TajikistanYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
TanzaniaInternational Driving Permit required to hire a car.
ThailandYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
TunisiaA valid UK photocard licences is accepted for up to 90 days. For longer periods or other UK licences an International Driving Permit is required.
TurkeyYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
TurkmenistanYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
UkraineYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
United Arab EmiratesYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
UruguayUK licences are accepted up to 90 days if presented to authorities, otherwise 1926.
USAAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended as, in the event of an accident, some insurance companies will insist on seeing one.
UzbekistanYou should contact the embassy or consulate to find out about the driving licence requirements.
VietnamYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
Western SamoaLicence or International Driving Permit must be presented to authorities on arrival for issue of local licence. International Driving Permit required to hire a car.
Windward IslandsAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence. Windward Islands are," Grenada, St. Lucia and St. Vincent.
Yemen RepublicAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but recommended. A temporary licence is available from local authority on presentation of a valid UK licence.
ZaireYou will need an International Driving Permit, IDP 1949 to drive here.
ZambiaAn International Driving Permit is not a legal requirement but is recommended.
ZimbabweUK photocard licences are accepted. For other UK licences an International Driving Permit is required.
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