International Driving Licence (IDL)/International Driving Permit (IDP)

Driving yourself around, whether you're burning up the rubber or cruising along is a feeling many car enthusiasts long for. While the roads in your home country are open to you whenever the need to drive so takes hold of you, those travelling to another country on business or holiday are often unable to rent a car or drive since they do not have a license that is accepted in that country.

Those seeking to drive abroad can apply for an International Driver's Permit. The International Driver's Permit is an official travel document that is authorised by the United Nations issued to tourists travelling to foreign countries. It is an official translation of your driver's license issued in your home country. The document essentially states that you possess a valid driver's license and it translates your license documents into a number of languages so authorities abroad are able to verify and understand your driving credentials.

The document is printed in a number of different languages- English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian as well as German, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese and the Scandinavian languages.

This enables authorities in those countries to understand your driver's license. This is especially important in case of any mishap, since it will prove your driving credentials.

An IDP is generally valid for a period of one year from its issue or till the driving license expires, whichever is earlier.

How to Apply for an International Driving Licence

Applying for an international driving licence is now a convenient process thanks to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways.

An individual who wishes to drive in another country is required to apply for an international driving licence, which acts as a driving permit in that particular country.

Individuals can visit the nearest RTO with the required documents and the application fee.

The licence would be handed over to the individual on processing of the application, which usually takes 3-4 business days.

Form for International Driving License

Individuals who are applying for an international driving licence are required to submit a form when applying.

The form can be picked up from any RTO, and is known as the 'Form for the Issue of International Driving Permit', or Form 4.

The individual will have to provide personal details such as name, address, driving licence number, country the individual is travelling to etc.

Fees for International Driving Licence

The processing fee for an international driving licence is fixed at Rs. 500 per licence. The applicant will have to make the payment at the time of submitting the documents and application form.

OLD Fee for IDP – Rs. 500

*Revised fee for IDL in January – 2017 – Rs. 1000

Documents Required for International Driving Permit:

Documents Required

The International Driving Permit requirements and eligibility are uniform across all the signatory countries. Most countries levy a small fee to issue them, which varies from country to country. Applicants should fulfil the criteria as mentioned below:

  • Should be above 18 years of ages.
  • Should possess a valid Driving license.
  • Submit official form issued by the concerned authority and 3 passport-sized photographs.

Indian applicants have to submit additional documentation, as mentioned below:

  • Form 4
  • Copy of valid driver's license
  • Copy of passport and visa
  • Copy of air tickets
  • Medical certificate as mentioned in the application form.
  • Application fee of Rs. 500
  • 5 passport sized photographs.
  • Certified proof of Indian citizenship.
  • Copy of address proof.
  • Copy of age proof.

Advantages of International Driving Licence

Applying for an international driving permit/International DL is a simple process and it has a number of advantages, which are listed below:

  • It certifies you to drive a vehicle in a foreign country- the IDP is accepted as proof of your driving capability and the document confirms you have a valid driver's license in your home country.
  • The IDP is useful if your original driver's license is not in the language spoken in your country of travel. This makes it easier for authorities in those countries to verify your information.
  • It can be used as a proof of identity document in the local language.
  • No additional driving tests- With an IDP, you would not be required to take any additional driving tests in the countries you are visiting.
  • Wide acceptance- The IDP is accepted in over 150 countries across the world who are signatories to the agreement. Certain countries that are not signatories also accept the IDP as a valid document within their territories.
  • Certain countries will not allow you to rent a car unless you have an IDP.
  • Insurance companies require an IDP to cover drivers of vehicles being driven abroad.

Renewal of International Driving Permit

As per current Indian laws, an International Driving Licence issued from India is valid for a period of one year. The licence cannot be renewed.


If the individual seeking an IDP/IDL was issued his license within 3 months of his IDP/IDL application, he will have to take the driving test for a second time.

For Indian applicants, the form can be found on the official websites of the Regional Transport Offices.

Only Indian citizens can apply for an international driver's permit through an Indian transport authority.

Additionally, the applicant has to be submit his application form and documentation in person to the concerned regional transport authority.

The IDP/IDL will be issued for license that fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional Transport Authority where the application is made. For those whose license were issued in other regions or states, they will have to change the address on their license to their present location.

It should be noted that there are a number of websites and organisations that offer International Driver' Permit documents issued online. You should always verify the claims thee websites make, since there is a chance some of them are fraudulent. It is always advisable to apply for an IDP/IDL from the official transport authority or association in your country to avoid hassles later.


  1. Which countries accept the IDP/IDL?

    There are a number of countries that accept the IDP/IDL and allow travellers to rent and drive cars. A comprehensive list is available on the regional transport authority website and on the official websites of a country's transport authority.

  2. Can I use my International Driving Permit for two-wheelers as well?

    If you have a valid motorcycle or two wheeler license in your home country, you can rent and ride a two-wheeler using your license and the IDP while travelling abroad.

  3. Can I use my IDP/IDL as identity proof?

    In certain cases, your IDP document can be used as identity proof subject to fulfilling certain conditions in the country you are travelling in.

  4. Will I require any additional documentation to rent a car or two-wheeler abroad?

    You will require your original driver's license and your International Driver's License in order to rent a car or two wheeler when travelling to countries that recognise the IDP as a valid document.


News About International Driving Licence

  • Learners’ driving licence applicants in Delhi will soon be able to take their driving test at home

    The Delhi government has recently stated that they are working to introduce a new test method for learners’ driving licence which can be taken from home. Based on the updates, once the new method is rolled out, the applicants will be able to take the test for learners’ licence from their home and will not be required to visit the local RTO.

    The proposal of this project came from the transport department. Once the new system is in place, the applicants will be required to register themselves on the official website of the transport department and book a virtual appointment. They will be going through an online tutorial which is a standard for all and then take the test online. On passing the test, the learners’ DL will be issued in the form of an e-licence which will be valid for a period of 6 months.

    8 June 2021

  • International DL can be renewed from abroad

    The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) announced that Indians who travel to foreign countries a lot can now renew the International Driving Permit (IDP) overseas.

    This provision will help those who see their driving license (DL) getting expired while travelling overseas. Through this new process, people can now apply for renewed IDP through embassies who will then turn this application to VAHAN portal after which where the necessary application processes will be completed. Once the application is processed, the new IDP will be sent via courier to the citizen’s registered home address.

    Also, during the renewal process, the individual will not be required to provide medical certificate and visa documents. MoRTH believes that there’s no requirement for a new medical certificate when the person already has a valid driving licence.

    27 January 2021

  • No slots available till September at Jalandhar transport office

    Applicants will have to wait for two months in order to get their driving license if they apply for it at Jalandhar transport office. This is because there are no slots until September. The transport department which has made appointments mandatory for learners’ and permanent license as well as for renewal of license have fixed a limit of 40 appointments for permanent license and 30 for learners’ license per day.

    As per the revised norms, an applicant needs to book a slot online to appear for the mandatory written test, driving test for permanent license or renewal after which a learner’s license will be provided by the district transport office. It needs to be mentioned that before lockdown was imposed in the country only those applicants who were applying for the learners’ license were required to book an appointment.

    13 July 2020

  • The 'bulk data sharing policy' to be stopped by the government due to privacy and safety concerns

    Due to concerns over misuse of data and privacy, the government has taken a call to scrap the ‘bulk data sharing policy’ which allowed it to sell the data which was gathered from vehicle registration certificates and driving licenses of citizens. The top officials from the IT, finance, home and transport ministries decided that instead of selling the bulk data and compromising the details of vehicle registration and license, it would be made available to citizens reports based on the analysis of the vehicle data. The mechanism and structure for sharing free reports have not been decided yet. The personal and sensitive vehicle data will not be shared and will be in line with the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019, for when it is passed by the Parliament.

    Under the bulk data sharing policy which was released by the transport ministry in March 2019, the government could share and sell details of vehicles of all registered vehicles and driving licenses which were available on the online databases of the government, Vahan and Sarathi. These two databases are currently available and operational in most states and UTs in the country. According to Apar Gupta, Executive Director of Internet Freedom Foundation, the scrapping of this policy is a positive step as the government has acknowledged the privacy concerns and the data protection law is needed.

    26 June 2020

  • Validity of vehicle documents extended till July 31

    The government has extended the validity of vehicle documents till July 31 given the current situation. As per a statement released by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MORTH), the fees paid on or after February 1, 2020 for renewal of documents but was not completed due to conditions for prevention of coronavirus shall continue to remain valid. It added that if there was a delay in paying the fees from February 1 till the period of lockdown, no additional or late fee will be charged till July 31.

    It must be noted here that in March, the government extended the validity of all driving licenses and other documents related to Motor Vehicle Act, 1988 and Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989 expiring between February 1 and June 30 as the country went into lockdown from March 25 in order to contain the spread of novel coronavirus.

    26 May 2020

  • Indians finally allowed to drive on Australian roads solely on Indian DL

    Indians have finally been legally allowed to drive a vehicle on Australian roads on an Indian driving licence. The Indians living in Australia started a petition a month back to allow Indian tourists to drive on Australian roads with an Indian driving licence. They based the claim on the fact that most of the traffic and driving rules in India and Australia are the same. Both Indians and Australians drive the vehicle on the left hand side of the road with the cars being of right hand variety. Overall, most Australian territories allow overseas drivers to drive a vehicle on the driving licence of their own country provided it is in English. Some of the countries in which Indians are legally allowed to drive on an Indian driving licence are the US, France, England, Scotland and Wales for up to a year.   

    10 October 2018

  • Non Resident Indians to be Issued Driving Licences in Andhra Pradesh

    Non Resident Indians can now be issued Driving Licences in India of they hold valid licences abroad. According to the State Transport Commissioner, all NRI's are eligible for an Indian Driving Licence without having to go through the regular process for driving licence issuance.

    These applicants will receive Indian licences for the same vehicle class as they hold in their current country of residence, as per the provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act. They will not be required to apply for a Learner's Licence or take a driving test.

    Those seeking to apply for such a licence will have to submit Form 4 along with a copy of their Driving Licence issued abroad along with the fee.

    22 March 2016

  • Visakhaptnam Introduces Service for Local Licence Issue to NRI's, Foreigners

    The Regional Transport Authority in Visakhapatnam has stated that a local licence is mandatory to be permitted to drive in the city. To make it easier for motorists coming from abroad, such as NRI's and foreigners, the RTA will be issuing licences to such motorists without the need of a driving test or learner's licence.

    The RTA commissioner announced that these driving licences, starting at just Rs. 550, would be issued based on these applicant's driving licence as issued in their home countries and would be valid throughout the country.

    This has been done in response to the enquiries at the port city's RTA office by motorists coming in from outside the country as well as NRI's who wish to drive in the city.

    The RTA has reported many instances of motorists being caught driving with licence issued in their own countries, which is illegal under Indian law.

    21 March 2016

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