Image titled Know if You Need an International Drivers Permit for a Car Rental Overseas Step 5

Whether you are travelling for work or for pleasure, visiting different locations, exploring landscapes, tasting various cuisines, clicking photographs, etc. are things that travelers look forward to. Some also prefer to drive a car on foreign roads. Those who prefer to be in the driver’s seat while travelling in a foreign country must obtain an International Driving Permit/License. Here are six frequently asked questions (FAQ) about International Driving Permit (IDP).

1. What is an International Driving Permit?

Just as you require a driving license to drive a vehicle on Indian roads, you need an IDP to drive vehicles on foreign roads (except certain countries). To ensure the authenticity of a person and to allow that person to drive on foreign roads, that person needs to possess an IDP.

2. Why is there a need for an International Driving Permit?

An IDP is a document that identifies a driver as legally-licensed to drive in different countries. It can prove necessary and beneficial while renting vehicles in foreign countries. It is also a document that is accepted as a proof of identity. Thus, while on foreign shores, its importance is second to a passport.

3. Do all countries accept the International Driving Permit?

Not all countries accept an IDP but most of them do. Therefore, it is important to check if the country you are visiting is a part of the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic or at least recognizes the permit.

4. How to get an International Driving Permit?

The process to obtain an IDP is similar to that of obtaining a regular driving license. Apart from the regular documents (application form, identity proof, residential proof, etc.) that are required to be submitted while applying for a driving license to an RTO office, one needs to submit the valid ticket, Visa, and passport as well.

These are the following three options from where you can get an IDP:

  • Regional Transport Office (RTO) – You can visit your nearest RTO office and apply for an IDP by filling up the required RTO application form. The process is similar to RTO Online Registration for driving license.
  • Indian Automobile Association – Authorized automobile association in India can issue an IDP. You will have to become a member of the association to apply for the permit.
  • International Traffic Control Association (ITCA) – Car rental companies across the globe recognize a license provided by ITCA.

 5. What if the International Driving Permit is Lost?

In case you lose your IDP in a foreign country, you will have to notify the local authorities along with the Indian embassy. They can issue a duplicate IDP after verification. If you lose it in India you will have to file a First Information Report (FIR) at the nearest police station.

6. Is it necessary to apply for an International Driving Permit?

Driving license issued in India is restricted geographically. However, there are certain countries where you can drive on the basis of your Indian driving license. Thus, if you want to drive a vehicle in countries where an Indian driving license is not accepted, you will need an IDP. It is a regulatory requirement.

Visiting a foreign country, renting a car, and driving it yourself might be fruitful if you want to explore a country’s landscapes. You might want to reconsider getting an IDP if you are visiting just for a meeting.

The need for an IDP needs to be properly evaluated and then a decision needs to be made. If you feel there is a need for you to drive the car then, applying for an IDP through authorized IDP providers in necessary.