Home Business When may one need to make use of IDP, and what does it entail?

When may one need to make use of IDP, and what does it entail?

by Clare Louise

The acronym “IDP” stands for “independent driving permit” and refers to a document that may be used in place of a standard driver’s licence. You may think of it as an authorised translation of your licence that has been reviewed by the right authorities and is valid in any country. As a consequence of a treaty signed by the United States of America and other countries in 1949, it is permitted to do so. An IDP is a modified version of a regular driver’s licence that may be used in other countries. The holder of an international driver’s licence may legally operate a private motor vehicle in any country that recognises and honours this particular licence.

To what end do countries need drivers to have international licences?

This is a word-for-word rendition of the statute.

The host country’s authorities will recognise your credentials as valid for driving purposes (English, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Arabic German, and French, among others).


You may use this certificate as evidence that you are permitted to drive motor vehicles of the kind listed in your individual driving permit.

Due to security concerns

A valid IDP proves that the holder has passed both the written and driving exams required by law and is thus qualified to drive safely in public.

Two passport-style photographs

One of the acceptable forms of payment for the application cost is a government-issued picture ID that proves your identity and contains an image of you in the case that your driver’s licence lacks a photo.

How the International Driver’s License is structured

When compared to regular driver’s licences by the International Drivers Association in your nation, the IDP’s layout is considerably different. It has a grey cover and white pages, and is somewhat bigger than a passport. The IDP’s front cover must provide a translation into one of the official languages of the issuing nation. A valid driver’s licence issued by a government-sanctioned organisation in the applicant’s country of residency must also be provided.

Get the right IDP and make sure it’s current. Three types of internally displaced people exist:

  • Year of Publication: 1926 (needed mostly in Somalia and Mexico)
  • Year of 1949 (good for just one year) (valid one year)
  • During the years 1968-1970, this phrase is valid (valid 3 years)

The kind of IDP you’ll need depends on the country you’re visiting. If your travels will take you to more than one country, you may require several IDPs. If the country you want to visit is not on the list, please contact the embassy of that country before your travel. If you’ll be using a rental automobile, it’s smart to get in touch with the company ahead of time.

Is there anything else I should know before submitting an application?

You must be at least 18 years old and in possession of a valid driver’s licence from your current country of residence in order to apply for an International Driving Permit (IDP). There can’t be stricter restrictions for the IDP than there are for the domestic licence. Some countries allow foreign IDPs to stay for a certain period of time, usually a few weeks or as long as their tourist visa is valid.

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