International Driving Permit

In an increasingly interconnected world where travel has become a universal aspect of modern life, the need for smooth mobility across borders has never been more urgent. For individuals seeking to explore distant lands or embark on international business ventures, having the necessary documents is important to operate a vehicle in foreign territories. One such essential document is the International Driving Permit (IDP), often commonly referred to as the International Driving License, a universally recognized certification that facilitates legal driving in over 150 countries worldwide.

Latest Update

Beginning June 1, 2024, any eligible person can take the driving test from any private driving training centres instead of the RTOs. However, the application process should be done online via Parivahan website or through the RTO.


What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

The International Driving Permit (IDP) or International Driving Certificate is an official document that grants people the legal privilege to operate a vehicle in a foreign country, regardless of their nationality. Additionally, it is also a form of identification featuring a photograph of the driver. Hence, many countries require visitors to present an IDP alongside their domestic licence to drive legally on their roads.

Who Can Apply for International Driving Permits?

Here is the eligibility criteria for applying for an International Driver’s License Permit:

  • The individual must be an Indian citizen with a valid and updated Driving Licence issued by Indian authorities.
  • One must be at least 18 years old.
  • One must have a valid passport with a minimum validity of six months from the application date.
  • One must have valid proof of address, such as a ration card, electricity bill, or telephone bill, is also necessary.
  • Additionally, applicants are required to pay a fee for the application and issuance of the International Driving License.

How to Get an International Driving Permit?

Here are the steps that should be followed to apply for the International Driving License (IDL):

Step 1: Go to the official website of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, or visit the Parivahan Portal.

Step 2: Download the two essential forms: Form 4A, which certifies the individual's competency as a driver, and Form 1A, the medical fitness form. Take a printout of the forms.

Step 3: Fill in the required details, including your full name, father's or husband's name, place of birth, country (proof to be enclosed), address (present/permanent), date of birth (proof to be enclosed), educational qualification, identification marks, and blood group/RH factor.

Step 4: Gather all necessary documents and submit them along with the completed forms at the nearest RTO. Pay the application fee.

Step 5: Take a driving test to meet the qualifications for obtaining the IDL.

Step 6: Upon successful completion of all application procedures, you will receive your IDL within four to five days.

Documents Required to Apply For an International Driving License Permit

Before applying for an International Driving Permit (IDP), it's essential to collect the required paperwork. Applicants must present the following documents at the RTO centre to apply for the International Driving License (IDL):

  • Copy of Address Proof
  • Certified proof of Indian citizenship
  • Copy of flight tickets
  • Two Passport-Sized Photos
  • Current Driver’s Licence
  • Passport and Visa Copies
  • Form 4A
  • Form 1A
  • Medical Certification

How to Renew an International Driving Permit?

According to the current Indian laws, an International Driving License is valid for a period of one year and cannot be renewed. Here are a few points that must be considered if anyone wants to renew their International Driving License:

  • If the individual seeking an IDP/IDL was issued an IDP within three months of his IDP/IDL application, he will have to take the driving test for a second time to get a new IDP.
  • One can apply for an international driver's permit through an Indian transport authority only.
  • One has to submit an application form and documentation in person to the concerned regional transport authority to apply for a new IDP.
  • To avoid complications later, it is advised that one must apply for an International Driving Permit through the official RTO website or transport authorities.

Benefits of an International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) offers several benefits to travellers who plan to drive in foreign countries:

  • Legal Recognition: An IDP serves as a universally recognized document that validates the holder's driving credentials in over 150 countries. It ensures compliance with local driving regulations and laws, providing peace of mind while driving abroad.
  • Language Assistance: The IDP includes translations of common driving terms into multiple languages, aiding communication between drivers and local authorities. This feature helps overcome language barriers, especially in emergencies or when interacting with law enforcement.
  • Convenience: With an IDP, travellers can easily rent vehicles in foreign countries, as many rental companies require or prefer customers to present an IDP along with their domestic driver's licence. Having an IDP streamlines the rental process and expands vehicle options.
  • Identification: Besides serving as a driving permit, an IDP also functions as an additional form of identification, as it typically includes the driver's photograph and relevant personal information. This can be useful in various situations, such as hotel check-ins or purchasing goods and services.
  • International Recognition: An IDP is endorsed by the United Nations and recognized by numerous international organisations, governments, and automobile clubs worldwide. This recognition enhances its credibility and acceptance across different regions.
  • Emergency Document: In case of accidents or traffic violations while driving abroad, the standardised format of the IDP provides essential information that local authorities can easily understand. This helps expedite administrative processes and ensures smoother resolution of incidents.

Overall, obtaining an International Driving License offers convenience and legal compliance for travellers exploring foreign destinations by car.

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