Obtaining an International Driving Permit: Procedures and Locations where it's Needed

May 01, 2024

Obtaining an International Driving Permit: Procedures and Locations where it's Needed | Sweven Plates (Supplier of 3D Gel Number Plates, 4D Number Plates, Replacement Number Plates, Tinted Number Plates, Carbon Number Plates)

Driving abroad can entail specific requirements for UK drivers, with some countries mandating possession of an International Driving Permit (IDP) for legal operation. It's important to note that an IDP serves as a complement, not a substitute, to your UK driving license, which is also necessary when driving or renting a vehicle overseas.

Here's a breakdown of what you need to know about IDPs before embarking on your trip:

What is an IDP?

An IDP is an official document that validates your UK driving license internationally. Although not universally required, many countries across the globe demand an IDP for driving within their borders.

Key IDP Facts:

  • Validity: IDPs are typically valid for up to one year.
  • Eligibility: Applicants must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid full driving license.
  • Timing: Applications should be made no more than three months before the intended travel date.
  • Retroactivity: IDPs cannot be issued retrospectively.

Additionally, it's essential to ensure you have the correct type of IDP for the countries you plan to visit. Most countries recognize the 1949 Convention IDP, although some may require the 1926 Convention IDP or a 1968 certificated IDP.

It's worth noting that while an IDP covers tourist activities, residency or employment-related driving may necessitate alternative arrangements.

Driving in Europe

For travel within the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, an IDP is not required if you possess a photocard driving license issued in the UK. However, certain EU countries and Norway may require an IDP if you hold a paper driving license or a license from Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man.

International Car Insurance

International car insurance exists to provide coverage for vehicles operated in foreign countries. This type of insurance is particularly beneficial for travelers, expatriates, or those planning extended stays abroad.

Securing Overseas Car Insurance: The simplest way to obtain international car insurance is by contacting your domestic provider, as they often offer services tailored to driving abroad. They can assist you in ensuring you have adequate coverage for your travels.