What is an International Driving Permit?

Last updated by mustard.co.uk on March 19th, 2019

Alert: Some on the information on this page may no longer be relevant post-Brexit. For the most up to date information, please visit GOV.UK

Driving down Route 66 or through Canada sounds like the road trip of dreams but your British driving licence isn’t enough to allow you to drive everywhere in the world.

While your UK driving licence permits you to drive almost anywhere in Europe, travelling any further often requires an International Driving Permit (IDP).

What is an International Driving Permit?

An IDP is essentially a translated version of your UK driving licence that’s recognised across the globe.

It’s recommended in more than 140 countries across the globe and in many of them it’s a legal requirement, especially if you’re hiring a car while you’re there.

Does an IDP work in every country?

IDPs are not recognised in every country in the world but you can check to see whether the country you’re visiting allows you to drive with an IDP here.

If the country you’re visiting accepts an IDP and you’re planning on driving while you’re there, you’ll be pleased to hear that they’re easy to get.

Am I eligible for an IDP?

You can only apply for an IDP if you are:

– Aged 18 or over
– Have a full, valid UK driving licence
– Travelling within the next three months

How can I get an IDP?

You can apply for an IDP by post or at the Post Office. You can also apply at the AA shop in Folkestone but for most people that’s not a convenient option.

What do I need to get an IDP?

If you are getting an IDP from a Post Office you will need the following when you go into a branch:

– Your photo card driving licence or paper equivalent
– A signed passport photo of yourself
– Proof of identification other than your driving licence e.g. your passport

It costs £5.50 to apply for an IDP.

If you’re applying for your IDP via post you need to send the following:

– A photocopy of your driving licence
– A photocopy of your passport
– A signed passport photo of yourself
– A self-addressed envelope
– An original, signed application form

It costs £8.50 to apply for an IDP via post: £5.50 for the application and £3 for postal charges.

Most applications should be returned within 10 days.

You might also be interested in

The mustard.co.uk guide to driving abroad
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