INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMITS (IDP)

Planning on driving abroad?

International driving permits for UK drivers from 28 March 2019
The rules for international driving permits are changing. Check which type of IDP you need to ensure that you can legally drive when you visit another country. From 28 March 2019, some countries will stop recognising 1926 and 1949 IDPs issued by the UK. Instead you may need a 1968 IDP to drive in these countries.

You may need an International Driving Permit

What is an IDP?

An International Driving Permit is a permit that allows you to drive in countries where a UK licence alone is not sufficient. These countries include the USA, Brazil and Japan, among others.


Do I need one?

An IDP is required or recommended in over 140 countries. Use our IDP Checker tool below to check the requirements of the country you are planning on driving in.

How do I apply?

Find your nearest Post Office branch using our branch finder tool. Bring along your full valid UK photo-card driving licence, a passport sized photo and your valid passport as proof of identification if presenting an older paper version licence.


Which country are you planning on driving in?

Just tell us where you want to go then we’ll tell you whether you need an IDP

Information provided on the country checker tool is based on International Driving Permit (IDP) requirements for people travelling after 28th March 2019.
Please note that in the event of a ‘no deal’ Brexit, IDPs may be required for people intending to drive in EU countries after 28th March 2019, and this scenario is reflected in the information currently shown.
Post Offices offering the IDP service can provide information on IDP requirements before 28th March 2019, or you can visit www.gov.uk/driving-abroad/international-driving-permit


What you need when applying

Full valid UK driving licence – photocard or an older paper licence
A passport sized photograph – a recent true likeness of the applicant
The £5.50 application fee (cash or debit/credit card)
An original valid passport as proof of identification, if presenting an older paper version licence

International Driving Permits for UK residents

The following information is intended as a guide to the situation regarding International Driving Permits in Europe.
More information can be obtained from the Post Office who can issue IDPs.

Not a UK resident?

International Driving Permits are not required for most European countries. The exceptions are that if you have an old style all green licence it is recommended, but not required, that you obtain the IDP for Italy and Spain. IDPs are also required for the countries of former Eastern Europe.

An IDP is not a substitute for a full UK driving licence but is an additional document to be used alongside your driving licence.

International Driving Permits are available to people over the age of 18 who hold valid full UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) driving licences. An IDP is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. IDP applications can only be made up to three months in advance. An IDP may be post-dated up to three months in advance but cannot be backdated. Recognised internationally, it normally allows you to drive a private motor vehicle abroad when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence.

FAQs

Q. What countries require an international driving permit?
A. Not every country requires an IDP. Use our country checker tool to search for your destination country.

Q. I am a foreign national in the UK, can I apply for an IDP?
A. You can only apply for an IDP if you hold a full, valid UK driving licence.

Q. Can someone apply for an IDP on my behalf?
A. Yes, they can, providing they have the correct supporting documents.

Q. Can I drive in my destination country with just an IDP?

A. No. You need to carry your supporting valid UK driving licence wherever you drive.

Q. How long does an IDP last?

A. IDPs are valid for 1 to 3 years depending on the type required for your destination country. Whilst your IDP is valid it can be used in as many countries as you wish to provide you have the correct version. Some countries, like Japan, only allow you to drive for one year on an IDP, regardless of the length of its validity.

Q. Can I apply for an IDP before I travel?
A. Yes. You can apply 3 months before you travel, however, a permit cannot be backdated.

Q. Can I apply for more than one IDP?
A. Yes, you can purchase as many permits as required. Please remember that you may need more than one permit if you are travelling or driving through more than one country, you should check the requirements for each country.

Country Specific Information

International Driving Permits for Europe- information for UK residents

DriverCheck only gives International Driving Permit information relevant to Europe.

European countries with specific IDP conditions:

Bulgaria
The UK driving licences without a photograph must be accompanied by an IDP.

Czech Republic
UK driving licences are valid for stays of up to 90 days; licences without a photograph must be accompanied by an IDP.

Hungary
The UK driving licences without a photograph must be accompanied by an IDP.

Italy
All valid UK driving licences should be accepted. The older all-green style licences may be more difficult to understand so drivers may wish to voluntarily update them before travelling abroad if time permits. Application form D750 is available from most Post Offices. Alternatively, older licences may be accompanied by an IDP.

Romania
The UK driving licences valid for stays of up to 30 days; licences without a photograph must be accompanied by an IDP.

Spain (inc Balearic-Canary Isles)
All valid UK driving licences should be accepted. The older all-green style licences may be more difficult to understand so drivers may wish to voluntarily update them before travelling abroad if time permits. Application form D750 is available from most Post Offices. Alternatively, older licences may be accompanied by an IDP.

Visit our blog for supplementary information 

As this page is for information only, DriverCheck cannot be held responsible in any way for any consequences arising from any inaccuracies.


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