International Driving Permits

AdobeStock_89739808An International Driving Permit (IDP) is an internationally recognised permit which allows you to drive overseas. You can purchase an international driver’s license from the NRMA by going to our international driving permits page

However, it’s not a driving licence in its own right. You must also carry your current Australian driver’s licence with you when you travel.

Even if you don’t intend to drive when you travel overseas you should always carry an International Driving Permit.

  • IDPs are officially sanctioned by the United Nations and accepted worldwide (in over 150 countries) as a recognisable form of identification;
  • Your IDP carries your identification details in nine languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, German, Arabic, Russian, Chinese and French), in case you need to communicate with foreign authorities;
  • In some countries you may be asked to surrender your passport under certain circumstances. An IDP provides an extra photo ID in nine languages which you can always carry with you;
  • IDPs are a special permit for tourists, authorised by a United Nations Treaty for the purpose of allowing motorists to drive internationally without further tests or applications provided their domestic drivers licence is valid;
  • An IDP is proof that you hold a valid drivers licence in your home country at the date of issue of the IDP and should be carried with your domestic drivers licence;
  • A valid IDP permits you to drive in most foreign countries in case of an emergency under normal IDP conditions.

The authorization for the International Driver License has its basis in the United Nations conventions on Road Traffic and Safety held in 1923, 1943, 1949 and 1968, which established standards for the International Driving permit.

Your IDP is valid for twelve months or expires at the same time as your Australian driving licence, whichever comes first.

Internet IDP Warning

Counterfeit IDPs are being offered for sale on the Internet, usually at inflated prices. These forged IDPs are illegal and can get the holder into a great deal of difficulty with the traffic authorities in various countries. In Australia only the Australian Automobile Association, through the State and Territory Motoring Clubs, is authorised to issue IDPs.

19 thoughts on “International Driving Permits

  1. I have sent my application from Greece, I have not received my International Drivers License, it has been over a month. If there is a problem please contact me and I will be glad to clarify. My phone no. XXXXXXX or you can Email. Thank you.

  2. hi need application form for international licence, can,t print it from your web page, pls can u send it in text. Thankyou inge

  3. Hi there,

    I’ve moved to Canada a few months ago on a work permit and brought my international drivers license with me from Australia. Unfortunately my international drivers license has gone missing though luckily my boss has a photocopy of it. So…what steps do I need to take in order to receive a new international drivers license?

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    Regards,

    Forde.

    • Hi Naomi, An IDP can be issued over the counter whilst you wait or through Express Post within Australia. Applications can also be submitted whilst overseas which are then sent via international courier. Cheers, Paul- NRMA Community Manager.

        • Hi Richard, apologies for the delay. Once the documentation has been received the IDP will be issued and dispatched within 1-3 business days. feel free to get in touch if we can help further. Best wishes, Paul- NRMA Community Manager

  4. Do you need to be an NRMA member to have an International Drivers Licence issued? I have downloaded the application form and the membership details has the question pre-ticked as YES to the question are you an NRMA member. I am not an NRMA member. How do I have an IDP issued in NSW?

    • Thanks for your question Pete. You do not need to be an NRMA Member to purchase an International Driving Permit, although you must be over 18 years old and hold a valid Australian Drivers Licence . To apply you will need to supply a recent (no more than two years old) passport sized photograph, similar size to your passport, no larger than 3.5cm x 4.5cm. (Please note for the photo to be valid it needs to be on photographic paper) and complete the following form: http://www.mynrma.com.au/assets/Travel-PDF/IDP_form_May_12.pdf. You can fill the form in online and print so it is filled out and either attend your closest NRMA office or post directly to us to complete. If you need any more informtion, feel free to get in touch with us on 1300 053 052. Cheers, Paul-NRMA Social

  5. Hi, Can you please tell me if having a IDP makes it legal to drive in Vietnam?
    I’ve read differing things all over the internet. Thanks.

    • Hi Katherine,
      Thank you for your enquiry, unfortunately the international driving permit issued by the Australian Auto clubs is not recognised in Vietnam.
      To legally drive or ride any vehicle in Vietnam you are required to apply for a temporary Vietnamese licence please see below details
      OTA Touring Information
      Temporary permit for visitors
      Non-Vietnamese citizens are only allowed to drive/ride in Vietnam if they hold a temporary Vietnamese driving licence.
      In order to convert a foreign driving licence or an IDP into a temporary Vietnamese driving licence, the driver must apply to:

      Office of Traffic and Public Works
      16 Cao Ba Quat Street
      Hanoi
      Tel.: +84 4 3843 5325

      Office of Transportation
      63 Ly Tu Trong Street
      District 1, Ho Chi Minh
      Tel: +84 8 3829 0451/2

      Hope this helps,
      Dan

  6. I am currently in spain, and would like to know how long it would take to receive an international permit, here in Spain, once you have revcieved the correct documents?

    • Hey there Matthew, We use Toll couriers for international delivery which would usually take 3-10 business days providing contact and delivery details are correct. Cheers, Paul- NRMA Community Manager

  7. Make them smaller (same as a drivers license) with modern technology and make them valid for longer than a year. Then people might get serious about obtaining one.
    Many countries do not require an international drivers license and are quite happy with the Aussie one.

    • Thanks for getting in touch, Michel. I’ve forwarded your suggestion on to the team responsible for IDPs. Best wishes, Dan, NRMA Social

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