You cannot drive a vehicle in any foreign country even if you have a valid driving license in your country. But you can if you have an International Driving Permit.
What is an International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit (IDP) or incorrectly referred to an International Driving Licence lets you drive vehicles in another country if you have a valid driver’s license issued by your country.
IDP is valid in over 130 countries. If you have an International Driving Permit, you can rent and drive vehicles in all the countries. But you also need a valid driving license of your country along with IDP for driving abroad. The document is printed in several different languages to make it relevant in those countries where English isn’t a working language.
How to Get an International Driving Permit in India
It is easy to get an International Driving Permit in India. There are three different places to get an International Driving Permit.
- Regional Transport Office (Head-office of the RTO in your city/district).
- WIAA (Western Indian Automobile Association)
- ITCA (International Traffic Control Association) website
There are also several websites that help you get this document online. But you need to be extra careful while picking one for your service. There are a lot of scam websites trying to sell the International Drivers Permits. There have been a few scams where fake IDPs put travelers into legal issues. You will face serious charges if caught with fake IDPs. So, you need to avoid unofficial websites for getting International Drivers Permits.
1. From Regional Transport Office
You need to apply for it at your local Regional Transport Office and fill a form with the required documents.
- Valid driving Licence and 2 copies thereon
- Copies of Passport
- Copies of address proof and age proof
- Air ticket
- Visa ( where applicable)
- Four passport-sized photographs
You need to obtain Form 4A from the local RTO. Here local RTO means you can only apply at the RTO that had issued your Indian driving license. If you are currently in a different region. You must get a No Objection Certificate (NOC) from your original Regional Transport Office to apply at different Regional Transport Office.
Form 4A should be duly filled and signed before submitting it. You also need to get a Medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner comforting you are physically and mentally fit for driving.
2. From the Western Indian Automobile Association
Western Indian Automobile Association (WIAA) offers the international license service only at three cities: Mumbai, Pune, and Ahmedabad. This organization issues International Driving Permit only to WIAA members only. You can apply through the WIAA website if you have a valid Indian Passport and driving license.
WIAA is the only authorized organization that can issue IDPs in India apart from local RTOs. It has been recognized by the FIA and the State Government for the 1949 Convention International Driving Permit.
3. ITCA (International Traffic Control Association) website
If you wish to apply through ITCA, you need to pay a bit higher and yet processes applications in a few hours. You need scanned copies of the Indian driving license, Indian passport, and other documents.
If you apply at ITCA, it will cost you US$ 34+. Price is high and it makes it the most expensive way of obtaining an International Driving Permit. ITCA also guarantees 100% refund if it could get you an IDP. All nationals are eligible to apply. You can apply from any country and get it shipped.
Fees for International Driving Permit
In India, it costs Rs. 1000 for getting International Driving Permit.
International Driving Permit Validity
International Driving Permit remains valid for a period of one year from the date of issue or till the validity of the driving license, whichever is earlier. IDP cannot be renewed and it needs to be applied again.
Points to remember
- International Drivers Permit is an important document, so you need to keep it safe just like your passport.
- If you lose your international Drivers Permit abroad, report it to the Indian embassy.
- If you lose your international Drivers Permit in India, fine an FIR at a local police station
- You can only apply for International Drivers Permit unless you have a valid visa of the country you are visiting.
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