Even if you don't intend to drive when you travel overseas you should always carry an International Driving Permit.
An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a requirement for renting a motor vehicle in many countries and is helpful for tourists who find themselves in need of identification or assistance.
IDPs are a special driving permit for tourists, authorised by a United Nations Treaty as:
- a means of allowing you to drive internationally without further tests or applications, provided your domestic driver's licence is valid
- proof that you hold a valid driver's licence in your home country at the date of issue of the IDP
- authorisation for you to drive in most foreign countries in case of an emergency (under normal IDP conditions)
An International Driving Permit:
- is not a stand alone document or a substitute for a valid driving licence - you must carry your Australian state/territory licence with your IDP at all times
- in no way diminishes your obligations to conform strictly to the laws and regulations of the countries you visit
- is valid for 12 months from the date of issue or the expiry of your Australian licence (whichever is the lesser period)
- cannot be post-dated
- may be reissued on the expiry of the old IDP (with a new photograph), but if you're resident overseas for more than 12 months you should apply for a local licence
- can only be issued to holders of a current Australian state/territory driving licence (not an overseas driving licence)
- can only be issued to people over 18 years of age (includes provisional licence or P plate)
- cannot be issued to people who hold a learner driver permit
Even if you don't intend driving when you travel overseas, carrying an International Driving Permit can be helpful as an extra form of identification.
Besides allowing you to drive in foreign countries, IDPs:
- are officially sanctioned by the United Nations and accepted worldwide (in over 150 countries) as a recognisable form of identification
- carry your identification details in nine languages (English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic, Swedish and French), in case you need to communicate with foreign authorities
- provide an extra photo ID along with your personal details (this can be useful if you are ever asked to surrender your passport, which can happen under certain circumstances in some countries)
To apply for an International Driving Permit, you need:
- a passport size coloured or black and white photograph, printed on photographic paper, showing your full face without any headwear or dark glasses obscuring your features (photocopies or fax copies are not acceptable)
- a current drivers licence
International Driving Permits (IDPs)
|Where||IDPs can be issued from selected RACQ branch (Please note: RACQ Travel Head Office at Fortitude Valley and Zillmere RACQ Vehicle Inspection and Assessing Centre is unable to issue IDPs).|
|Who||RACQ can issue IDPs to both RACQ members and non-members|
Passport Size Photos (for use on IDPs)
Passport size photos (for use on IDPs) can be provided at the following RACQ branches:
|Who||RACQ can provide passport size photos (for use on IDPs) to both RACQ members and non-members|
|Cost||Members: $9.95 (inc. GST), Non-Members: $12.95 (inc. GST)|
To apply for your IDP by post, print out and fill in an application form. Send your completed form along with a clear copy of your current Australian driver's licence (both front and back), a recent passport photo and the correct amount of money. Make out cheques (bank cheques only) or money orders to The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Ltd.
- download an IDP Application Form (PDF 57.9Kb)
If you are applying for or requesting the reissue of an International Driving Permit (IDP) from overseas, RACQ also requires:
- proof that you are not resident in the country from which you are making the application
- proof of travel plans to other countries (e.g. travel agent itinerary), and
- the date of your return to Australia
Submit your application to:
The Royal Automobile Club of Queensland Ltd
2649 Logan Road
Eight Mile Plains
PO Box 4
Please note that the only authorised IDP issuing bodies in Australia are the state and territory motoring organisations.
Counterfeit IDPs are being offered for sale on the internet, usually at inflated prices. These forged IDPs are illegal. If you hold one, you may get into a great deal of difficulty with the traffic authorities in foreign countries.
For a full list of the countries requiring an IDP, or any other information relating to international licences, call 13 1905, visit your nearest RACQ branch.
- download the AAA International Handbook for Motorists (PDF 1.14Mb)