Everything you need to know about International Driving Permits

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If you’re planning an overseas driving trip, you should obtain an International Driving Permit before you go.
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An International Driving Permit (IDP) entitles you to drive in certain countries without undergoing any new driving tests.

If you’re renting a car, you’ll find it is a standard requirement for hire cars in most countries. Just like at home, driving without a permit may constitute a criminal or civil offence with serious consequences.

Driving without an IDP may trigger an exclusion under your travel insurance policy if you claim for loss or injury caused while driving overseas.

In most cases, your current Australian driver's licence is not enough on its own when driving in a foreign country. It must be complemented with an IDP.

An IDP is handy as an additional form of photo ID if your passport is locked away in a safe place. It carries your identification details in nine languages (English, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, German, Arabic, Russian, Chinese, French) in case you need to communicate with foreign authorities.

It is not a stand-alone document or substitute for a valid driving licence. It must be carried with your current domestic driver's licence at all times.

An IDP does not diminish the obligation of the holder to conform strictly to the laws and regulations of the countries you visit. An IDP can only be issued to people over 18 years of age with a valid Australian licence (includes P-plate) and cannot be issued to learner driver permit holders.

Make sure you check the permit requirements of your destination before you travel and get more information about driving overseas here. You can order your own International Driving Permit through RACQ.

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Things to note

The information in this article has been prepared for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice or specific advice to any particular person. Any advice contained in the document is general advice, not intended as legal advice or professional advice and does not take into account any person’s particular circumstances. Before acting on anything based on this advice you should consider its appropriateness to you, having regard to your objectives and needs.