Must know facts about International driving license for Indians and non-Indians

An international driving licence or an international driving permit (IDP), as it is commonly known, is a document that allows you to drive on the foreign roads with a valid Indian licence. There are many countries in the world where you can use your Indian license, along with an IDP. If you are planning to apply for an IDP, take a look at this article to know the important facts associated with it.


What exactly is an international driving license?

An international driving permit is a document that allows you to drive with your current, valid licence when you travel to a foreign country, either for work or on vacation. If your Indian DL is in English, your IDP will have a translated copy of it in the local language of the country you are visiting. The IDP is a book-like document that looks a lot like a passport.

How to get an IDP?

The process of getting an IDP is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is visit your local RTO and submit your application. For this you have to complete the following steps:

  • Forms CMV – 4, CMV-1 and CMV-1A, which are available at all RTOs, need to be duly filled in.
  • You have to submit a self-attested letter to the RTO stating your desire to get an international driving permit.
  • You have to submit attested photocopies of your Indian DL, along with four passport size photographs.
  • You have to submit your ID proof and address proof, a passport works best here.
  • You have to submit photocopies of your passport, visa and air-tickets.
  • You have to pay a fee of Rs 500.

If your application is successful, you will get an IDP that is valid for either six or twelve months.

Is it mandatory to carry the IDP?

Well, technically speaking, you can drive for a period of six months (lesser in some countries) on many international roads with just a valid Indian licence. You don’t need an IDP for driving. But since the security regulations have become so severe in most places, it is not a wise idea at all to drive in a foreign country without an IDP. The process of getting the IDP is very simple and inexpensive and so you must make every effort to get one before you leave on the airplane.

International driving licence for non-Indians in India

So what happens when a foreign driving license holder wishes to drive a vehicle on the Indian roads? The process is quite simple actually. As a non-Indian, all you have to do is visit an RTO that is closest to you and apply for an Indian IDP. You have to provide an ID proof, an age proof, copies of your passport and visa and a copy of your existing DL. The RTO will then issue you the IDP which will be valid for a period of 12 months. If you have lived in India for more than a year, then you can apply for a valid Indian driving license as well.

To sum it up

So as we can see, getting an international DL is not challenging at all. It is a very straightforward process that can be completed in a day. So if you are planning to travel, and want to drive on your own at your destination, then get an IDP before you leave. If you are a foreign DL holder in India, then get the Indian IDP at the earliest. These documents are easily available and make life a lot simpler for you.