What Is An IDP?

An International Driver’s Permit (IDP) that translates your domestic government-issued driver’s license into multiple languages,enabling you to drive and rent cars in foreign countries. It is a proof that you hold a valid domestic driver’s license. But, you must carry both documents together.

Are you planning to travel abroad this year? If you are, then this guide is an imperative read to know about International Driving Permits, how can you get it and what has been changed following the Brexit.

An International Driving Permit (IDP) translates your driving license into multi-language enabling you to travel around the world and drive in any country without any hassle. An IDP is imperative to drive in many countries throughout the world, including several US member states. In some cases, IDP requirement may subject to different road laws of those country in which you plan to drive car.

Situation of Driving in Europe Following the Withdrawal of UK from European Union

The Brexit occurred on 31st January 2020, and not much has changed for people holding a UK driving license since the Withdrawal of UK from European Union (EU). People can still drive in all EU and EEA (European Economic Countries) holding UK Driving License. Therefore, there is not really need of an International Driving Permit (IDP) but there are some exceptions which are explained later in this guide. If you happen to drive your own car then some additional documents including an insurance green card.

Validity of UK Driving License in EU

The UK Driving License still holds validity in all of EU and EEA (European Economic Area), but if you are driving your own car, you are going need extra documentation which are:

  • A green card from your insurer (this should a physical copy that needs to print out).
  • should be a UK sticker depending on where you are driving.
  • There should be at least six months on your passport in order to enter Europe.

Should I display UK sticker when driving in EU

It entirely depends on the area in which you are driving and on the number plate of your car.

If your number plate has the UK identifier with the Union Flag, then you are not going to need a sticker to drive in most of the EU countries. But you will need to show a UK sticker clearly on the rear of your vehicle only if number has plate has any of the following

  • GB identifier with the Union Flag.
  • A Euro Symbol
  • National Flag of England, Scotland and Wales
  • Numbers & Letters Only

All UK-registered cars must show a UK sticker regardless of what is the number plate in order to drive in Spain, Malta or Cyprus.

Does my UK Car Insurance cover me in EU?

Yes my UK Car Insurance will cover me in most of the EU countries, but this can only be on a third party basis. You will have to ask your insurer to boost cover in the EU countries. There can also be a time limit to how long can you drive in EU countries under your UK Insurance policy. Therefore, you should check your policy documents. Additionally, you will have to carry a green card as proof that you have valid insurance.

Do I need an IDP?

A compulsory IDP will depend on where you plan to drive a car. The following map show which of the countries require you to carry an IDP.

Please note that some of the countries have their own different terms and conditions in relation to IDPs, so it is important for you to research into the country you are planning to drive prior to travelling. For instance, in Brazil, a certified translation is required from the Consulate for you to legally drive.

And there may be some cases in which you will have to carry an IDP that usually don’t require one. The official UK govt says you an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway if either:

  • You only have a paper driving license
  • Your license was issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey or Isle of Man

Do I need different Driving Permit for different countries

Following are the types of International Driving Permit

  • A 1949 Convention IDP
  • A 1968 Convention IDP
  • A 1926 Convention IDP

The one you choose entirely depends on the countries you are visiting. The official UK govt lists which countries need which type of permit

How Do I get an International Driving Permit

Now you can get the permit by personally visiting one of the 2500 post offices that offer the service. The Department of Transport will then issue the permit via the Post Office. Before this, you could get an IDP by mail order from the AA and the RAC and from 89 post offices is person.

You need to be at least 18 years old and have the following with you to complete the order.

  • Your Full UK driving license
  • A passport-sized photo
  • Your Passport if you are presenting an older paper version license.

How long does it take to get an IDP?

The drivers can usually get the IDP in the same day only if they have provided all the supporting documents. You can also order one eas early as three months prior and delay the start date of your permit.

How much IDP costs?

IDP costs around £5.50, and there are three types of permit. There come several cases in which you need to drive in two different countries and require two different IDPs. In the case, the cost is £11.

For how long IDP stands valid

It stands valid from one to three years from the date it is issued whilst depending upon the type required. If you ever need a permit after that time, you will need to reapply in person for a second permit.

Are laws different in abroad to UK driving laws?

Mostly, road laws are similar in other countries particularly EU countries like (don’t exceed speed limit, don’t drink and drive). Although there are some countries with specific rules to follow. You must check it before you go to avoid being caught.

For Example

  • France: Reflective jackets and warning triangle are compulsory in every vehicle.
  • Spain: A warning triangle is compulsory while reflective jackets are not.
  • Italy: A warning triangle, reflective jackets and a spare tyre; all are compulsory.
  • Germany: Reflective jackets, warning triangle and a first aid kit is compulsory.
  • Belgium: You must carry reflective jackets and warning triangle in the event of a breakdown.