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Updated July 2023
Driving offers an exciting opportunity to explore unfamiliar destinations and experience diverse cultures. However, proper preparation and documentation are necessary. Depending on your destination, you may require an international driving permit (IDP) rather than an international driving license (IDL). Unlike an IDL, an IDP is widely recognized and accepted for legal driving in many countries. Obtaining an IDP (رخصة القيادة الدولية) is essential to comply with local regulations and avoid any legal issues while driving abroad.
Read on to learn more about the essential document that enables individuals to legally drive on foreign roads.
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IDL and IDP difference
Wego has reviewed official sources and reports to clarify that an international driving license (IDL) and an international driving permit (IDP) are two distinct documents. While it is possible to obtain an IDL online, it is not widely recognized by most countries and may even be considered illegal to use. On the other hand, an IDP is a legitimate document that is only issued by authorized organizations within your country. To drive in many countries, you must possess an IDP, a valid driver’s license from your home country, and adequate auto insurance coverage.
Although IDL and IDP are sometimes used interchangeably, it is important to note that they do not refer to the same thing. Using the correct term, IDP, for the international driving document is essential to avoid misunderstandings or potential trouble.
International driving license requirements
While specific requirements may vary from country to country, here are the general requirements for obtaining an international driving permit:
- a valid driver’s license from your respective country
- a complete IDP application form and fee
- 2 passport size photos
The requirements for obtaining an IDP can differ depending on the country you plan to visit. Each country may have its own rules and regulations regarding the issuance and acceptance of IDPs. Therefore, it is crucial to check the requirements of the specific country you intend to visit before applying for an IDP.
For instance, residents of Qatar may be required to provide their Qatar ID as an additional requirement. On the other hand, individuals applying from the United Arab Emirates must prepare their Emirates ID, an IDL form, valid residency documents, and a passport as part of the application process.
International driving license application process
Obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) can vary in process from country to country. It is important to follow the specific guidelines provided by authorized institutions for a lawful application.
Typically, the process of applying for an IDP involves the following steps:
- visit the official website of the relevant entity in your country
- provide your personal information as required
- enter your license information accurately
- upload the necessary documents as specified
- select your preferred method of receiving the IDP
If you choose to have your IDP delivered, you will need to provide your address and pay for the delivery service. It’s worth noting that some countries may also offer walk-in applications. To obtain more detailed information, you can refer to the appropriate legal entities in your respective country.
International driving license validity
An International driving permit is typically valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance. It is important to note that a new IDP must be obtained annually. The permit itself is only valid when used in conjunction with a valid driver’s license from your home country.
International driving license cost
The cost of obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) differs based on the country where it is issued. For instance, in the United States, the typical fee for an IDP is USD 20. Conversely, in the United Kingdom, you can obtain an IDP directly from the post office counter for GBP 5.50. To determine the precise fee for an IDP, it is advisable to consult the authorized organization in your country responsible for issuing IDPs.