Travel Tips: Do You Need an International Drivers Permit?

If you are planning to drive a vehicle while on holiday, you should check whether you need to obtain an International Drivers Permit.

If you are planning to drive a vehicle while on holiday, you should check whether you need to obtain an International Drivers Permit.

A combination of information should be researched, which includes:

  • your travel insurance policy
  • your hire car agreement
  • private vehicle insurance policies
  • your local Automobile Association

What is an International Drivers Permit?

An International Drivers Licence is a United Nations sanctioned document which allows people to drive overseas without having to take any additional tests, provided they have a valid driver’s licence.  An International Drivers Permit is valid in over 150 countries.  An International Drivers Permit is normally valid for one year from the date of issue, providing your driver’s licence also remains valid.

Automobile Associations

  • AAA provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of the USA.  This link also has details about applying for an Inter-American Driving Permit, which provides similar licence coverage for Central and South America.
  • CAA provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of Canada.
  • AA – United Kingdom provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of the UK.
  • SmartTraveller provides links to each of the Australian State and Territory Automobile Associations where you can purchase your International Drivers Permit for citizens of Australia.
  • AA – New Zealand provides the details for applications for an International Drivers Permit for citizens of New Zealand.

Travel Insurance

Review the terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to see if there is any specific requirement to hold an International Drivers Permit.

Hire Car Agreement

Many hire car policies require the drivers to hold an International Drivers Permit.  Review the terms and conditions of your hire agreement to see if there is any specific requirement.

Private Vehicle Insurance

Review the terms and conditions of any private vehicle insurance policies to identify any specific requirements for the driver of the vehicle.  This includes if you are borrowing a car from family, friends, or entering into any vehicle swap arrangement.

Summary

If you review all of the information as detailed above and are still not sure if you need an International Drivers Permit, I recommend that it is worthwhile to obtain one prior to your trip.  The International Drivers Permit is inexpensive and easy to obtain.  In the event of a vehicle accident where you need to make an insurance claim, holding an International Drivers Permit significantly reduces the risk that your insurer will not cover you.

Tags from the story
, , , , , , ,
More from Anne Sutherland-Smith

Wrap Up: Amazing Travel Hacks

Travel is expensive.  Finding travel hacks to help you save significant money...
Read More