While on a trip outside India, one would like to self-drive and enjoy the road trip.  But an Indian license is valid only within India. To drive outside India, one will need an International Driving License or permit. The international driving license or permit is a document that recognizes motorists as legally licensed drivers in the country they have travelled to.  Hence this is a very valuable document authorising motorists to drive in a foreign country.

1. Introduction

The International Driving license or permit is a document giving motorists legal right to drive in a country other than theirs.  The International Driving Permit is also a document containing the translation of common driving terms in many languages assisting the driver to communicate with authorities.  It is also used as an ID proof since it has a photograph of the driver.   An International Driving License is authorized by the United Nations, giving tourists the freedom to drive in a foreign land.  

2. Who can apply? 

Indian motorists holding Indian driving license intending to drive in a foreign country can apply for this.  The validity of an international driving permit is one year from the date of issue. 

3. Who cannot apply? 

If the applicant does not hold a passport and a driver’s license he cannot apply for an international driving license permit.  

3. Procedure for application

The international driving can be issued by RTO Western India Automobile Association (WIAA) .  International Control Traffic Association (ITCA) The procedure for applying at RTO is to fill the form 4A, Form 1A and submit all the documents. For online application, the applicant must go to the state transport website,  download both the forms, take printouts and submit at RTO. The fees for the license is fixed at Rs. 1000 and Rs. 200 is to be paid for processing fee.  To secure the license through WIAA,  one needs to be a member. WIAA is an association for residents of Mumbai, Pune or Ahmedabad. The fees is Rs.  1500, and the license can be obtained within 2 days. One can apply for IDL via Western India Automobile Association only if one is travelling to countries that are parties to the 1949 Geneva Convention. Another way of getting an international driving license is through visiting the website of the International Control Traffic Association. The following documents are required for applying for IDL through ITCA
      • Scanned copy of national driving license and passport
      • Passport-sized photograph
      • Payment if processing fee of 34 USD
      • To initiate the process, click on the apply button and send your documents at applications@e-itca.org

4. Documents required for application

The following documents are to be submitted to RTO to get International Driving Licence.
      • Valid driving Licence & its copies.
      • Recent passport size photographs – 3 Nos.
      • Valid proof such as Passport & its copies
      • Proof of Visa  and its copies
      • Copy of Air ticket for verification
      • Receipt for payment of fees
      • An application for IDL in Form – 4A
      • Medical certificate in Form 1A

6. Advantages of international driving license 

International Driving Licence has many advantages, as stated here:
      • An international driving licence serves as a proof of identity in many countries 
      • International Driving Licence is proof that a person has a valid driver’s licence in the country of origin. It also certifies that he/she can drive in a foreign country.
      • Multiple languages printed in International Driving Licence make it very useful for other country authorities to verify the holders’ information.
      • International Driving Licence can help Indians rent a car and drive in a foreign country.

7. Other points

      • International Driving Licence is printed in various languages including English, Spanish, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Portuguese, Scandinavian languages and others.

8. Countries where the permit is valid

The following countries accept International Driving Licence or International Driving Permit.  
      1. Afghanistan
      2. Algeria
      3. Angola
      4. Argentina
      5. Armenia
      6. Australia
      7. Bahamas
      8. Bahrain
      9. Bangladesh
      10. Belarus
      11. Belize
      12. Benin
      13. Bhutan
      14. Bolivia
      15. Bosnia
      16. Botswana
      17. Brunei
      18. Bulgaria
      19. Burkina Faso
      20. Cameroon
      21. Canada
      22. Cape Verde
      23. Central African Republic
      24. Chad
      25. Chile
      26. Colombia
      27. Comoros
      28. Congo (Democratic Republic of)
      29. Congo (Republic of)
      30. Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
      31. Czech Republic
      32. Djibouti
      33. Dominica
      34. Dominican Republic
      35. Egypt
      36. El Salvador
      37. Equatorial Guinea
      38. Eritrea
      39. Ethiopia
      40. Gabon
      41. Gambia
      42. Georgia
      43. Ghana
      44. Guadeloupe
      45. Guam
      46. Guatemala
      47. Guinea Bissau
      48. Guinea Republic
      49. Guyana
      50. Haiti
      51. Honduras
      52. Hong Kong
      53. Hungary
      54. Iceland
      55. India
      56. Indonesia
      57. Iran
      58. Israel
      59. Italy
      60. Japan
      61. Jordan
      62. Kazakhstan
      63. Kenya
      64. Kiribati
      65. Korea (South)
      66. Kuwait
      67. Laos
      68. Lebanon
      69. Lesotho
      70. Liberia
      71. Libya
      72. Macao (Macau)
      73. Macedonia
      74. Madagascar
      75. Malawi
      76. Malaysia
      77. Mali
      78. Mauritania
      79. Mauritius
      80. Mexico
      81. Montenegro
      82. Mozambique
      83. Myanmar (Burma)
      84. Namibia
      85. Nepal
      86. New Caledonia
      87. Nicaragua
      88. Niger
      89. Nigeria
      90. Oman
      91. Pakistan
      92. Panama
      93. Papua New Guinea
      94. Paraguay
      95. Philippines
      96. Portugal
      97. Qatar
      98. Reunion
      99. Russian Federation
      100. Rwanda
      101. Sabah (Malaysia)
      102. Sao Tome and Principe
      103. Saudi Arabia
      104. Senegal
      105. Serbia
      106. Seychelles
      107. Sierra Leone
      108. Singapore
      109. South Africa
      110. Spain (including Balearic and Canary Isles)
      111. Sri Lanka
      112. St. Lucia
      113. St. Vincent
      114. Sudan
      115. Surinam
      116. Swaziland
      117. Syria
      118. Taiwan
      119. Tanzania
      120. Thailand
      121. Togo
      122. Trinidad & Tobago
      123. Tunisia
      124. Turkey
      125. Uganda
      126. Ukraine
      127. United Arab Emirates
      128. USA
      129. Yemen
      130. Zambia
      131. Zimbabwe