How to get an International Driving Permit

If you are travelling abroad and intend to drive you may need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

Whilst the UK is part of the EU you can legally drive around the EU using your UK driving licence without the need to pass another test, obtain a permit or modify your licence.  As long as you have a full valid UK licence you are able to drive around all member states without issue, subject to the correct insurance.

However, if you intend to drive whilst on your travels outside of the EU then you should obtain an International Driving Permit.  These are available for £5.50 from select Post Office branches.

The International Driving Permit (or IDP) is required in over 140 countries, including the USA, Hong Kong and Brazil.  The AA has this helpful list of countries that require one in order for you to drive.

How do you apply?

You need to:

  • Be 18 years and over
  • Have a valid full UK driving licence
  • £5.50 application fee
  • A passport sized photo signed on the back
  • Proof of identification, e.g. passport or your driving licence

Where do I apply?

UK Post Offices branches offering the service, details can be found on the Post Office website.

When to apply?

The permit is valid for 12 months and can be purchased up to 3 months before you are due to travel and would like it to start.


Main image – U.S. Route 6 Between Eureka and Santaquin, Utah by Ken Lund

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