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International Driving Permit

Applying for an IDP

How to find out whether or not you need an IDP, and how to get one

The way you apply for an IDP has changed – we can't issue any IDPs at our Folkestone/Eurotunnel shop. 

  • The quickest way to apply for an IDP is to visit the nearest Post Office branch that offers this service.
  • Find out if you need an IDP using the Post Office's IDP Country Checker.
  • Find your nearest IDP issuing Post Office (there are around 2,500 so you shouldn’t have to travel too far).
  • The type of IDP recognised by some countries outside the EU/EEA  changed from 28 March 2019.

IDP mail order service

  • If you're not able to get to a Post Office – for example, if you live overseas – you can use our new mail order service.
  • For a fee, we'll apply for a permit on your behalf. You'll need to allow a minimum of 10 workings days (possibly longer if applying from overseas).
  • Read our important notes for more information.

Apply for an IDP using our mail order service

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Driving in the EU after Brexit

The UK and EU have agreed an extension to Article 50 until 31 October at the latest, so while no deal remains the legal default at the end of this extension period, it's now unlikely that there will be any changes affecting European travel this summer e.g. you will not need to carry an IDP (or insurance green card) to drive in an EU country.

If there is eventually a ‘no-deal’ Brexit then mutual recognition of driving licences between the UK and EU may end, and UK drivers wishing to drive in Europe may need to get an International Driving Permit (IDP):

  • A 1949 Convention IDP (Ireland, Iceland, Spain, Malta, Cyprus), or
  • A 1968 Convention IDP (all other EU countries, Norway and Switzerland)
  • A 1926 Convention IDP (Liechtenstein)
  • Only drivers with a UK paper licence will need an IDP to drive in Austria, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Poland

Ireland has ratified the 1949 Convention but doesn't require foreign drivers to carry an IDP.

 

What is an IDP?

Your UK driving licence is all you currently need in most European countries, but venture further afield and you might have to carry an International Driving Permit (IDP), too.

  • An IDP is basically an official, multi-language translation of your driving licence
  • You could be fined (or worse) for relying on just an IDP – you must carry your UK licence too
  • To apply for an IDP you must be 18 years or over, and have a valid UK driving licence
  • An IDP can’t be issued to a provisional licence holder
  • When hiring a car abroad, remember that licence requirements worldwide do vary. If you’re making an advance reservation in the UK, ask the company concerned to confirm the driving licence requirements of the countries you’re visiting. Without this info, consider an IDP as a precautionary measure, especially if travelling outside Europe.

IDP mail order service: important notes

We can't accept applications from under-18s or provisional licence holders.

  1. It's your responsibility to check you apply for the correct permit.
  2. This service is for valid UK licence holders only.
  3. We recommend you send your documents by a tracked, signed for, or courier service. We take no responsibility for any applications not received.
  4. We'll only return documents by a signed-for method or courier service. You'll need to pay the appropriate fees.
  5. Please allow a minimum of 10 working days to process your application once we've received it.
  6. The date of issue is also the start date for your permit's validity.
  7. IPDs can't be backdated.
  8. Personal information on your UK driving licence will be copied onto the permit. We can't accept or use a variation of name or address that's not displayed on your driving licence.
  9. Once we've received your application, we'll contact you for payment by debit or credit card. (We don't accept Amex or Diners Club cards.)
  10. We can only process fully completed applications.
  11. Permits will not be issued until the payment has been authorised and cleared.
  12. If there are any queries on submitted applications, we can only respond to the named applicant.
  13. If you're travelling to (or already in) another country for work or to take up residence, we advise that you contact the local authorities to check that your permit will be accepted.
  14. An IDP issued in the UK isn't valid for use in the UK.
  15. You must supply a recent, passport-type photo.
  16. Your IDP is used in conjunction with the UK national licence, and doesn't replace it.
  17. We need your original driving licence (photocard only) to apply for your permit. If your licence has been lost or stolen you must contact the DVLA.
  18. We take no responsibility for personal losses as a result of any delays in receipt by the applicant of the issued permit.

Updated 25 October 2019

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