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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 all (including by post or at our Folkestone/Eurotunnel shop) after 31 January 2019. 

  • The only way you can obtain an IDP is by applying in branch from selected Post Offices
  • There is no mail order 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

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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.

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