International Driving Permit

How to apply for an IDP

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for 12 months from the date of issue

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for 12 months from the date of issue

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is valid for 12 months from the date of issue. (See important note 1 below.)

Recognised internationally, an IDP normally allows the holder to drive a private motor vehicle when accompanied by a valid UK driving licence. (See important note 2 below.)

Most countries require a 1949 Convention IDP but for certain countries, a 1926 Convention IDP is necessary.

  • The AA is authorised to issue both the 1926 and 1949 Convention IDPs to applicants 18 years and over who hold a valid UK driving licence, or can obtain such a licence on the basis of a valid pass certificate.
  • IDPs cannot be issued to a holder of a UK provisional driving licence without the test pass certificate and provisional driving licence.
  • An IDP is a permit for use in conjunction with your driving licence, not in place of it
  • In some countries, you risk being fined or worse for relying solely on an IDP

Is an IDP the same as an International Driving Licence (IDL)?

No. An IDL is not a legally recognised document and will not enable you to meet national requirements to carry an IDP.

USA (Florida)

Compulsory IDP

A law was introduced in Florida, USA, on 1 January 2013 requiring all persons who hold a licence issued outside of the US to carry an International Driving Permit along with their national driving licence.

Latest - 3 April 2013

The Governor of Florida has repealed the law requiring all drivers holding a licence issued outside of the USA to hold an International Driving Permit (IDP).

It is therefore no longer a compulsory requirement for UK licence holders to hold an International Driving Permit when visiting the State of Florida .

However, car hire companies and insurance companies can impose their own terms and conditions so we advise that you check with your intended company prior to travel or obtain an IDP as a precautionary measure.

Before applying for an IDP you must:

Important notes

  1. IDP applications can not be made any more than three months in advance of the date of travel. An IDP can not be backdated under any circumstances.
  2. Persons going to a country to take up residence or employment, or for any reason other than tourism, should make enquiries about their personal position before relying on a permit.
  3. It is important to check the accuracy of the personal information printed on your driving licence. If there are any errors or you have a change of name or address, you should immediately notify the DVLA/DVLNI.
  4. When hiring a car overseas remember that driving licence requirements worldwide do vary. Therefore, if you are making an advanced reservation in the UK, ask the company concerned to confirm driving licence requirements of the country to be visited. In the absence of such information consider an IDP as a precautionary measure, especially if travelling outside Europe.
  5. AN IDP ISSUED IN THE UK IS NOT VALID FOR USE IN THE UK.
  6. All International Driving Permits will be returned to UK addresses by standard first class mail, unless the optional 'secure post' fee is paid. We do not accept responsibility for items that may be delayed or lost in the post.

Three ways you can apply for an IDP

Apply by post

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Apply at selected Post Offices

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Apply at AA Folkestone (Eurotunnel)

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(Updated 21 January 2014)