Driving Outside Europe

International Driving Permit (IDP)


If your planning to drive a car abroad you will need to obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) for certain countries. This will be required in addition to your U.K driving licence if your thinking of driving or hiring a vehicle.

To appy for an IDP you must meet the following criteria:

  • Hold a FULL UK driving licence (Not Provisional) covering the type of vehicle you are planning to drive;
  • A permanent resident of the U.K;
  • Over 18 years of age.


An IDP can't be issued if you hold a foreign driving licence unless it's an EU driving licence and you reside in the U.K

An IDP is valid for one year and can be obtained up to 3 months prior to your trip. There are two types of IDP (1949 & 1926). it will depend on which country you are visiting as to which one is required - see below.


IDP 1949 is required for the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Albania
  • Algeria
  • Angola
  • Argentina
  • Armenia
  • Benin
  • Bhutan
  • Brazil
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Rep
  • Chad
  • Colombia
  • Comoros
  • Cote D'lvoire
  • Curacao
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guinea
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kampuchea
  • Korea (South)
  • Kuwait
  • Leeward Islands (Antigua, Dominica, Montserrat, St.Christopher, Nevis & Anguilla)
  • Macao
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Rwanda
  • Senegal
  • Surinam
  • Swaziland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Vietnam
  • Zaire


IDP 1926 is required for the following countries:

  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Somalia

 If your travelling to a country that isn't listed then a IDP isn't required.


Special Conditions apply if your planning to drive in the following countries:

Brazil, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan: contact the embassy or consulate to find out about driving licence requirements.

Bermuda: Visitors aren't allowed to drive.

Ethiopia: The IDP isn't recognised but you can obtain a temporary licence from the local authority when present your U.K licence.

China: You will need to obtain a temporary driving permit when you drive.

If you are still not sure if you need  and IDP then check on the RAC website.... follow the link


Please Note that this information was correct as of January 2011, but is subject to change without notice.