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Getting an international driving permit

When moving abroad to a new county, you may still need to use your car. Find out about getting an international driving permit, and important information about driving abroad, with our guide.

Getting an international driving permit

If you are planning to ship your car abroad and drive while overseas, you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP). You can pick one up from your local Post Office for just £5.50 for a year.
Once you have an IDP, you’re legally covered to drive in many overseas countries, but you will still need to carry your UK driving licence with you. You can find out whether you’ll need an IDP for your chosen destination by visiting the AA website.

How to apply for an IDP

To obtain an IDP simply pop into your local Post Office and fill out an application form. You can only apply up to three months before you want to start using your permit, so make sure you select the correct dates.

What you'll need to be able to apply for an International Driving Permit:

  • A full UK driving licence (photocard and paper counterpart)

  • £5.50 application fee

  • A photo of you (passport-sized and signed on the back)

  • Your proof of identity with you when you come back in with your completed application.


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Important things to remember when driving abroad

  • If you’re travelling for business, check the countries regulations to see if you need a local driving licence.

  • Make sure you’ve got the right permit– you can’t use a UK-issued International Driving Permit to drive in the UK.

  • Always carry your valid UK driving licence and passport along with your International Driving Permit when abroad.

  • You may be asked to produce your documents at any time, so make sure you have them to hand.

  • Check with your insurance to make sure you have the required cover for driving abroad. They may ask to be notified when you travel overseas or provide only third party cover when you do.

  • Don't drink or use your mobile phone while driving. The laws vary in different countries, so total abstention is the safest option.

  • If you are driving your own car, ensure you display a GB sticker at all times.

page last updated June 2015


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