Do I need to have an IDP in order to drive abroad?
Yes, in many cases you will need an IDP to drive in a foreign country, other than the country where you are resident. It depends on bilateral agreements and treaties between the country where you are resident and the country, or countries, where you plan to drive.There are numerous bilateral agreements and treaties that regulate IDP requirements, and these agreements and treaties change frequently. Holding an IDP is a very easy way to legally drive abroad, and that gives you the peace of mind of abiding by enforced law and international regulations. Therefore, even in countries where you are not required to hold an IDP, it is highly recommended in order to avoid any type of inconvenience.An IDP never substitutes your valid domestic driver license.IDPs are not valid for driving in your country of residence, where you need to hold a valid domestic driving license.
How does it work?
Driving in a foreign country has been regulated since 1926 by the United Nations through 4 international conventions, subscribed by most countries in the world.Today, two conventions cover 98% of world countries: the 1949 Geneva Convention and the 1968 Vienna Convention, and nearly all IDPs are issued under these two conventions’ regulations.The authority for IDP-issuance resides in countries that are contracting parties to one of more UN Conventions on Road Traffic. Most of these countries delegate this task to the Automobile Clubs and motoring associations. This is the reason why AIT and FIA Clubs are the world’s largest organization issuing IDPs.If there is an Automobile Club which issues IDPs in your country of residence, this website will help you access the Club’s IDP information section.
Functions of an IDP
Translate. IDPs ensure that your domestic driving license is understandable by local authorities and officials in the foreign country where you are driving.
Certify. The issuer of your IDP certifies that you have a valid driving license in your country of residence, i.e. that you are authorized to drive motor vehicles.
Type of vehicle. The issuer of your IDP also indicates and certifies what category or categories of motor vehicles you are authorized to drive.
Improve Road Safety. The fact that IDPs are often required to drive abroad helps ensure that every driver is an authorized driver, and helps improve road safety worldwide.