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What is an international driving permit? What is an international driving permit?


What is an international driving permit?

Published 18th May 2023Read Time 6 min

Some countries require you to have an International Driving Permit. Our quick guide has all the basics that you need to know!

car on road near railings
Some countries require an International Driving Permit

What is an International Driving Permit?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) allows you to drive a private motor vehicle abroad when accompanied by a valid, full Irish driving license.

In fact, there are two types of IDP. The first is a 1926 Convention permit that is required by Brazil, Burundi, Iraq, Nigeria and Somalia. Most people will be concerned with the 1949 permit that is issued and recognised by most other countries in the world.

How much does an International Driving Permit cost?

The AA Ireland issues International Driving Permits at a cost of €10.00 which will be in the post in 8 to 10 days. Delivery time depends on where the permit is being sent to of course.

We also have an Express Service which cuts the processing time down to 3 to 5 days. The cost of the Express Service is €15.00

Just bear in mind that you cannot pay in cash. You can fill out your card details on the application form, or you can include a cheque or postal order.

woman riding on vehicle holding 5 banknote
Small fee for an IDP

How do I apply for an International Driving Permit?

The process of applying for an IDP is simple. You simply download the Application Form here. The full instructions are listed clearly at the top of the form. The main things you need are a copy of your current full Irish driving license, 2 passport sized photos signed on the back by you, and the relevant fee.

Take note that you need a household bill if you are resident in Ireland but not applying with an Irish driving licence.

How long does an IDP last?

An International Driving Permit lasts for one year from date of issue. So you can time your permit to cover your needs. For example, if you are heading to Spain for a month in the summer, then get your application in early, as the permit will easily cover the length of time you’ll spend abroad.

It is important to know that the IDP will only cover you within that 12 month period as long as your full driving license in valid. So make sure that your regular license is also up to date for the period that you will be driving.

What countries require the Permit?

The list of countries that require an IDP is extensive. You can see the full list here. Although lots of European countries do not require them, you may get some surprises. So don't take any chances and look up the list as there are some exceptions.

brown wooden map board
Be sure to research which countries require an IDP

Can I get an International Driving Permit with a provisional licence?

No, you cannot. You must be at least 18 years of age with a full driving license to apply. It is also possible to get the permit forward dated up to 3 months.

We wish you safe travels on your holidays this year! Remember to take out the relevant travel insurance for your time abroad.

And if you’re driving in Europe, we have you covered with our European Breakdown Cover!