Do I need an International Driving Permit?

When you’re preparing to travel overseas there is a lot to organise and some of it can be extremely confusing - visas, foreign currency, travel insurance and International Driving Permit (IDP). A frequent question often asked by holidaymakers is who needs an IDP and why? If you’re unsure of how to obtain an IDP or if it’s even something you’ll need during your travels, find out below.

Many countries require Australians to have an International Driver’s Permit. The IDP is an official document that allows holders to legally drive a car internationally.

Why do you need an International Driving Permit?

Many countries require Australians to have an IDP in addition to a valid Australian driving licence to legally drive a car or ride a motorbike. Travellers can face fines and possible jail time by not abiding by these laws.

In cases where an IDP may not be legally required to drive a car, some overseas rental companies may still expect you to have one to rent a car.

Furthermore, some vehicle insurance policies will not cover you if you have a crash unless you have the appropriate licence.

How much does it cost?

In Queensland, you can purchase an IDP for $39, but this price can change without notice.

When do I need to get my International Driving Permit?

You must get your IDP before leaving Australia.

How do I apply for an International Driving Permit?

Apply in Store

Click here to find your nearest RACQ branch

If applying in store, provided you have the required documentation, the IDP can be issued immediately.

Apply Online

Click here to apply online with RACQ

Permit applications received online can be processed quickly. However, allowing for delivery time, it’s recommended you allow at least 10 business days for processing and delivery time if applying online.

The price for an IDP via online application is $39 (plus postage, depending on your location).

Apply by Post

You can apply for an IDP by posting your application form, along with the required passport-sized photo, to your state or territory motoring club.

Click here for the IDP application form

Australia Post delivery times vary depending on your location and the postage method you choose.

The price of the IDP via post is $39 plus postage. Registered Post for delivery of your IDP starts at $6.

What documentation do I need to obtain an International Driving Permit?

To obtain an IDP you will need to present:

  • A current Australian driver licence
  • Passport-sized colour photograph of the applicant
  • Credit card details or payment in-store
  • Completed IDP application form.

Where can I get my International Driving Permit from?

In Queensland, you can obtain an IDP at an RACQ branch or by post.

To apply in person in other states or territories contact your local Motoring Club.

Can I still apply for an International Driving Permit if I’m on P-plates?

Anyone with a valid Australian driver licence over the age of 18 can apply for an IDP. However, all countries have individual laws and regulations regarding the minimum driving ages.

Additionally, most rental car companies have restrictions on providing vehicles to provisional licence holders. Check the rules and required age for your destination country before you travel.

Any restrictions for Australian P-platers will still apply overseas.

How long is an International Driving Permit valid for?

Your IDP is valid for 12 months from the date of issue or the expiry of your Australian licence (whichever occurs sooner).

How do I renew an International Driving Permit?

You cannot renew an IDP, instead, a new application is required for each permit.

If you need to renew your IDP whilst still overseas, you’ll need to apply via post.

To eliminate delays, ensure your loose passport photograph, photocopies of your Australian driver licence and correct payment information is outlined on the form and included in the application.

Do I still need to take my Australian driver licence when I travel overseas with an IDP?

Yes, an IDP is not a stand-alone document or a substitute for a valid driver licence. Ensure you carry your Australian licence in addition to your IDP at all times.

International Driving Permit directory:

CountryInternational Driving Permit Requirements
AlbaniaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Albania.
AlgeriaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Algeria.
ArgentinaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive a car. Additionally it is required by some car rental companies in Argentina.
AustriaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Austria.
BelarusYes, a Australian visitor is able to drive in Belarus with an International Driving Permit. However, this is only valid for 3 months, if you plan on staying longer you will need to obtain a Belarusian driver license. For this you need to attend a 3-month driving school course in Belarus and pass the required tests.
BelgiumYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Belgium.
BrazilYes, it has been strongly recommended to have it translated by sworn public translator of Brazil. Additionally, photo ID is required to legally drive in Brazil.
BulgariaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Bulgaria.
CanadaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Canada
ChileYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Chile. There are reports of international travellers finding rules in rental car insurance policies stating that the insurance is not valid if the driver does not have an IDP.
ChinaNo, China does not recognise international driver licenses or any other documentation that is issued outside of Chinese territory. Therefore, a temporary permit valid for only 3 months is required. This must be made at the local Police Station in China.
Costa RicaNo, for the first three months in the country travellers are allowed to drive with their driving license. Ensure you carry your passport which will show proof of your legal status in the country and date of entry.
CroatiaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Croatia.
CubaYes, to drive in Cuba a visitor must have a valid national driver license and an International driving permit. Additionally, you must be at least 21 years old to rent and drive a car.
CyprusYes, for Australian driver license holders an International Driving Permit is recommended. Additionally, drivers must have possessed the valid driver license for a minimum of 1 year.
Czech RepublicYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in the Czech Republic. Additionally, it is common for car rental companies to have a minimum age requirement of 21 years old.
DenmarkYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Denmark.
EgyptYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Egypt.
EstoniaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Estonia.
FinlandYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Finland.
FranceYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in France.
GeorgiaNo, non-US citizens who hold a valid Australian driving license can legally drive in the state of Georgia for tourism and business purposes. However, you must have a valid passport on you whilst driving.
GermanyNo, it is not required however it is strongly recommended to obtain an International Driving Permit if you wish to drive in Germany. It has been found that given the signage on roads there is a high chance for foreign drivers to be pulled over by police and having this permit present can save time and reduce the possibility for incidents in this situation. Additionally, it can also make renting a car quicker and easier.
GreeceYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Greece.
GuernseyYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Guernsey.
Hong KongNo, Australian citizens are able to use their Australian driver license if they are staying in Hong Kong for less than 12 months.
HungaryYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Hungary.
IcelandYes, it is recommended that visitors procure an International Driving Permit to drive and hire a car as some rental companies require it. Generally you must be 21 to rent a standard car in Iceland but company policies vary.
IndiaYes, in order to drive in India travellers require a valid driving license from the country of residence which has been held for a minimum of one year. International Driving Permits are highly recommended in India if travellers are wanting to rent a car.
IndonesiaYes, in order to hire and drive a car in Indonesia it is recommended that travellers with Australian licenses obtain an International Driving Permit.
IranYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Iran.
IrelandYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Ireland. Additionally, in many cases it can make the car rental process quicker and easier.
IsraelNo, visitors may use their Australian license for the period of one year from their date of entry into Israel.
ItalyYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Italy.
JapanYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Japan.
JerseyYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Jersey.
JordanYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Jordan.
KenyaNo, Australian travellers are able to legally drive a car in Kenya with their Australian license as Australia is a part of the Commonwealth of Nations.
KoreaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Korea.
KuwaitYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Kuwait.
LatviaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Latvia.
LebanonYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Lebanon.
LithuaniaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Lithuania.
LuxembourgYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Luxembourg.
MacedoniaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Macedonia.
MalaysiaNo, Australians on short-term visits may rent and drive a car with their Australian driver license in Malaysia. However, this is only applicable for up to 90 days from arrival. After this time period a Malaysian license needs to be applied for.
MaltaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Malta.
MexicoYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Mexico. Having an IDP can help in avoiding any potential problems regarding the validity of your original license.
MoldovaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Moldova.
NamibiaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers possess an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Namibia.
NetherlandsYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in the Netherlands.
New ZealandNo, it is legal for Australian travellers to drive in New Zealand for up to 12 months on their home country driver license.
NorwayYes, although Australian travellers can drive in Norway on their Australian license for up to 3 months it is recommended to obtain a International Driving Permit.
OmanYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Oman.
PakistanYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Pakistan.
PeruNo, Peru does not require you to have an IDP to legally drive as long as you possess a valid Australian driver license. However, having an IDP can help in avoiding any potential problems regarding the validity of your original license.
PhilippinesYes, travellers can drive in the Philippines with Australian Driver Licence for a maximum of 90 days. After this period you are required to obtain a Philippine driver's licence. This can be obtained through The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in the Philippines.
PolandYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Poland.
PortugalYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Portugal.
RomaniaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Romania.
RussiaNo, travellers can use their Australian license as long as they have an international translation of their driving permits. This can be utilised for 6 months, after that period of time visitors need to obtain a Russian driver license.
SerbiaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Serbia. If you remain in Serbia for longer than 6 months you should obtain a Serbian driving license.
SingaporeYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Singapore.
SlovakiaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Slovakia.
SloveniaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Slovenia.
South AfricaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in South Africa.
SpainYes, Spain honours your Australian driving license but requires a local language translation.
Sri LankaYes, Recognition Permit is required before driving in Sri Lanka from AAC. Costs apply.
SwedenYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Sweden.
SwitzerlandYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Switzerland.
SyriaYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Syria.
TanzaniaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Tanzania.
ThailandYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Thailand.
TunisiaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Tunisia.
TurkeyYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in Turkey. However, travellers staying in Turkey for up to 90 days are able to use their Australian driving license.
UkraineYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Ukraine.
United KingdomNo, providing you are only temporarily visiting the UK and are carrying a valid licence, probationary licenses excluded, you are able to drive for up to 12 months with your Australian license.
United States of AmericaYes, it is highly recommended that Australian travellers obtain an International Driving Permit if wanting to drive in the United States of America. Laws vary across the states with some legally requiring visitors to have an International Driving Permit in order to drive.
VietnamVietnamese driving licenses are mandatory for all drivers of motor vehicles. Non-Vietnamese citizens can only legally drive in Vietnam if they hold a temporary Vietnamese driver’s license.
ZimbabweYes, it is a legal requirement for Australian travellers to possess an International Driving Permit in order to drive and rent a car in Zimbabwe.

What tips do you have for driving overseas?