If you are currently planning a long international trip, it will be fair to say that at one point or another you will come across a situation that involves driving a car riding a bike. Apart from all the sightseeing, the glitz and glam and the shopping, driving abroad will be one of the most exciting things that you can do. However, it is sensible to be prepared and avoid some less than pleasant situations. By being prepared we mean that if you are planning to drive on foreign soil, it only makes sense to get yourself an International Driving Permit, also known as an International Driving License.
If you have been planning to get yourself an International Driverâ€™s License, then this article is going to describe what an International Driving License is and how to get an international driving license in India. If you think that it is a hectic chore to get your International Driverâ€™s License issued then Sir, we are here to break the myth. Well, the procedure to get an international driving license is simpler than you think. Those who wish to drive a car abroad can get themselves an International Driverâ€™s License/ International Driving Permit.
An International Driverâ€™s License is an official translation of your driving license that is issued by the Government of India, for fans of International driving. The International Driverâ€™s License is a travel document that is authorized by the United Nations (UN) for tourists travelling to foreign countries who seek the pleasure of driving a motor vehicle. The document states that the holder possesses a driving license in his native country, and translates the license documents into several foreign languages so that the authorities abroad can easily understand and verify the holderâ€™s driving credentials.
International Driving Permit/International Driving License will be issued only to people who have an existing valid Indian License and the Government will issue the permit only to the citizens of India. The application to obtain an International Driverâ€™s License can be made in writing to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) or it can be made in Form 4. The application must specify the countries that the applicant will be visiting and the duration of the stay. The documents required to obtain an International Driving License in India are:
1. A valid Driving License held by the applicant and its copies.
2. Copies of the applicantâ€™s passport, Visa and Air Ticket. These are required for verification.
3. Fees and User Charges.
The International Driving License is printed in various languages like English, Spanish, French, German, Arabic, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese (Mandarin) and Scandinavian languages. This will make the authorities in foreign countries aware of your driving credentials in case of any mis happenings. The IDP/IDL will usually expire one year from its issue or when the holderâ€™s driving license expires, whichever comes earlier.
How to apply for an International Driving license in India?
Any individual who wishes to drive in another country is required to have an International Driverâ€™s License/ International Driverâ€™s Permit. IDL will act as a driving permit in that particular country. Thanks to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, the process of applying and receiving an International Driverâ€™s Permit in India is really easy and convenient. It takes 3-4 business days for the International Driving License to be issued after the application is submitted to the RTO within whose jurisdiction the applicant resides. You can also apply for an online international driving license through the government site and upload the required documents.
Eligibility Criteria/ Documentation Required
The eligibility criteria and the documentation required to obtain an International Driverâ€™s License is uniform for all the 100+ signatory countries. Along with the documents, there is a small issuing fee. The basic criteria and the documents required for one to get an International Driverâ€™s License in India are mentioned below:
1. One must be above 18 years of age.
2. One must possess a valid Driving License (DL) issued by the Government of India.
3. 3 passport size photographs along with the application.
4. Form 4/ Copy of the application made to the RTO.
5. Copy of the applicantâ€™s valid Driving License.
6. Copy of the Applicantâ€™s air tickets.
7. Copy of the Applicantâ€™s Passport and Visa.
8. Medical Certificate (Mentioned in the Application Form).
9. Proof of Indian Citizenship.
10. Copy of the applicantâ€™s age proof.
11. Copy of the applicantâ€™s address proof.
12. Application fees (Rs 1500).
What are the advantages/benefits of getting an International Driverâ€™s License?
Applying for an International Driving license is a quick simple process and it comes with loads of benefits. Some of these advantages and benefits are mentioned below
1. It provides proof that you are capable of driving a car in your homeland and thus, allows you to drive a vehicle in a foreign country. The International Driverâ€™s License is accepted as valid proof of your driving capability and the documents confirm that you have a valid driving license back home.
2. The International Driverâ€™s License comes in handy when you are travelling to a country that does not speak the language in which your driving license is printed. This helps the authorities of your country of travel to verify your information and your driving credentials.
3. It can also be useful as proof of identity in the local language of your country of travel.
4. Since the International Driverâ€™s License is issued only to people who already have a valid driving license, there are no additional driving tests that you have to give in the countries you are travelling to. Just buckle up and drive.
5. There are over one hundred and fifty countries that are signatories to the International Driverâ€™s License agreement. This means that the International Driverâ€™s License is widely accepted all across the world. Also, some countries that are not signatories accept the International Driving Permit as a valid document within their territories.
6. There are some countries where you can have a car for rent only if you have an international drivers permit.
7. Insurance companies will require a copy of your International Driving Permit without which they will not provide insurance cover for the drivers or the vehicle being driven abroad.
8. Simplifies communication with the local authorities. In the event of you being pulled over randomly, your International Driving Permit will let the authorities know that you are legally allowed to drive a vehicle in their country. The fact that the document is printed in several different languages means that the authorities will have no trouble understanding. Hence, the scope of miscommunication is reduced.
9. In many countries, it is legally required for tourists and foreigners to have an International Driving Permit if they wish to drive a motor vehicle. In case of being stopped by Law Enforcement if you fail to provide your International Driving License, you will face a steep fine.
10. You can use your international driverâ€™s permit as a document for car subscription services.
Along with all of the above advantages, knowing that there will be no possibility of you being fined by the authorities will provide peace of mind and will let you enjoy your vacation.
How do I renew my International Driving Permit?
According to the Law, the International Driverâ€™s License is valid for one year after being issued or is valid until the Holderâ€™s driving license expires, whichever comes first. The International Driverâ€™s License cannot be renewed and thus the holder must go through the entire application process again.
Key Points to Consider:
If you apply for an International Driving Permit/ International Driving License within three months of the date of issue of your Driving License, you will be asked to give the driving test for a second time.
The application form to get an International Driving License/International Driving Permit can be found online at http://jhtransport.gov.in/pdf/form-4a.pdf. However, you still have to submit this form to the RTO.
The applicant is required to submit the application form along with all the necessary documents in person to the relevant authority at the Regional Transport Office.
If you now reside in a different state than you used to when your Driving License was issued, then you will be asked to change the address on your driving license to your current address before applying for an International Driving Permit/ International Driving License. This is because the International Driving License/International Driving Permit is only issued to license that fall under the jurisdiction of the Regional Transport Office.
Also, one must be aware of the fraudulent websites and agents that claim to provide an International Driverâ€™s License.
1. Can an International Driving Permit be used for Two-Wheelers?
Ans: If the bearer of the International Driverâ€™s License has a two-wheeler licence in his home country, she/he can use the license and the International Driverâ€™s License to rent and ride a two-wheeler abroad.
2. Can my International Driving License/ International Driving Permit be used as identity proof?
Ans: Depending on the country you are currently travelling in and subject to certain conditions, your International Driverâ€™s License can be used as valid identity proof.
3. What other identity proof will I require to rent a car/two-wheeler abroad?
You will require your original driving license along with your International Driverâ€™s License to rent a car/ two-wheeler while travelling abroad.