Why you need to obtain an International Driver’s License when travelling abroad
At FBI Travel we advise our clients to obtain an International Driving Permit before travelling abroad. Whilst it may be presumed that an Australian Driving License is sufficient, many car rental companies will only accept an International Drivers Permit – so don’t be caught out!
It is also another means of identification, as the IDP is accepted in over 150 countries worldwide. However, you still need to carry your Australian Driving License with you at all times.
The RACV list the following reasons why travellers should obtain an International Driving Permit:
- International Driving Permits (IDPs) entitle the holder to drive in all counteracting countries without further examination. Check the International Driving Permit requirements of your destination before you travel.
- It is a requirement for renting a car in many countries. Failure to do so may constitute a criminal or civil offence and may have more serious consequences
- It can trigger an exclusion under your travel insurance policy if claiming for loss caused while driving a motor vehicle overseas
- Provides an additional form of photo ID if your passport is locked away in a safe place
- In most cases, your current Australian driving licence is not enough alone when driving in a foreign country. It must be complemented with an International Driving Permit
- A valid IDP permits you to drive in most foreign countries in case of an emergency under normal IDP conditions.
It is also important to be aware that some travel insurance policies can trigger an exclusion if you do not have an IDP for a driving claim.
An IDP costs $39 each and is valid for 12 months or until your Australian Driving License expires, whichever is first.
To apply for your IDP you must be 18 or over, provide a passport-style photograph and hold a valid Australian Driver’s License.
There are a number of ways in which you can apply, such as in person at your nearest RACV (which is the quickest method) or by post or online at www.internationaldrivingpermit.com.au. You can even get your IDP printed in the language of the country that you are visiting – now that will impress the local authorities and car rental representatives!
To ensure that you are equipped with everything you need before applying for your International Driving Permit, visit the RACV website. Or to call, dial 13 13 29 or if you are already overseas +61 3 8832 7986. Alternatively, you can visit your local RACV shop.