International Driving License

If you are planning for a trip out of the country, you may require an International Driver’s Licence(IDL), in case you want to drive on international roads.  This may seem like a task but, nowadays acquiring an IDL is fairly easy.  Through this article we want to shed light on the steps which you need to follow for getting an IDL. So what are the things that you need to drive a car or a motorbike in the foreign country?

To begin with, you need an International Driving Permit (IDP) or an International driver’s license.

What is an International Driver’s License?

International Driver’s License is a document which permits you to rent or drive a vehicle in a foreign country.  and use in India, even a foreign national visiting the country, can apply for this license and drive during their stay in India.

Acquiring an International driver’s license is a hassle-free process. Even accounting for bureaucratic red tape, the permit generally takes a time span of between 2 days to a week to process and reach you.

The International Driver’s Licence/Permit is valid for one year from the date of issue. You may not require this document in a few countries but it is advisable to get it issued. This will help in case of accidents and while claiming insurance. Some insurers may want to take a look at your IDP and your own driving license, even if having an IDP is not mandatory according to the country’s law.

Ways to Get An International Driver’s License

Here are three options in which you can get your International Driver’s License processed and delivered to you promptly and efficiently.

  1. Regional Transport Office (RTO)
  2. Western India Automobile Association
  3. Through International Traffic Control Association(ITCA) website

Let us go through these options in detail:

  • Regional Transport Office

RTO or the Regional Transport Office is the organization authorized by the Government of India to issue driving licenses, collect vehicle tax, issue personalized registrations and maintain a record of drivers and cars. There are zonal offices of the RTO scattered across India. Much like the parent body, every zonal office is responsible for processing your International Driving Permit too.

Before we give you a step by step listing of what you need in order to apply for an IDL,  let us cite the documents that you need to carry to the zonal office. Failure to produce either one of these documents would deem you ineligible for the International driver’s license concerned.

Here is the list of documents you need to carry –

  • Valid Driving License: A valid driving license, whose authenticity will be checked thoroughly through the databases of the Regional Transport Office,
  • Address Proof: An attested copy of the address proof, pertaining to the communication address currently occupied. If the communication address is the permanent address, then the address proof of the permanent address needs to be provided. This is essential for the application of the International driver’s license. It would be advisable not to change addresses while the procedure is on. Also, PAN Card is not a valid address proof. Despite having your photo ID, it does not carry the address you reside in. (It is advisable to carry two identity proofs with the same address)
  • Identity Proof: An attested copy of your identity proof along with the original (along with your passport). Carrying an attested copy of your birth certificate is an added bonus. Age is verified thoroughly before the issue of International driver’s license.
  • Passport: A valid Indian Passport. The expiration date of the passport can be found in the passport itself.
  • Visa: A valid visa is required. The application for an International driver’s license can only be processed if you already have a valid visa authorized by a foreign embassy. The visa proceedings for many countries are strict and hence providing an IDP without receiving a Visa is against the Government’s prerogative.
  • Passport Sized Photographs: Two or three passport sized photographs (although it is advisable to carry at least four to five).
  • Ticket: Carry attested copies of the air tickets or train tickets
  • A letter written to the Zonal Regional Transport Office, asking for the authorization of your International driver’s license. The letter is to mention the country you belong to, the country/countries you are travelling to. The tenure and purpose of travel and the fact that all the documents have been provided.

Remember, any fake document can lead to your arrest, and therefore it is advisable to chart through the procedures of law and acquire your driving license legally. Once all these documents have been secured and are prepared for the day you plan on visiting the Regional Transport Authority, you need to meet certain requirements pertaining to certain forms which need to be filled on the spot and submitted.

The nature of these forms varies from that of the application for the International driver’s license to medical submission, which is not exactly affidavits but can be used in court against you if you do not abide by the laws governing your travels.

You require to submit 3 kinds of duly filled forms in order to get your IDL. Here are the form names and their functions.

  • CMV–4 form: A CMV–4 form, which is the primary form that needs to be duly filled by you and submitted. It addresses your application for the International driver’s license. Make sure that you have written correct information in this form. . It is the reference point for the details which will eventually appear on your IDL. This form will also be used for further procedures.
  • The CMV 1 and CMV1-A forms are concerned with your medical conditions. The CMV1 form is supposed to be filled by you, whereas CMV1-A is supposed to be filled by your doctor after a basic checkup.
  • All the three documents are available online and can be downloaded from the internet. Apart from the websites of the ministry of transport of the central government, majority of transport department websites of the states also provide all the three forms mentioned above. All you need to do it, download the forms, get the printouts and fill two of them yourself and get one filled from your doctor as mentioned above.

A fee of 1000 rupees needs to be paid while submitting these forms to initiate the process. If accepted, then you may expect the  International driver’s license to arrive within a week’s time.  This process is facilitated by the Indian Embassy.

  • Western India Automobile Association(WIAA)

The second option for acquiring an IDL is through the  WIAA In case you reside in Mumbai, Pune or Ahmedabad, then you could go for this option.

In order to apply for the International Driving Permit from the WIAA, you need to be a member of the Western India Automobile Association first.

You will require the same set of documents and forms, which you need in case you are applying for an IDP through the RTO(refer to the list of documents mentioned above).

You need to pay a fee of Rs. 1500 as opposed to Rs. 1000 charged by the RTO.

However, if you apply for an IDL through the WIAA, you are entitled to certain discounts for your travel around the foreign country.

It also guarantees to issue your  International driver’s license within 2 days, provided all the submitted documents are genuine and correctly filed.

In case you are opting for this option, kindly ensure that you only apply for the IDP if you are travelling to the list of countries which recognize the 1949 convention of an international driving permit.

  • International Traffic Control Association (ITCA)

One more convenient way of getting an International Driving Permit is by visiting the website of International Traffic Control Association.

You will need the following documents if you are willing to get your IDP through the ITCA:

  • A clear scanned copy of your national driving license
  • A clear scanned copy of your passport
  • A passport sized biometric photograph (a biometric photograph is a clear picture of your face with no expression and with proper lighting conditions, which shows your actual skin tone. A dark background for this type of photograph may lead to rejection. Also, avoid wearing glasses)
  • Total processing fee of 34 UDS is applicable
  • Click the apply now button, on the official website of ITCA, to begin with, the process

You can also send your documents at applications@e-itca.org. In some cases, you may be asked to send the notarized copies of your documents by mail.

What Happens if You Lose the International Driver’s License?

Once you have received your International driver’s license, you might also lose it under unforeseen circumstances. But, you need not panic.

In-case you lose your International driver’s license, it is advised that you report it immediately.

Like your passport, it is an important document that can be used as an identity proof. Hence, if you lose it within the country – file a FIR. It would be advisable to write a letter notifying that you lost your International driver’s license,  to the RTO.

Similarly, if you lose your IDL abroad, notify the local authority and the Indian Embassy immediately. They may issue a duplicate document.Issuance of a duplicate International driver’s license after proper verification is not an issue unless it infringes other laws.

Now that you have all the information you require to know how to file, receive and use the International driver’s license, what are you waiting for? Travel abroad, grab a vehicle and put the pedal to the metal!

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