One of the easiest ways to know more about a new city or a country is to drive around in a car or ride on a bike while exploring the place. And you can do this at the convenience. You can stop anywhere you want and for however long you want. The idea of driving around the city or a rural area lets you connect with the local residents’ culture, tradition and their way of life. If you are planning to go on a road trip in a foreign country and want to drive a car or a bike, here is the list of foreign countries that accept Indian Driving Licence (IDL).

List of 15 Foreign Countries That Accept Indian Driving Licence - Acko

Countries That Allow You To Drive With An Indian Driving Licence:

When you travel abroad, you generally depend on the local or public transport system to reach your destination. But driving a car or a bike through the scenic locations of foreign countries will certainly add to your memorable trip to the new country. Did you know that there are several interesting countries that allow you to drive with an Indian Licence and do not require an International Driving Licence or Permit (IDP)? All you need is your Indian Driving Licence and you can travel the country without worrying about a specific driving licence.

Indian Driving Licence Valid Countries List:

Read on to find out the list of countries where your DL can be used.

1. United States of America (USA)

Most states in the USA allow you to drive a rented car with your Indian DL. You can drive for a period of 1 year but ensure the document is valid and is in English. Along with the DL, you need to carry the I-94 form which contains the date on which you entered the USA.

2. Malaysia

To drive on Malaysian roads, your Indian DL should be in English or in Malay. The document has to be vetted by the issuing authority or the Indian Embassy in Malaysia. If you do not have the same, then you will need International DL to drive on Malaysian roads.

3. Germany

You can drive in Germany for 6 months with your Indian DL. Ensure you follow the local traffic rules since the Germans drive on the right side of the road, unlike Indians who drive on the left side. You may have to carry a German translated copy of your DL and it is advisable to carry an International Driving Permit in case the local authorities want you to hold one to drive.

4. Australia

You drive on the left side of the road in Australia similar to driving in India. You can drive through the roads of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Australian Capital Region and Northern Region for a period of 3 months. Ensure your DL is in English and not in any of the Indian vernacular languages. 

5. United Kingdom

You can drive on the roads of the United Kingdom (UK) which includes England, Wales and Scotland with your Indian DL for a period of 1-year. Please note that the UK allows drivers with Indian DL only a certain class of vehicles and not all.

6. New Zealand

You can drive using your Indian DL in New Zealand for a period of 1-year. However, you need to be 21 years old to drive a car in the country. You need to drive on the left side of the road just like India. Ensure your DL is in English or a translated copy authorised by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

7. Switzerland

Driving through the snow-capped mountains of Switzerland is an experience in itself. With your Indian driving licence, you can experience the scenic beauty of the country. It is valid for a period of 1-year. Also, ensure that your DL is in English while driving a rented car in Switzerland.

8. South Africa

South Africa boasts picturesque mountains and wildlife sanctuaries. You can drive a car with your Indian DL and should be in English along with your photograph and signature on it. Some car rental agencies may ask for an international driving licence.

9. Sweden

To drive a car in Sweden, your DL has to be either in English, Swedish, German, French or Norwegian. The DL has to accompany a valid/accepted ID and the validity of the Indian licence in Sweden is 1-year.

10. Singapore

To drive in Singapore you need to be 18-years old and your Indian Driving Licence is valid for 12 months. After that, you need to get a Singapore Driving Licence. Ensure your DL is in English if not you need to get it translated.

11. Hong Kong

You can drive a car legally in Hong Kong for up to 1-year. You can also drive with an International DL.

12. Spain

As an Indian Driving Licence holder, you can drive through the roads of Spain for up to 6-months after you have registered for residency. Also, your DL needs to be English and should accompany an accepted ID proof.

13. Canada

The snow-capped mountains or the scenic road trip to the Rocky Mountains, where you drive through Canada, is certain to add unforgettable memories. Ensure you drive on the right side of the road unlike how you drive in India. The Indian DL is valid for 60 days after which you need to hold a Canadian Driving Licence to drive cars in the country.

14. Finland

You require health insurance to enter Finland and depending on insurance your Indian DL is valid between 6 to 12 months.

15. Bhutan

Indian nationals can drive a four-wheeler or a two-wheeler in Bhutan with their Indian Driving Licence. Ensure you get a vehicle permit to drive around the country.

How To Apply For An International Driving Licence?

Be it for leisure or business, Indians are travelling abroad frequently and may want to drive a car or a bike while travelling in that country. The Indian licence is accepted in several countries as listed above; however, an International Driving Licence or Permit (IDP) will enable you to drive in other countries as well. Applying for an IDP is easy and you can apply for the same at the local Regional Transport Office (RTO). Below is a step-by-step guide on how to get an International Driving Licence in India:

Documents Required for International Driving Permit (IDP):

  • Valid Indian Driving Licence
  • Valid Indian Passport
  • Valid Visa
  • Air Ticket for Verification

Step-by-Step Guide to Apply for IDP:

  • Step 1: Fill Form 4-A available at the local RTO.
  • Step 2: Pay the IDP fee, which is Rs.1,000.
  • Step 3: Attach copies of the supporting documents such as your DL, Passport, Visa and Air Ticket for verification.
  • Step 4: Your IDP will be sent by post to the registered residential address.

Also, read: FAQs About International Driving License

Tips To Remember While Planning To Drive Abroad:

Below are some of the safety tips while driving abroad:

Drive on the Right Track

Check the side of the road that you should be driving on. Countries like the USA and Continental Europe drive on the right side of the road unlike in India. This is important while overtaking a vehicle or taking a roundabout. It may not be easier to drive a left-hand drive car since you drive a right-hand drive car in India. Get used to the car and you will be able to drive around the country.

Know The Driving Laws of the Country

Driving or traffic rules vary from country to country, so educate yourself about the rules and then start driving. Rules such as seat belt, mandatory documents to be carried, the placement of the child seat, etc. may differ, so ensure you are aware of such differences.

Get a GPS

You need to hire or use a car which has GPS navigation for you to get around the city or the country. This will ensure you are not lost and help you to get to your destination.

Consider Driving A Small Car

Small cars are easy to park, manoeuvre, or to drive generally. If you do not have too much luggage or too many passengers, small cars are a better choice. If you do require a car with more space, choose the smallest cars of your needs.

Carry Documents

Ensure you carry all the important documents such as your Indian Driving Licence, IDP, Passport, Visa, etc. You may be stopped for inspection of documents while you are driving a car in the country, hence, carry all required documents at all times.

Frequently Asked Questions About Indian Driving Licence and Driving Abroad:

Here are some of the common questions about driving abroad with an Indian DL:

How long is the International Driving Permit (IDP) valid?

The IDP is valid for a year from the date of issuance and you need to apply for a new permit each year.

Can I drive in Europe with Indian licence?

While several countries allow Indian Driving Licence as a valid document to drive or ride a vehicle, there are countries which allow you to drive only with an IDP. Do note that the validity of the Indian DL will differ between countries in Europe.

Can Indian tourists drive in the USA?

Rules for driving in the USA differ between states and may require an IDP to drive legally; however, as a tourist, you can drive a car or ride a bike with your Indian licence except for a shorter duration of time in states which allow Indian DL.

Can I get an International Driving Licence in India?

Yes, you can get an International Driving Licence or Permit in India. For more details follow the step-by-step guide mentioned above.

Can I drive in Dubai with an Indian Driving Licence?

No, you cannot. You require a Driving Licence issued by the UAE transport department or you should apply for an International Licence.

Can I use my IDP to ride a two-wheeler?

Yes, you can do so if your licence holds good to ride a two-wheeler.

Can I use my international licence as an identity proof?

Your IDP does not act as an ID proof at all times. Only in some cases, you may have to produce your IDP or International Driving Licence (IDL) as an ID proof.

What if I lose my International Driving Licence in another country?

You need to report it to the Indian Embassy if you are in another country.

Can I get an international driving permit if I do not have a Visa?

No. You need to submit your Visa to apply for the international driving licence.

What is the charge to apply for an International Driving Licence?

The fee for the issuance of the International Driving Permit (IDP) is Rs.1,000.

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