An international driving permit is a document you need to have when driving abroad. It allows you to do so as long as you have your own national driving license and an ID of some kind. The permit can be issued online and you don’t need to take a driving test to get it.
The permit is translated into a few languages and covers the needs of most tourists and traffic regulations in the world. It also comes with a photo that you need to provide when applying for the document.
Which Countries Accept the Permit?
At this point, it’s easier to list the countries that don’t accept international driving permit for tourists. It is used in 150 countries all over the world and there are only a few countries out there that don’t use the license. China is the most noticeable example.
Brazil also doesn’t accept the international driving permit, but it does accept the inter-American driving permit. It’s a similar document, but it is only used in North, Central, and South American countries. Some of these countries also accept international permits but Brazil is the exception.
What Does the License Look Like?
The permit contains your personal information which is enough to identify you together with another document used for that purpose only – such as a passport. It’s an international document and therefore it’s written in several languages, which are commonly used in international institutions.
The languages used on the permit include English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic, and French. This is enough to cover a trip across the world since these languages are official or common use in most countries.
What Other Documents You May Need?
Besides the international driving permit, you’ll need to bring along a few more documents. These include the national driving license without which the permit isn’t valid and an acceptable ID – which is a passport in most countries. Passport is also printed in a few languages.
When it comes to documents related to car insurance, they are rarely issued in foreign languages. You’ll also need to bring them along in case you’re in an accident. It’s up to you to translate these documents with the proper authorities and make sure that they are authentic. It can be an additional cost you’ll have to burden.
What to do in Countries That Don’t Accept the Permit?
Countries that don’t accept international driving permits also allow tourists to drive but they need to obtain a national license. Sometimes, such as the case with China, there are special permits for tourists only that are easier to get than those for the local residents.
In most cases, obtaining a local permit means you’ll need to pass a driving exam and possibly go through a few medical exams before you’re able to drive. If that’s the only way to go, you should go through the process since there are many benefits of driving your own car as a tourist.