Does one really need an International Driving License for a self-driving holiday abroad?
An Indian driver’s license is only valid in a few countries such as Australia, Switzerland, UK etc. You need an International Driving License /Permit (IDP) to drive in most countries.
Also, Self-driving is one of the best ways to commute abroad considering the benefits with respect to costs and accessibility.
Here are a few compelling reasons to get an International Driving License / Permit (IDP)
a) You may have to pay huge penalties / bribe to traffic police if caught without one.
b) Motor insurance is not valid unless you have an International Driving License.
c) If you get in to any trouble (e.g. Accident, drunk driving etc.), an International License can save you a lot of legal hassles.
d) You can drive around without any anxiety and thus enjoy your holiday.
Here are some basics you need to know
Where to get it: Zonal RTO Office corresponding to the address mentioned in your passport.
What is the fee: Rs. 1000 (to be paid online or physically at RTO office).
What is the validity: 1 year from date of issue.
Important: The address mentioned in your passport must match the address mentioned in your driving license and Aadhar card.
Here is the step by step process to get an International Driving License / Permit (IDP) in India
Step 1: Online application
Go to https://sarathi.parivahan.gov.in/sarathiservice/stateSelection.do and select the state where your driving license was issued at.
This will take you to Sarathi page. Click the apply online button on the left and then click “Services on Driving License (Renewal/Duplicate/Aedl/Others)”
Select the state again and you will arrive at the page below. Enter the details asked here.
Most Importantly your details have to be updated in the Sarathi System. If not, you have to visit the respective RTO and get it done.
Enter all your details and select the category for which you need the license (2W/ 4W)
Step 2: Uploading the documents
Upload the following documents in the portal:
a) Copy of Visa (Not required incase of visa on arrival)
b) Copy of Passport (first & last page of current passport) &
c) Copy of driving license for which IDP is needed
Step 3: Submission of online application
Enter all details and submit the application. You will get an SMS in your registered mobile Number with a Reference ID.
Take a printout of the Acknowledgement Form , Form-1 & FORM 4-A that is generated
Step 4: Physical Submission
Submit copies of the following documents at the RTO Office. Also submit the originals (if applicable) for verification:
1) Original passport.
2) Valid Visa: If travelling to Visa Free/VOA countries like Indonesia/Thailand, mention it in the application.
3) Airline ticket: Copy of to and fro tickets.
4) Medical certificate: Issued by a Govt Doctor. You can usually get this through agents hanging around RTO office complex.
5) 3 recent passport size photos
6) Current Indian Driving License
7) DL Services Acknowledgement Form.
8 ) Form 4-A: Form of application for issue of international driving permit to drive a motor vehicle in other countries. Affix your photograph in this form.
9) Form-1: Application-cum-declaration as to physical fitness.
Please Note: Documents in S.No 7, 8 & 9 can be downloaded after successful submission of online Application.
10) IDP Fees payment Challan: This is received at the RTO office after paying the fee (Rs. 1000)
11) Adhaar Card
Sign all the copies you have submitted
Step 5: Processing and Receipt
The RTO Staff will check and verify your Application, and related Documents, ID Proofs, Passport. They will then mark a Checked OK Signature note in the Application and Photocopies that you submitted.
Once this is done, you have to meet the Chief RTO Officer along with the Application. He may ask you few questions, for instance about your travel plans, duration, job, and destination etc.
He will then affix his signature on the IDP Application & in the IDP Issue Register.
The staff will then enter the Details in the Original IDP ( International Driving License Book) and their IDP Issue Records register.
They will affix your Photos and fill the validity date. They will then affix the Road Transport Licensing Authority seal on it.
Finally the Chief RTO Officer will sign the IDP and hand it over to you.
The whole process takes 4-5 hours if everything goes well.
Here is what the license looks like.
There you have it. Your own International Driving License. In other words, you can now go ahead and have a fun self-driving holiday abroad without any worries.
If your address has changed then you have to get NOC certificate from your old RTO office. You will then have to apply online for license renewal, print forms and go to new RTO office.
The application form including Acknowledgement form must be submitted at RTO office before 11:30 AM.
We hope this guide on how to get International License has helped you out. Now that you have decided to apply for International Driving License, why not check out our other posts on: