International Driving Permit

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An International Driving Permit issued by the Republic of China (Taiwan)

An international driving permit (IDP), often (incorrectly) referred to as an international driving licence (IDL), is a translation of a domestic driver licence that allows the holder to drive a private motor vehicle in any country or jurisdiction that recognises the document. The term International Driving Permit was first mentioned in the document prescribed in the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic that was signed at Paris in 1926.

International Driving Permits are governed by three international conventions: the 1926 Paris International Convention relative to Motor Traffic, the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, and the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic. When a state is contracted to more than one convention, the newest one terminates and replaces previous ones.

The IDP, whose A6 size (148 × 105 mm) is slightly larger than a passport, has a grey cover and white inside pages. The outside and inside of the front cover shall be printed in (at least one of) the national language(s) of the issuing State. The last two inside pages shall be printed in French, and pages preceding those two pages shall repeat the first of them in several languages, which must include English, Russian and Spanish.

IDPs are issued through a network of AIT/FIA organizations, authorized by their governments to issue them. In most countries these issuing organizations are automobile associations,[1] such as American Automobile Association[2] in the United States, Norwegian Automobile Federation[3] in Norway and Riksförbundet M Sverige[4] in Sweden. As there are many unofficial sellers on the internet, the AIT/FIA has created an approved directory to all IDP issuing organizations in the world.[1]

To be valid, the IDP must be accompanied by a valid driving licence issued in the applicant's country of residence. An IDP is not required if the driver's domestic licence meets the requirements of the 1949 or 1968 convention; the domestic licence can be used directly in a foreign jurisdiction that is a party to that convention.[5] In addition, other arrangements eliminates the need of an IDP in some countries, such as the European driving licence valid within the European Economic Area.

Driver information[edit]

1968 convention (as amended in 2011)[edit]

Fahrerlaubnisklassen.png

The convention has been ratified by 83 countries/jurisdictions.[6] Examples of countries/jurisdictions that have not ratified the Convention include Ireland, Canada, the United States, Cyprus, Iceland, Malta, China and Malaysia.

The main regulations about driving licences are in Annex 6 (domestic driving permit) and Annex 7 (International Driving Permit). The currently active version of those is in force in each contracting party since no later than 29 March 2011 (Article 43). According to the 1968 Vienna Convention, an IDP must have an expiration date of no more than three years from its issue date or until the expiration date of national driving permit, whichever is earlier, and it is valid for a period of one year upon the arrival in the foreign country.

Article 41 of the convention describes requirements for driving licences. Key of those are:

  • every driver of a motor vehicle must hold a driving licence;
  • driving licences can be issued only after passing theoretical and practical exams, which are regulated by each country or jurisdiction;
  • Contracting parties shall recognize as valid for driving in their territories:
    • domestic driving licence conforms to the provisions of annex 6 to the convention;
    • International Driving Permit conforms to the provisions of annex 7 to the convention, on condition that it is presented with the corresponding domestic driving licence;
  • driving licences issued by a contracting party shall be recognised in the territory of another contracting party until this territory becomes the place of normal residence of their holder;
  • all of the above does not apply to learner-driver licences;
  • the period of validity of an international driving permit shall be either no more than three years after the date of issue or until the date of expiry of the domestic driving licence, whichever is earlier;
  • Contracting parties may refuse to recognise the validity of driving licences for persons under eighteen or, for categories C, D, CE and DE, under twenty-one;
  • an international driving permit shall only be issued by the contracting party in whose territory the holder has their normal residence and that issued the domestic driving licence or that recognised the driving licence issued by another contracting party; it shall not be valid for use in that territory.
Licence categories according to the 1968 convention applicable from 29 March 2011[7]
Category Description Category Description
A
Motorcycles
A1
Motorcycles with a cubic capacity not exceeding 125 cm³ and a power not exceeding 11 kW (light motorcycles)
B
Motor vehicles, other than those in category A, having a permissible maximum mass not exceeding 3,500 kg and not more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat; or motor vehicles of category В coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which does not exceed 750 kg; or motor vehicles of category В coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 750 kg but does not exceed the unladen mass of the motor vehicle, where the combined permissible maximum mass of the vehicles so coupled does not exceed 3,500 kg
B1
Motor tricycles and quadricycles
C
Motor vehicles, other than those in category D, having a permissible maximum mass exceeding 3,500 kg; or motor vehicles of category С coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which does not exceed 750 kg
C1
Motor vehicles, with the exception of those in category D, the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 3,500 kg but does not exceed 7,500 kg; or motor vehicles of subcategory C1 coupled to a trailer, the permissible maximum mass of which does not exceed 750 kg
D
Motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and having more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat; or motor vehicles of category D coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which does not exceed 750 kg
D1
Motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and having more than 8 seats in addition to the driver's seat but not more than 16 seats in addition to the driver's seat; or motor vehicles of subcategory D1 coupled to a trailer, the permissible maximum mass of which does not exceed 750 kg
BE
Motor vehicles of category В coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 750 kg and exceeds the unladen mass of the motor vehicle; or motor vehicles of category В coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 750 kg, where the combined permissible maximum mass of the vehicles so coupled exceeds 3,500 kg
CE
Motor vehicles of category С coupled to a trailer whose permissible maximum mass exceeds 750 kg
C1E
Motor vehicles of subcategory C1 coupled to a trailer the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 750 kg but does not exceed the unladen mass of the motor vehicle, where the combined permissible maximum mass of the vehicles so coupled does not exceed 12,000 kg
DE
Motor vehicles of category D coupled to a trailer whose permissible maximum mass exceeds 750 kg
D1E
Motor vehicles of subcategory D1 coupled to a trailer, not used for the carriage of persons, the permissible maximum mass of which exceeds 750 kg but does not exceed the unladen mass of the motor vehicle, where the combined permissible maximum mass of the vehicles so coupled does not exceed 12,000 kg

1968 convention (original)[edit]

The convention had amendments on 3 September 1993 and 28 March 2006. There is a European Agreement supplementing the Convention on Road Traffic (1968), which was concluded in Geneva, on 1 May 1971.

Note that before 29 March 2011 the convention demanded contracting parties to recognise as valid for driving in their territories:

  • any domestic driver's licence drawn up in their national language or in one of their national languages, or, if not drawn up in such a language, accompanied by a certified translation;
  • any domestic driver's licence conforming to the provisions of annex 6 to the convention; and
  • any international driver permit conforming to the provisions of annex 7 to the convention.

Prior to 29 March 2011, annex 6 and annex 7 defined forms of driver's licences that are different from those defined after that date. Driving licences issued before 29 March 2011 that match older edition of the annexes are valid until their expiration dates (article 43).

Licence classes according to the 1968 convention[7]
Class Description
A
Motor cycles
B
Motor vehicles, other than those in category A, having a permissible maximum weight not exceeding 3,500 kg and not more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.
C
Motor vehicles used for the carriage of goods and whose permissible maximum weight exceeds 3,500 kg.
D
Motor vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and having more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat.
E
Combinations of vehicles of which the drawing vehicles is in a category or categories for which the driver is licensed (B and/or C and/or D), but that are themselves in that category or categories.

1949 convention[edit]

The 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic has been ratified by 101 states. The 1949 Convention's description of a driving permit and international driving permit are located in Annexes 9 and 10. Switzerland signed but did not ratify the convention. The 1949 Geneva Convention states that an IDP remains valid for one year from the date of issue, with a grace period of six months.

There is a European Agreement supplementing the 1949 Convention on Road Traffic, in addition to the 1949 Protocol on Road Signs and Signals, concluded in Geneva on 16 September 1950.

Licence classes according to the 1949 convention[8]
Class Description
A
Motor cycles, with or without a side-car, invalid carriages and three-wheeled motor vehicles with an unladen weight not exceeding 400 kg (900 lbs).
B
Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, at most eight seats, or those used for the transport of goods and having a permissible maximum weight not exceeding 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.
C
Motor vehicles used for the transport of goods and of which the permissible maximum weight exceeds 3,500 kg (7,700 lbs). Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.
D
Motor vehicles used for the transport of passengers and comprising, in addition to the driver's seat, more than eight seats. Vehicles in this category may be coupled with a light trailer.
E
Motor vehicles of category B, C, or D, as authorized above, with other than light trailer.
  • "Permissible maximum weight" of a vehicle means the weight of the vehicle and its maximum load when the vehicle is ready for road.
  • "Maximum load" means the weight of the load declared permissible by the competent authority of the country(or jurisdiction) of registration of the vehicle.
  • "Light trailers" shall be those of permissible maximum weight not exceeding 750 kg (1,650 lbs).

1926 convention[edit]

The 1926 International Convention relative to Motor Traffic is the older IDP Convention. It is only required in Somalia. International Driving Permits according to the 1926 Convention on Motor Traffic might also still be valid in Liechtenstein and Mexico.[9] However, both are parties of the above-mentioned later conventions, thus the most recent signed convention is the valid one.[10][11] Mexico also recognizes the Inter-American Driving Permit according to the convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automotive Traffic 1943.

Licence classes according to the 1926 convention[12]
Class Description
A
Motor vehicles of which the laden weight does not exceed 3,500 kg.
B
Motor vehicles of which the laden weight exceeds 3,500 kg.
C
Motor-cycles, with or without side-car.

Validity[edit]

According to the 1968 Vienna Convention, an IDP must have an expiration date of no more than three years from its issue date or until the expiration date of national driving permit, whichever is earlier, and it is valid for a period of one year upon the arrival in the foreign country. The previous convention (1949 Geneva Convention) stated that an IDP remains valid for one year from the date of issue.

The IDP is not valid for driving in the country or jurisdiction where it was issued, it can only be used in foreign countries, and it must be shown with the carrier's original driver's license.

Countries and jurisdictions that recognize IDP[edit]

Countries that Recognize the IDP
Participant 1968
Vienna[13]
3-year IDP
1949
Geneva[14]
1-year IDP
1926
Paris[15]
Albania Yes Yes
Algeria Yes
Argentina Yes
Armenia Yes
Australia Yes
Austria Yes Yes Yes
Azerbaijan Yes
Bahamas Yes
Bahrain Yes
Bangladesh Yes
Barbados Yes
Belarus Yes
Belgium Yes Yes
Benin Yes
Bosnia and Herzegovina Yes
Botswana Yes
Brazil Yes
Brunei Yes
Bulgaria Yes Yes Yes
Burkina Faso Yes
Cabo Verde Yes
Cambodia** Yes
Canada Yes
Central African Republic Yes Yes
Chile Yes Yes Yes
Congo Yes
Costa Rica Yes
Côte d'Ivoire Yes Yes
Croatia Yes Yes
Cuba Yes Yes Yes
Cyprus Yes
Czech Republic Yes Yes
Congo, Democratic Republic Yes Yes
Denmark Yes Yes
Dominican Republic Yes
Ecuador Yes Yes
Egypt Yes Yes
Estonia Yes
Fiji Yes
Finland Yes Yes
France Yes Yes Yes
Georgia Yes Yes
Germany Yes
Ghana Yes Yes
Greece Yes Yes
Guatemala Yes Yes
Guyana Yes
Haiti Yes
Holy See Yes Yes
Honduras Yes
Hong Kong Yes
Hungary Yes Yes Yes
Iceland Yes
India Yes
Indonesia Yes
Iran (Islamic Republic of) Yes
Iraq Yes
Ireland Yes
Israel Yes Yes
Italy Yes Yes Yes
Jamaica Yes
Japan Yes
Jordan Yes
Kazakhstan Yes
Kenya Yes
Kuwait Yes
Kyrgyzstan Yes Yes
Laos Yes
Latvia Yes
Lebanon Yes
Lesotho Yes
Liberia Yes
Liechtenstein Yes Yes
Lithuania Yes Yes
Luxembourg Yes Yes Yes
Madagascar Yes
Malawi Yes
Malaysia Yes
Mali Yes
Malta Yes
Mexico Yes Yes
Monaco Yes Yes Yes
Mongolia Yes
Montenegro Yes Yes
Morocco Yes Yes Yes
Myanmar Yes
Namibia Yes
Nepal Yes Yes
Netherlands Yes Yes
New Zealand Yes
Niger Yes Yes
Nigeria Yes Yes
North Macedonia Yes
Norway Yes Yes
Pakistan Yes
Papua New Guinea Yes
Paraguay Yes
Peru Yes Yes Yes
Philippines Yes Yes
Poland Yes Yes Yes
Portugal Yes Yes Yes
Qatar Yes
China, Republic of (Taiwan) Yes Yes
Korea, Republic of Yes Yes
Moldova, Republic of Yes
Romania Yes Yes Yes
Russian Federation Yes Yes
Rwanda Yes
San Marino Yes Yes
Saudi Arabia Yes
Senegal Yes Yes
Serbia Yes Yes
Seychelles Yes
Sierra Leone Yes
Singapore Yes
Slovakia Yes Yes
Slovenia Yes Yes
South Africa Yes Yes
Spain Yes Yes
Sri Lanka Yes
Sweden Yes Yes
Switzerland Yes Yes Yes
Syrian Arab Republic Yes
Tajikistan Yes
Thailand Yes Yes
Togo Yes
Trinidad and Tobago Yes
Tunisia Yes Yes Yes
Turkey Yes Yes
Turkmenistan Yes
Uganda Yes
Ukraine Yes
United Arab Emirates Yes Yes
United Kingdom Yes Yes
United States of America Yes
Uruguay Yes Yes
Uzbekistan Yes
Venezuela Yes Yes
Vietnam Yes
Zimbabwe Yes Yes


** IDP must be exchanged for a local driving licence.

  • In relations between the Contracting States, the 1949 Geneva Convention terminated and replaced the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic and the International Convention relative to Road Traffic signed at Paris on 24 April 1926, and the convention on the Regulation of Inter- American Automotive Traffic opened for signature at Washington on 15 December 1943.
  • In relations between the Contracting States, the 1968 Vienna Convention terminated and replaced the International Convention relative to Motor Traffic and the International Convention relative to Road Traffic, signed at Paris on 24 April 1926, the convention on the Regulation of Inter-American Automotive Traffic, opened for signature at Washington on 15 December 1943, and the Convention on Road Traffic, opened for signature at Geneva on 19 September 1949.

ISO compliant driving licence[edit]

ISO/IEC 18013 establishes guidelines for the design format and data content of an ISO-compliant driving licence (IDL). The design approach is to establish a secure domestic driving permit (DDP) and accompanying booklet for international use, instead of the international driving permit (IDP) paper document.[16][17]

This standard however, it should be noted, has no official mandate or recognition from the WP.1 of UNECE as a replacement for the current IDP standards as described in the 1949 and 1968 Conventions.

Card design[edit]

The requirements with regards to content and layout of the data elements is contained in Annex A of ISO/IEC 18013-1:2018. While the main ideology is a minimum acceptable set of requirements, sufficient freedom is afforded to the issuing authorities of driving licences to meet domestic needs such as existing standards, data contents and security elements.

Booklet layout[edit]

The specifications of the layout of the booklet is defined in Annex G of ISO/IEC 18013-1:2018. There are two options; a booklet with some personalisation or a booklet with no personalisation.

The booklet shall be marginally larger than a ID-1 size driving license card, with an insert pocket for storage of the card, and for convenient carrying of the booklet. The front cover should include the logo of the UN or the issuing country and the words “Translation of Driving Licence” and "Traduction du Permis de Conduire ".

References[edit]

  1. ^ "How to Apply for an IDP". International Driving Permit. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  2. ^ "AAA IDP International Driving Permit". www.aaa.com. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  3. ^ "Internasjonalt førerkort". NAF (in Norwegian). Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  4. ^ "Beställ ditt internationella körkort av M Sverige!". msverige.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 2 October 2019.
  5. ^ "Driving with driving licences issued in non-EU/EEA countries". Statens vegvesen. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  6. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection". treaties.un.org. Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  7. ^ a b "1968 Convention on Road Traffic (2006 consolidated version) in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Arabic" (PDF). unece.org.
  8. ^ Convention on Road Traffic of 1949
  9. ^ List of contract-party-states in the current version of the german International Driving Permit according to the 1926 Convention on Motor Traffic. (In german language.) Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz (Federal Ministry for Justice and Consumer protection of the Federal Republic of Germany). Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  10. ^ Status of the 1 . Convention on Road Traffic Geneva, 19 September 1949. United Nations Treaty Collection. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  11. ^ Status of the 19 . Convention on Road Traffic Vienna, 8 November 1968. United Nations Treaty Collection. Retrieved 18 March 2014.
  12. ^ Anlage 8b zu § 25b Absatz 2 der Verordnung über die Zulassung von Personen zum Straßenverkehr [Fahrerlaubnis-Verordnung - FeV] vom 13. Dezember 2010 [BGBl. I S. 1980], die durch Artikel 2 der Verordnung vom 5. November 2013 [BGBl. I S. 3920] geändert worden ist: Muster eines Internationalen Führerscheins nach dem Internationalen Abkommen über Kraftfahrzeugverkehr vom 24. April 1926 Archived 19 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. (Appendix 8b to Section 25b Paragraph 2 of the Driving Licence Ordinance [of the Federal Republic of Germany]: Sample of an International Driving Permit according to the International Convention of the 24. April 1926.) (In german language.) Retrieved 19 March 2014.
  13. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection". treaties.un.org. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  14. ^ "United Nations Treaty Collection". treaties.un.org. Retrieved 17 April 2020.
  15. ^ http://www.nyszone.com. "Brief Overview of International Driving Permits". www.adcidl.com. Retrieved 1 October 2019.
  16. ^ 14:00-17:00. "ISO/IEC 18013-1:2018". ISO. Retrieved 26 January 2021.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  17. ^ https://staging.tttfp.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/ISO_IEC_FDIS_18013-1E-2nd-Edition-12Jan18.pdf

External links[edit]

Information about scams
Copies of treaties