International Driving Permits for UK Driving License Holders – Mid March 2019
Not the most exciting post in the world! But helpful, I hope.
I am heading off to explore Africa next month, I’m not sure if I will be driving whilst I am there but thought it is better to be prepared and have it as an option.
The process is both simple and complex!
It is simple as all you need to do is go to the Post Office with your driving license (plus passport if you have a paper license), payment, passport photos and the list of countries you will be driving in and the year of license you need. The IDP will be issued at the Post Office on the day you visit.
Let’s break this down a bit more:
Post Office – check online to see where your nearest Post Office is that will issue an IDP https://www.postoffice.co.uk/international-driving-permit#bf-full-width
Passport photos – I had mine done in the Post Office, you often find the booths in supermarkets and shopping malls. I paid £6 for 5 or 6 photos. Obviously, this photo needs to look like you, don’t use one you found in a draw if it’s very out of date.
Payment – £5.50 per IDP
Working out which IDP you need is where it becomes a bit more tricky especially with Brexit.
My understanding is that to drive in the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland if there is no deal Brexit then an International Driving Permit (IDP) will be needed.
The following link gives guidance on which IDP you may need
Be aware that there are 3 types (1926, 1949 and 1968) of IDP so depending on how many countries you are driving in you may need 2 or even 3 different IDPs!
I am going away after 28th March 2019 so I am going to wait to see what happens with Brexit and check for further guidance on the gov.uk website. Currently if I were to drive in South Africa before 28 March I would need a 1949 IDP but after I will need a 1968 IDP as the 1949 won’t be valid! That is the current guidance.
Here is the link to the list of countries with their required IDPs
Regardless of Brexit check if you need an IDP as this was something, I have thought about quite last minute but luckily you can get them done at a post office on the day you decide to buy one.
Also, something to note is
that IDP’s are time limited. A 1949 permit lasts for 12 months. A 1968 permit
lasts for 3 years or until your UK driving licence expires, whichever comes
I’m not sure if you can obtain an IDP whilst abroad if travelling and your IDP expires, I have tried to research this, but it isn’t clear.
If you are residing in a country, then you are generally expected to apply for a local driving license.
I hope this was helpful, I will update the blog once I have obtained my IDP’s for my trip to Africa, hopefully it will be straightforward following what ever happens on 28th March 2019.