• All you need to know about international four wheeler driving licence

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    A driving licence is basically a document, provided by the transport authority, that permits you to drive a car. It is illegal to drive a car without a four-wheeler driving licence. If you are found driving without a valid driving licence, you will be fined heavily by the traffic police. It is important to note that the driving licence issued, generally, has certain boundary limits. The local driving licence gives you the freedom to drive your car only within the country. If you would like to drive elsewhere i.e. to a different country or within a different country, you will have to get an international four wheeler driving licence or international driving permit.

    How to apply for International Driving Licence

    If you are planning a trip abroad, and wish to drive around in the destination country, you should apply for the international driving permit. This will ensure you do not have any issue with the transport authorities of the country you visit and will also provide ease in claiming for car insurance if need be.

    To apply for an international driving permit, you are required to submit the following documents to your Zonal Regional Transport Office:

    Documents required to get international driving licence

    • Valid driving licence
    • Passport size photographs
    • Visa and ticket to the country you plan to visit
    • Valid Passport
    • Secondary address proof
    • Secondary ID proof
    • Medical certificate – Form 1A
    • Application form – Form 4A
    • Receipt for payment of fees

    The fee for the international driving licence is fixed by the local RTO and hence may differ from state to state. In most states, however, the international driving permit fee is Rs.1,000 and the processing fee is Rs.200.

    International driving licence validity

    The international driving permit issued to you is valid for a period of one year or until the expiry of your India driving licence, whichever is earlier. The permit is valid in more than 150 countries across the globe. A few of the countries where you can drive with the international driving licence, issued in India, are:

    • Afghanistan
    • Australia
    • Argentina
    • Bahamas
    • Botswana
    • Bulgaria
    • Bolivia
    • Canada
    • Colombia
    • Dominica
    • Egypt
    • Ethiopia
    • Ethiopia
    • Georgia
    • Guam
    • Ghana
    • Guyana
    • Hungary
    • Hong Kong
    • Iran
    • Italy
    • Japan
    • Kenya
    • Liberia
    • Malaysia
    • Madagascar
    • Mauritius
    • Nigeria
    • Nicaragua
    • Panama
    • Portugal
    • Russian Federation
    • Singapore
    • Sri Lanka
    • Thailand
    • Taiwan
    • Ukraine
    • USA
    • Zimbabwe

    Things to remember about international driving licence

    • You will need both, the India driving licence and the international driving licence, to drive abroad.
    • The international driving permit cannot be renewed. You will have to get a new permit if your current licence expires.
    • Your international driving licence will be printed in different languages such as English, French, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic, and Portuguese among others.

    What to do in case of loss of international driving licence

    In case you lose your international driving licence, you will have to inform the local authorities about the same. The authorities you have to report to in case of loss of your international driving permit are:

    • Loss of international driving licence in India: If you lose your international driving permit within India, you will have to report the loss to the local police station. You will be required to file an FIR of the same.
    • Loss of international driving licence outside India: If you happen to lose your international driving permit outside India, you will have to inform the Indian embassy as well as the local authorities of the country you have visited.

    Vehicle categories for which the international driving licence is applicable to

    If you have an international driving licence, you can use the following category of vehicles in the countries where the licence is valid:

    • L1 and L2 categories of motorcycles
    • Motor vehicles for which the maximum permissible weight is 3,500 kg and has only a maximum of 8 seats in addition to the driver’s seat
    • Motor vehicles that are used to carry passengers and do not have more than 8 seats besides the driver’s seat
    • Motor vehicles that can be used to carry up to 3,500 kg of goods
    • Vehicles which are a combination of the above-mentioned motor vehicles

    Therefore, when you are planning a trip abroad, make sure you get an international driving licence to avoid being penalised for driving without a permit. Also, do not forget to carry your licence always during the course of your trip.

    FAQs on international driving licence/international driving permit

    1. Can I use my international driving licence as a proof of my identity?

    Yes, in certain cases, the international driving licence may come in handy as a proof of identity.

    1. How long does it take to process the application for the international driving permit?

    Typically, 1 to 7 working days will be taken to process and issue the permit to the individual.

    1. Will I be permitted to drive a rented car under the international driving licence?

    Yes, you can rent and drive a car in the country you have visited as long as you have the international driving licence.

    1. Is there a limit to how many times you can get the international driving permit?

    There is no limit as such but you will be required to mention in the application form about previous possession of the international driving permit, if any.

    1. Will information about my previous disqualification of driving licence be required at the time of application for the international driving permit?

    Yes, you will be required to provide the reason for such disqualification in the application form.

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