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  • International Driving Licence

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    A driving licence holder can use their licence to ride/drive a motorised vehicle throughout the country for a period of 20 years or until the concerned individual attains the age of 50 years. The Indian driving licence, however, is not valid outside the geographical boundaries of the country. If you are travelling abroad and wish to drive or ride a motor vehicle during your stay in that particular country, you will need to apply for an international driving licence or an international driving permit. The application will have to be submitted to the RTO in your jurisdiction and you will need to specify the various countries that you intend to visit and the duration of your stay in these countries.

    How to Apply for an International Driving Licence

    To obtain an international driving licence, the concerned individual is required to submit an application to the RTO in one’s jurisdiction. You will also need to submit the following documents when applying for an international driving licence/permit:

    • Valid driving licence
    • Secondary ID proof such as birth certificate, ration card, Aadhaar card, etc.
    • Secondary permanent address proof such as passport, Aadhaar card, etc.
    • Four recent passport-size photographs
    • Applicant’s visa, passport, and tickets
    • Form CMV 1 and 1A (medical certificate)
    • Form CMV 4 (application form)

    Form CMV 1 and 1A and Form CMV 4 are available online. Thus, you can choose to download these forms and key in the required details before submitting it to the RTO. Along with the application form, passport-size photographs, and required documents, you will also need to pay a fee of Rs.1,000 for the same. Further, you will also be required to pay a processing fee of Rs.200.

    *Note: You can also obtain an international driving permit by submitting the application to the Western India Automobile Association (WIAA). However, to submit an application to the WIAA, you will need to be a member of the association. You will have to pay a fee of Rs.1,500 if you are submitting an application for an international driving licence to the WIAA. You can also choose to apply for the international driving permit online through the International Traffic Control Association (ITCA) website.

    Validity of the International Driving Licence

    Once issued, the international driving licence or international driving permit is valid for a period of one year or until the expiry of your Indian driving licence, based on whichever of the two happens first. However, you cannot renew your international driving licence. You will need to make a fresh application for an international driving licence after its expiry if you need the licence for more than a year.

    The international driving licence issued in India is accepted in over 150 countries across the world. A few countries which accept the international driving licence or international driving permit issued in India are as follows:

    • Argentina
    • Australia
    • Bahrain
    • Bhutan
    • Canada
    • Colombia
    • Dominican Republic
    • Egypt
    • Georgia
    • Guam
    • Haiti
    • Hungary
    • Jordan
    • Japan
    • Kenya
    • South Korea
    • Lebanon
    • Libya
    • Madagascar
    • Malaysia
    • Mexico
    • Nepal
    • Oman
    • Paraguay
    • Portugal
    • Qatar
    • Serbia
    • Singapore
    • South Africa
    • Thailand
    • Tunisia
    • Turkey
    • United Arab Emirates
    • United States of America
    • Yemen
    • Zimbabwe

    Things to Keep in Mind about the International Driving Licence

    • Once you have applied for an international driving licence, it can take the Regional Transport Office (RTO) up to 7 days to issue the international driving licence. Thus, you will have to apply for it keeping this timeline in mind.
    • To be eligible to apply for the international driving licence, the concerned individual is required to have an Indian driving licence. You cannot apply for an international driving licence unless you have an Indian driving licence.
    • If you lose your international driving licence while you are travelling abroad, you will immediately have to inform local authorities about the same. Further, you will also need to inform the Indian embassy in the country that you are visiting about the loss of your international driving permit.
    • If you happen to lose your international driving licence while you are in India, you will need to register an FIR at the nearest police station.
    • In order to get an international driving licence, you will need to have a visa for the country that you will be visiting.
    • The international driving licence is printed in international languages, based on the country that you will be visiting.

    Categories of Vehicles for Which an International Driving Licence Can be obtained

    Certain categories of vehicles for which you can obtain a driving licence are as follows:

    • Motorcycles of Category L1 and L2
    • Motorcycles that have a total mass that doesn’t exceed 3,500 kgs and not over 8 seats in addition the driver’s seat
    • Motor vehicles that are used to transport goods that have a maximum weight of over 3,500 kgs
    • Motor vehicles that are used to transport passengers and have over 8 seats in addition to the driver’s seat.

    Advantages of Having an International Driving Licence

    The benefits of having an international driving licence are as follows:

    • Your international driving licence can be used as ID proof when you are travelling abroad.
    • An international driving licence certifies that you can drive/ride a motorised vehicle in a foreign country.
    • An international driving licence can help you rent a car when abroad.
    • Having an international driving licence can make it easier for you to claim insurance.
    • You will not have to depend on public transport when travelling abroad if you have an international driving permit

    FAQs On International Driving Licence

    1.Can I extend the tenure of the international driving permit if my Indian driving licence is still valid?

    No, you cannot extend the tenure of your international driving licence. The international driving licence is valid for a 1-year period. Post this, you will need to apply for a new international driving permit by submitting the application form, required documents, and fee.

    2.How long does the RTO take to issue an international driving licence?

    Once you have submitted the application form for an international driving licence to an RTO, you will receive the permit within a period of 7 days.

    3.Can I rent a two-wheeler when I am abroad if I have an international driving licence?

    Yes, you can rent a two-wheeler when you are abroad if you have an international driving licence and an Indian driving licence that permits you to ride two-wheelers.

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