If you are an Indian national, the International Driving Permit (IDP) enables you to drive a private motor vehicle in all countries which recognize an IDP. It must be accompanied by your valid Indian driving licence. The IDP, which is slightly larger than a passport, is a multi-language translation of the driver’s licence from the issuing nation, complete with photograph and vital details.
Although there are many countries where short term visitors may not need an IDP since their driving licence will suffice but its best to check with the country you are travelling to whether you will need this document. I checked withe some of my friends living in Germany and our car rental company and they told me an IDP is required to drive in Europe.
Where to apply for IDP in India
In India IDP is issued by the licensing authority in India or a few authorized automobile associations. Regional Transport Offices (RTO) are the designated government offices that deal with driving license issues in India. Before apply for a IDP from RTO make sure that address in the driving license must fall in the jurisdiction of that RTO. You can look at the right bottom of your licence to find out the area from which your licence is issued.
Documents required for IDP
- Original Driving License (1 photocopy)
- Passport + Visa + Air Ticket (1 photocopy of each)
- 4 recent photographs
- Filled Form CMV4-A
- Medical certificate in form of CMV1A
- Address in the driving license MUST fall in the jurisdiction of that RTO. Generally this is printed in your licence if not find out the RTO from where yout licence is issued and apply at the same RTO.
- IDP fee of 1000/- which is to be deposited at RTO
If your address of Passport and Licence is not same you will have to write an application to RTO stating that you will be responsible for any issues arriving due to difference in address also make sure to write your licence number and passport number in the application. Also keep the original copy of your passport and licence with you for verification.
After googling for some time and talking to some RTO agents who were charging 5000/- for IDP I decided not to go to an agent and try this on my own. As my licence was issued by K R Puram, Bangalore RTO I had to go to K R Puram RTO for getting my IDP. So I got everything ready except the medical certificate. I had read in some blog that there is a doctor just outside RTO. There is a doctor who sits near to K R Puram RTO and charged me 100 INR to sign the certificate. Once all the documents were completed I went to the IDP desk and handed all my documents, he verified all my documents and after checking orignal signed on my application and asked me to pay the fee os 1000/- INR. After paying the fee I had to go to another officer to get his signature. He again asked me some basic questions like where are you going, for how much time, with whom but I guess that was just because he wanted to know rather than a some kind of crosschecking. Once he signed on my application I had to submit the application in another office. I read online that it takes 24 hours to make IDP and you can collect it the next day but I was asked to come a week later to collect IDP. When i told him that I checked online and it takes 24 hours to prepare IDP, he said no the rules are changed and you will only get it a week later. Although one of my friend got it the next day from Kormangala RTO, I had to come a week later to collect my IDP. I was rather happy to collect the IDP after a week as it took me 1000+100 (for medical) where the agent was asking 5000 for it.
Validity of IDP issued in India
The validity of IDP issued in India is one year or until the IDP holder’s Indian driving license is valid, whichever is earlier. Both IDP and valid driving license of your home country are required to drive abroad. International Driving Permits issued in India cannot be renewed, a new application is required