Last Updated: Monday, 30th Aug’21
Travelers of all age groups agree that driving your own vehicle in a foreign land can pave the way for an exhilarating experience. A car drive promises views which you would never be able to relish when traveling via train or flight. The excitement involved in driving on roads full of twists and turns can make your overseas trip memorable. What makes overseas road trips stand out is the fact that they give you freedom of movement.
If you have been eager to know in which country Indian driving licence is valid, you have landed in the right place. Instead of bearing the burden of shipping your car to the travel destination, you should rather rent a vehicle for the duration of your stay. Overseas car rentals can work out to be economical and more convenient, especially if you are on a long vacation.
Here, we have come up with a list of top 21 countries where you can drive your vehicle with an Indian driving license
1. United States
People travel to the United States to take delight in the sight of the country’s modern architecture. With your Indian driving licence, you can travel in the USA via your car for 1 whole year. In some cities, you may be required to show your International Driving Permit (IDP) handy. Don’t worry if your licence is not in English as you just have to notify the States about your date of entry and carry Form I-94.
Norway is a big favorite among travelers owing to its natural landscapes and snow-covered mountains. The good news is that anyone having an Indian driving licence can explore the grandeur of this country in a self-driven car for 3 months
Canada is a one-stop holiday destination where you can indulge in natural beauty to bring back beautiful memories home. While your Indian driving licence will only let you drive in Canada for 3 months, you can continue your road trip simply by applying for a Canadian licence.
Germany is home to numerous car museums. The country allows Indian driving licence holders to drive for a period of 6 months. You must get a German copy of your driving licence along with your IDP for maximum convenience. Bear in mind that you will have to drive on the right side of the road unlike how you drive in India.
5. United Kingdom
You can discover the UK’s landscapes and drive on its roads for an entire year only in the class of vehicle listed on your Indian driving licence. Scotland, Wales and England are the 3 parts in the UK where you will be allowed to drive on your own.
For driving on the roads of Malaysia, you must have an IDP and driving licence issued either in Malay or English language. Furthermore, ensure that your licence is authorized by the Indian embassy.
7. South Africa
Deemed a wonderland for wildlife enthusiasts, South Africa has various winding roads where you can drive rented cars with your Indian driving licence. The main thing is that your licence should be in English and it must feature both your photograph and signature simultaneously.
The snow-capped mountains of Switzerland are a real delight for travelers. You can rent a vehicle to drive on the scenic roads of Switzerland for one year with an Indian driving licence in English.
Bhutan is a serene country where you can drive your vehicle with an IDP and Indian driving licence. What’s noteworthy is that the country permits visitors to drive both four wheelers and two wheelers.
Anyone aged above 18 is permitted to drive in Singapore. Take note that the validity of your Indian driving licence will end after a period of 12 months. You will have to get a Singapore Driving Licence to continue driving in the country.
11. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a glamorous destination that hums with activity around the clock. Although your Indian driving licence will suffice for driving in the country for 1 year, you will have to get a driving permit to drive beyond the specified duration.
Having earned the title of the “happiest country in the world” for 4 successive years, Finland lets visitors drive for 1 year with an Indian driving licence. When you enter Finland, you will have to undergo the mandatory process of getting health insurance. The validity of your licence will be determined based on your insurance.
France is all about colorful houses and world famous historical monuments. The country permits vacationers to drive for an entire year with a legit driving licence. You will have to ensure that your licence is in French language for it to work in France. It might take you a little while to get used to driving in France as the country adheres to the right-hand driving approach.
Mauritius boasts crystal clear waters and beautiful beaches which can mesmerize anyone. Since Mauritius is a small island, visitors get to drive their car only for 1 day, after which the licence is no longer valid.
Embarking on a road trip to Spain is a sureshot way to witness the country’s culture and beauty firsthand. You can drive in Spain with your Indian driving licence for 6 months after residency registration. The licence must be translated into English or else it would not be accepted. When in Spain, you may also be asked to produce an identity proof. So, keep it ready as well.
Having made huge contributions to the world of art, Italy never fails to capture the hearts of nature lovers. An Indian driving licence combined with an IDP is all you need to drive your vehicle in Italy. The maximum duration of your licence’s validity in Italy will be 1 year.
Famous for it’s natural wonders and rich cultural history, Iceland permits travelers to drive rented vehicles with an Indian licence converted to the English language. The country also accepts international licences issued in the United States, Canada and the European Economic Area (EEA).
Travelers visiting Ireland from their home country with a valid licence are allowed to drive for a period of 12 months. Ireland accepts driving licences issued by countries in the EU and EEA. It also accepts valid licences of countries that are located outside the European Union. After the 12 month period is over, travelers are required to get an Ireland driving licence.
19. New Zealand
If you want to experience the fun of driving on the roads of New Zealand, you must be at least 21 years old. Your Indian driving licence that is issued in English will have a validity of 1 year in New Zealand. If your licence is not in English, it must be approved by the NZ Transport Agency.
Australia is a beautiful country where you can drive on the left side which means you will not have to learn any new traffic rules. With an Indian driving licence and IDP at your disposal, you can drive in the Australian Capital Region, Northern Region, Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales. Your Indian DL will work for 3 months given that it is issued in the English language. Also, you will be restricted to the class of vehicle that your Indian driving licence is valid for.
Renowned for its gorgeous green spaces, a 1-year long road trip to Sweden is possible if you have a valid Indian driving licence. You must also carry legitimate ID proof. Your driving licence will work only if it is issued in either English, Swedish, Norwegian, French or German.
Steps to get an International Driving Permit (IDP) in India
In order to apply for IDP, you must be at least 18 years old and in possession of a valid driving licence. Given below are the quick steps to get the International Driving Permit (IDP) from Parivahan Sewa.
(NOTE: The process to apply for IDP through the online portal may change over time. So, always refer to the government’s official website for any such updates.)
1. Visit the official website gov.in using your laptop.
2. Click on the “online services” option at the upper left corner of the screen.
3. Once the drop down menu appears, select “Driving License Related Services”.
4. Select the name of your state.
5. Click on “Apply for International Driving Permit” (IDP) from the list of services that appear on the screen.
6. Thoroughly go through the instructions for application submission.
7. Select “continue” to proceed to the next page
8. Fill all the necessary details like driving licence number, DOB, address etc. (Address linked to your passport and licence should be the same. If the address is different, it will have to be changed.)
9. Fill in other personal information like mobile number, Aadhar card number, blood group etc., and proceed.
10. Fill the necessary forms and upload important documents.
11. Make the payment of Rs.1000 for IDP. If you have to get your address changed too, the fee will go up to Rs.1200 for IDP. (The fee is subject to change).
12. Print out the receipt of payment, the pre-filled forms (both form 1 and form 1A). Once you have taken out the prints, get the forms filled. The forms must also have the signature of an MBBS doctor.
13. You will have to do the self attestation of the supporting documents. To self-attest the documents, affix your signature on them and proceed to upload.
14. Take the physical copy of your document along with original passport, Visa and licence to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) for submission. You can go to the RTO anytime between 10:30AM-2:30PM. Submit your documents after getting them signed by the officer.
15. Carry your receipt to the RTO during the evening hours to collect your permit.
Without a doubt, overseas car drives give you the golden opportunity to appreciate the beauty of foreign landscapes. Driving your vehicle through picturesque stretches of roads is a great way to uplift your spirits and break away from the ordinary. Having become familiar with the list of countries where Indian driving license is valid, make sure you plan your upcoming trip wisely. Above all, keep the necessary documents handy to ensure a fun packed and hassle-free driving experience abroad.
Here are a couple of frequently asked questions about driving in foreign nations.
Q1. Can we convert our Indian driving licence to international?
As of now, there is no such facility that allows Indians to convert the status of their driving license to international. However, you can easily obtain an International Driving License (IDL) both offline and online thanks to technological advances.
Q2. Can I drive in Europe with an Indian licence?
Technically, you can drive anywhere in Europe with an Indian licence provided that you have an International Driving Permit (IDP). Your Indian licence will be valid for a period of up to 6 months from the time of your entering in Europe.
Q3. Can I drive in the USA with an Indian license?
As long as your Indian driving license is valid, you can drive in the USA for up to a year. Depending on the city, you may be asked to show an International Driving Permit (IDP) as well. You will also have to make sure that you adhere to the driving rules of the city in which you are traveling.
Q4. Does the Indian licence work in the UK?
For the initial 12 months after your entry in Great Britain, you can drive using your Indian driving license. The basic condition is that you can only drive vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tonnes with a maximum of 8 passengers at a time. If your trip duration surpasses the 12-month period, you would have to clear a driving test to obtain a provisional GB license.
Q5. Can I drive my car in Dubai with an Indian licence?
No, you will not be allowed to drive in Dubai with an Indian licence. However, you can gain eligibility for driving in Dubai by applying for an International driving license that will be valid for a period of 1 year. If you plan to rent a car in Dubai, you must also possess an International Driving Permit (IDP) which can easily be obtained from any Regional Transport Office in India. Alternatively, you can approach Dubai’s Traffic Police Department to get a 6-month temporary UAE driving license.