Obtaining an international driving licence is essential for individuals planning to drive a vehicle in foreign countries. It serves as a legal document that allows you to drive in countries that recognize and accept international driving permits. If you are an Indian citizen and wish to acquire an international driving licence, this guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions to help you through the process.
Step 1: Check Eligibility
Before applying for an international driving licence, ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. In India, you must hold a valid Indian driving licence and be at least 18 years old to apply for an international driving permit.
Step 2: Gather Required Documents
To obtain an international driving licence in India, you will need the following documents:
Duly filled application form (available at the Regional Transport Office or online)
Copy of your valid Indian driving licence
Copy of your passport
Proof of residence (such as Aadhaar card, voter ID, or utility bill)
Passport-sized photographs (as specified by the issuing authority)
Step 3: Visit the Regional Transport Office (RTO)
Take all the required documents to the Regional Transport Office (RTO) closest to your place of residence. Submit the application form along with the supporting documents to the designated officer. Ensure that you have the original documents for verification purposes.
Step 4: Pay the Fee
Pay the prescribed fee for the international driving licence at the RTO. The fee may vary from one state to another, so it’s advisable to inquire about the exact amount beforehand. Obtain the receipt as proof of payment.
Step 5: Process and Delivery
The RTO will process your application and verify the provided documents. Once the verification is complete, your international driving licence will be issued. The time taken for processing may vary, but it typically takes around 2 to 3 weeks.
Step 6: Understanding Validity and Restrictions
It’s important to note that an international driving licence obtained in India is valid for one year from the date of issue or until the expiry of your Indian driving licence, whichever comes first. Additionally, certain countries may have specific rules and regulations regarding driving, so it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with any restrictions or requirements before driving in a foreign country.
Step 7: Carry the licence with Your Passport
Once you have received your international driving licence, it’s essential to keep it safely along with your passport while traveling abroad. The licence should be presented alongside your valid passport and Indian driving licence when required by local authorities or law enforcement officers.
Step 8: Renewing Your International Driving licence
If you plan to continue driving abroad beyond the validity period of your international driving licence, you will need to renew it before it expires. The renewal process is similar to the initial application process and requires submitting the necessary documents and paying the applicable fee at the RTO.
Step 9: Additional Considerations
While an international driving licence allows you to drive legally in many countries, it’s crucial to be aware of any specific requirements or restrictions that may apply in your destination country. Some countries may require additional permits, such as a temporary driving permit, or may have specific rules for driving in their jurisdiction. It’s always advisable to research and familiarize yourself with the local driving laws and regulations of the country you plan to visit.
Step 10: Driving Responsibly Abroad
Driving in a foreign country comes with its own set of challenges, including different traffic rules, road signs, and driving customs. It is crucial to prioritize safety and drive responsibly while abroad. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Familiarize yourself with local traffic laws:
Before driving in a foreign country, take the time to understand the local traffic laws, road signs, and speed limits. Research any specific driving rules or regulations that may apply in the country you plan to visit.
Follow local driving customs:
Different countries may have unique driving customs and practices. Observe and adapt to the local driving style to ensure a smooth and safe driving experience. Pay attention to how locals navigate intersections, yield right-of-way, and merge into traffic.
Stay aware of road conditions:
Be mindful of the road conditions and adjust your driving accordingly. Familiarize yourself with local weather patterns, road quality, and any specific challenges such as mountainous terrain or narrow roads.
Carry necessary documents:
Always keep your international driving licence, passport, and Indian driving licence with you while driving abroad. In case of any traffic stop or inspection, you will be able to present the required documents.
Purchase appropriate insurance:
Before embarking on your international trip, consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for car accidents and damages. Check if your existing car insurance provides international coverage or if you need to purchase additional coverage.
Practice defensive driving:
Be vigilant and anticipate the actions of other drivers. Practice defensive driving techniques such as maintaining a safe distance, using turn signals, and obeying traffic signals. Stay focused and avoid distractions while driving.
Respect local road etiquette:
Show respect and courtesy to other drivers on the road. Adhere to lane discipline, yield to pedestrians, and use your horn sparingly. Familiarize yourself with any specific road etiquette that may differ from what you are accustomed to.
Remember, driving in a foreign country may present new challenges, but with careful preparation and responsible driving, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience on the roads abroad.
Suggested Read- Driving Licence Renewal
Obtaining an international driving licence in India is a straightforward process if you meet the eligibility requirements and follow the necessary steps. Remember to gather all the required documents, visit the nearest Regional Transport Office, pay the applicable fee, and patiently await the issuance of your international driving licence. With this permit in hand, you can confidently drive in various countries and explore the wonders of the world on wheels. Safe travels!