Road trips are a fun travel option, but if you’re road tripping overseas, you want to be prepared. Some countries actually require an international permit.
Photo by Jay Bergensen
While there are countries that will let you drive with your Australian licence, Travel + Leisure points out that some areas require an International Driving Permit. It’s a $39 document that translates your licence into 10 languages, making it easier to rent a vehicle. According to the Smarttraveller, you have to obtain your permit from a member of the Australian Automobile Association (a list can be found on their website):
Many countries require Australians to have an international driving permit (IDP) in addition to a valid Australian driving licence to legally drive a car, or ride a motorbike. An IDP is a widely recognised document that can be issued by associated members of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA).
The document is valid for about a year, and the NRMA states that you must have both your international permit and your Australian licence with you when driving overseas. So which countries require (or at least recommend) it? There are about 90, according to RACV. Some of them include the US, Iceland and Japan. There are different stipulations depending on the country, though.
Your best bet is to check the driving requirements of your destination if you plan on driving, but you can see a full list of countries here.