Confused by how to get an International Driving Permit? Did you know that there are not one, but THREE types of International Driver Permits? And different countries across Europe will only accept specific ones. For example, France and Spain will require a totally different document in order to drive there… assuming, of course, there is a NO-DEAL BREXIT.
Don't worry- This post will help break it down for you.
Do I need an International Driving Permit before BREXIT?
Yep. Depending on where you travel. International Driving Permits (IDP) are not a new thing and they are necessary to drive in pretty much any country in the world outside of Europe. Like when we road-tripped through Mexico!
However, UK citizens do NOT currently need an IDP to drive in Europe. This will change if there is a no-deal BREXIT on 28th March 2019.
Will I need an International Driving Permit to drive in Europe AFTER BREXIT?
The UK Government is still working on securing a deal. Part of the proposed deal is that UK citizens will still be able to drive in Europe using only their UK licence, completely removing the need for an IDP in Europe. BUT, while this deal still remains unsigned, there is a high chance that we will need an IDP, so the current advice is to get one if you are planning to drive in Europe soon after BREXIT.
You will still need an IDP for other countries around the world- whether a deal is signed in Europe or not!
How to get an International Driving Permit?
Surprisingly, this is one of the easiest bits of paperwork I've ever done. All you need to do is visit your local Post Office. Even the smaller branches have been given authority to issue IDPs, so there should be a branch quite close to you which has the ability to issue them.
There are THREE types of International Driving Permit, 1926, 1949 and 1968. Each type covers a different country around the world.
After 28th March 2019, you will need a:
- 1926 permit to drive in Liechtenstein
- 1949 permit to drive in Spain, Iceland, Malta and Cyprus
- 1968 permit to drive in all other EU countries, plus Norway and Switzerland
You must be over 18 and hold a current UK driving licence. You also need to be a UK resident.
How to get an International Driving Permit at the Post Office
Here are the simple steps to get an International Driving Permit at the Post Office:
- Bring your current (in date!) driving licence. You do NOT need the paper part
- Bring one passport photo (needs to be to the same standards as a passport photo- no smiling, plain background, size etc) You will need one photo PER permit.
- KNOW WHICH COUNTRY you want to visit. This will help them issue you the correct IDP.
- Hand over your driving licence and photo. They will copy down the details and stamp the correct parts
- CHECK THEY HAVE WRITTEN IT ALL CORRECTLY!
- Get your shiny new IDP! (Make sure to get your Driving licence back too- you still need to carry that!)
How long does it take to get an International Driving Permit?
If you already have the photo, it takes about 5 minutes. At most. It's seriously straight-forward.
How much does an International Driver Permit cost?
The International Driving Permit costs £5.50 per permit.
How long is the International Driving Permit valid for?
Ok, brace yourself. This is the only part which is a bit crazy.
The 1968 International Driving Permit is valid for 3 years, but only as long as you have a current UK Driving licence.
The 1949 IDP is only valid for one year.
Also, if you currently have an IDP, the country may change which one it requires after 28th March 2019. For example, Albania currently requires a 1949 IDP licence, but will require a 1968 IDP after BREXIT. The full list can be found HERE.
Is UK Driving Licence valid in Europe after BREXIT?
If there is no deal, you will not be allowed to drive in Europe without an IDP. If you are a resident in Europe outside the UK, you MUST exchange your UK driving licence for one in the country you are resident in, BEFORE the 29th March 2019- or you will need to pass a driving test in that country.
Will I need an International Driving Permit for Ireland?
No. Ireland has already stated that it will accept current UK driving licences without the need for an IDP.
Can I get an International Driving Permit online?
You can, but honestly you don't need to. It costs more, takes longer and you run the risk of something going wrong. Pop to your local Post Office and avoid any issues.
Do I need a Green Card to drive in Europe?
A Green Card is evidence of motor insurance cover when driving abroad.
Currently, you do not need a motor insurance Green Card to drive a UK registered vehicle in most of Europe.
After 28th March 2019, if there is no deal, drivers of UK registered vehicles will need to carry a motor insurance Green Card when driving in the EU and EEA. It is not clear what the rules will be for vehicles ALREADY in Europe.
Some countries also require separate insurance for trailers. This means that you may also need a separate Green Card for your trailer.
Contact your vehicle insurance provider to obtain a motor insurance Green Card. I have asked my insurer 3 times, and each time they have asked me to call back in a couple of weeks. I think everyone is hoping for a deal!
(For obvious reasons, the information in this post may change at a moment's notice due to the current Political climate. I do my very best to update the information as quickly as I can after the Government have updated us. You will ALWAYS find the most up-to-date information at gov.uk)