Driving abroad with Indian driving license

How To Use Your Indian Driving License Abroad

The best way to know about a country is by driving around in a car or riding a bike. Exploring new places at your convenience with both time and costs at your disposal. You can take as many pit stops as you like or simply park in an approved area and set camp for the night. There is nothing better than an adventurous trip to new places where you can experience the local cultures and traditions first hand. If you’re wondering if your indian driving license can be used abroad, we’ve got you covered.

However, driving in a new country comes with its challenges. Traffic laws and other rules vary from country to country, which can be difficult to get the hang of immediately. But, no challenge is big enough for adventurous souls. If you plan a trip to a foreign country and wish to explore by driving a car or a bike, you are not alone.

Many Indians love travelling to other countries and exploring unique locations by road using their Indian Driving License (IDL). Here is a complete list of countries that will accept your IDL.

Countries that accept an Indian driving license

The following list of countries accepts a valid Indian Driving License. Are you planning a trip to any of the following countries?

1. United States of America

Several states in the USA permit drivers with a valid Indian Driving License to drive a rented car. You can also borrow a car from a friend or relative residing in the US. However, you will be allowed to drive with your Indian Driving License only for a year. Additionally, you need to carry the I-94 form with the driving license. The I-94 form shows the date of your entry into the country.

2. Malaysia

The rules in Malaysia are slightly different. To drive on the scenic views of Malaysia, your INDIAN DRIVING LICENSE should be in English or Malay. Additionally, your IDL must be approved by either the issuing authority or the Indian Embassy in Malaysia. If you cannot have your document verified, the only way to drive in Malaysia is by having a valid International Driving License.

3. Germany

Germany allows drivers with an Indian Driving License to drive around the country for six months. After which, you need to get a German driving license. Moreover, being an Indian, you need to practice driving on the right side of the road, instead of Indian traffic and cars on the left. Make sure you have a translated copy of your IDL in the German language. It is also a good idea to carry an International Driving Permit if the local authorities ask you to carry one.

4. Australia

To drive in Australia, all you need is your Indian Driving License to be in English. Travel by road to Queensland, Australian Capital Region, New South Wales, and the Northern Region for as long as three months. After this, you will need to apply for an Australian driving license. What is best about driving in Australia is that, similar to India, you will drive on the left side of the road.

5. United Kingdom

The United Kingdom, Wales, and Scotland allow Indian drivers with a valid IDL to drive for only one year. However, only a certain class of vehicles are allowed, and not all. If you wish to upgrade, you will require an International Driving License.

6. New Zealand

Using your Indian Driving License, you can drive throughout New Zealand for a year. The only condition is that you must be older than 21 years of age to drive in New Zealand. Similar to India, you will drive on the left side of the road. Another thing to keep in mind is to ensure that your driving license is in English. If not, make sure to get it translated and authorised by the New Zealand Transport Agency.

7. Switzerland

The dream of every 90s Indian kid is to travel the snow-capped Swiss mountains and visit the places they saw in movies while growing up. The majestic views that Switzerland offers are incomparable, and luckily, the country allows drivers with Indian Driving License to drive around for a year. One thing to ensure is that your driving license is in English to drive one of the rented cars in Switzerland.

8. South Africa

South Africa offers wildlife abodes for the adventurous souls out there. You can drive around the country and enjoy all the picturesque mountains and nature offered. Make sure your Indian Driving License has your current picture and signature on it. However, some car rental companies may ask to see your international driving license, so it is better to do your research beforehand and see which car rentals accept an IDL.

9. Sweden

Your Indian Driving License can be in German, French, English, Swedish, or Norwegian to drive in Sweden. The only requirement is that your IDL must accompany a valid identification as well. Moreover, your Indian Driving License will be valid in Sweden for a year.

10. Singapore

The requirement for driving in Singapore with your Indian Driving License is to have it translated in English if it is not. Moreover, you must be 18 years and older to be allowed on the road, and the validity of your IDL is one year.

11. Hong Kong

You can drive with your Indian Driving License or an international driving license for a year in Hong Kong. After this period, you must apply for a Hong Kong driving license to continue driving in the beautiful country.

12. Spain

You cannot drive around Spain with your Indian Driving License unless you have applied for permanent residency. Even then, you will only be allowed to use your IDL for six months, after which you will need to apply for Spanish Driving License. In addition to your INDIAN DRIVING LICENSE during the six months, you need to carry proof of identification at all times.

13. Canada

You can use your Indian Driving License for 60 days for driving around the beautiful Canadian scenery. You will have to drive on the right side of the road, which can be challenging for many. However, road trips across countrywide mountains, hidden waterfalls, and peaceful lakes are sure to add unforgettable memories to your life.

14. Finland

The fundamental requirement for entering Finland is to have valid health insurance. Depending on the health insurance you have, you will be granted permission to use your Indian Driving License. The validity will vary between six to twelve months.

15. Bhutan

Bhutan welcomes Indians like old friends and, therefore, allows four and two-wheelers around the country on your Indian Driving License. All you need is a vehicle permit, and you are good to travel as far and wide around Bhutan as you like!

Applying for an International Driving Licenese

Happy man in stylish suit going to business meeting in the morning, driving his luxury car, shot from cabin
Handsome businessman driving car to airport, going on business side view, copy space. Happy man in stylish suit going to business meeting in the morning, driving his luxury car, shot from cabin

Having an international driving license is quite beneficial for Indians. The frequency of travel from India to other countries is quite high. Indians travel internationally for business, leisure, higher education, and immigration. While many countries accept the Indian Driving License, it is better to have an international driving license. It enables you to travel further and not worry about your IDL’s expiry.

Applying for an International Driving License is easier than you think! You can apply for it at your local Regional Transport Office. You will need to take your valid IDL, valid Indian passport, a valid visa, and your flight tickets for verification.

Follow these simple four steps to apply for your International Driving Licencse from India:

  1. Carefully fill out Form 4-A, which is available at your local Regional Transport Office.
  2. Pay the fee for International Driving License. The current fee structure is only INR 1000.
  3. Make copies of the documents mentioned above and attach one each as supporting documents.
  4. You will get your International Driving License delivered to your residential address.

Make sure to search driving laws

The following safety tips will ensure that your driving experience in a foreign country is filled with pleasure. To avoid penalties, hassles, and road hazards, make sure you thoroughly follow these tips.

Driving on the Right Track

The biggest challenge for drivers is the change in the left and right-hand sides of driving. Unlike India, countries in Europe and the USA drive on the right side. This can be unclear when you plan to overtake a vehicle or get on a roundabout. It is better to get used to your vehicle and drive in a familiar locality before heading off to explore the rest of the country.

Understand the Foreign Driving Laws

Driving and traffic rules are different in every country. Make sure you do your research before planning to drive because this can lead to unnecessary penalties costing hundreds of dollars. Familiarize yourself with documents you must carry at all times, rules on the seat belt, placement of child seats, and other traffic laws.

Use a GPS System

It is always a good idea to rent a car that has a GPS system installed. This will ensure that you reach your destinations without getting lost along the way.

Choose a Smaller Car

While those vintage car options at the rental are tempting, choose a simple small car. These are easy to drive anywhere in the world. You can easily park them anywhere, manoeuvre around mountains and maintain them. If you are travelling with family with a lot of luggage, you will need a bigger car. Even then, choose the smallest option of the bigger car.

Carry Important Documents at all Times

For document verification, you can be stopped anytime, anywhere in the country. Make sure you always carry your visa, passport, Indian or International Driving License, and other documents at all times.

When travelling to a foreign land, it is always a good idea to use the public transport to get a taste of foreign life. However, the best way to enjoy the scenic beauty is through road travel. The experience is different, and the memories you gather along the way are certainly worth a lifetime.

Several countries do not require you to carry an International Driving License. However, we still suggest that you apply for one. If you are unable to get it in time for your travel, use your Indian Driving License to travel the world by road!

Feeling ready to make the big move?

Head over here to begin your journey
Or start ticking off your relocation checklist here

Still unsure?

Explore more destinations here 

Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS)International bank in India
× Chat with us!