What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driver’s License (IDL)?
An International Driving Permit is a small grey booklet marginally larger than a passport containing a translation of your original driving license in 10 languages, including English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish. It is recognized by 141 countries worldwide and is valid for one year.
In comparison, an International Driving License is not a legal document and cannot be used to drive in foreign countries or instead of an IDP.
How does an International Driving Permit work in Liechtenstein?
Applying for an IDP
The application process for obtaining an IDP is easy, affordable, and convenient for tourists! Any person with a valid driver’s license can apply for an IDP on our website -“insert website link” and have it delivered to their door. The applicant will be required to fill out an application form and provide the following documents:
- Domestic driver’s license
- Photo ID, such as a passport
- Completed application form
- Debit/credit card payment
Tourists must know that neither of these documents is a legal driving license, and a domestic driver’s license must accompany both. They are merely just a translation of a driver’s license, making it easier for authorities to understand the license. So tourists don’t need individual licenses in every country they visit.
How long does it take to receive an IDP?
The time a person will be waiting for their IDP to arrive largely depends on where they have ordered it from and their chosen delivery method.
A digital IDP will arrive by email within 2 hours for a standard application. A physical copy will then be sent to the chosen address, and delivery times can vary from 2 – 30 days, depending on local delivery.
Our website offers customers an express service for an added free. Choosing express means a digital IDP can be expected in just 20 minutes. Choosing express delivery will mean a physical copy of an IDP can be expected to arrive at the provided address within 2 – 14 days.
United Nations Road Traffic Agreement
The United Nations Road Traffic Agreement is a series of agreements between UN countries that authorized and implemented the use of IDPs “s around the world. It sets out precise information about what makes an IDP legal to ensure that all being authorized are allowed to be used.
These agreements were made during three conventions. The first convention occurred in 1926 and was held in Paris, followed by one in 1949 in Geneva and the last in 1968 in Vienna.
During these conventions, the UN also allowed IDPs’ to be issued by other automotive organizations on behalf of a country’s government.
Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Liechtenstein
An IDP is required in Liechtenstein for anyone who does not hold a European Driver’s License. Any tourist with a European license is not legally required to have an IDP to drive in Liechtenstein, but it is still highly recommended to help with the language barrier.
Form of Identification
One of the biggest benefits for any international traveler In a country with a language barrier is using an IDP as a form of global Identification. Since it contains important information such as the holdeR’s name, picture, and driver information, it can be especially beneficial when dealing with police in a foreign country.
Car Rental Companies
Most rental car companies worldwide, including Liechtenstein, will not permit any international driver to rent a car without having a valid International Driver’s Permit.
Driving Requirements For Non-Citizens
Shoer-term visitors vs. long-term residents
Any visitor without an EU-issued driver’s license staying on a short-term basis (less than 12 months) will be required to use an IDP for their stay.
Tourists with EU-issued driver’s licenses can drive in Liechtenstein for two years.
When Do I Need To Get A Drivers License In Liechtenstein
Once the validity period (12 months non-EU, two years EU) has surpassed, any international driver wishing to continue driving in Liechtenstein must change their driver’s license to a local one.
To change a non-EU license to a Liechtenstein license, the applicant will need to do an eye test, complete an application form, have their license translated into German, and possibly sit a driving test.
The following countries are exempt from having to sit a driving test in Liechtenstein: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Cyprus, Andorra, Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, Korea (Republic of), Croatia, Morocco, Monaco, New Zealand, San Marino, Singapore, Tunisia, USA.
Renewing Your IDP Or Drivers License In Liechtenstein
An IDP is only valid in Liechtenstein for 12 months. Any person who wishes to drive in Liechtenstein longer than this legally must obtain a local license. Renewing a license to continue driving in Liechtenstein is impossible after this period. Still, if a driver wants to restore their IDP to drive in another country, they can contact their IDP issuer and have a renewal sent to their address.
A European driver can renew their driving license in Liechtenstein and can do so by contacting their local licensing office in their home country and having the license renewed.
Vehicle Rental In Liechtenstein
Renting a car is the best way to experience Liechtenstein truly! A small country with loads to see and the ability to drive to other European countries close to Liechtenstein.
The minimum age to drive in Liechtenstein is 18, but most rental car companies will not rent a car to anyone under 21.
Car Hire in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein has many rental car companies available, and cars can be collected and dropped off at the airport or the city center. Some large companies are located here, such as Hertz Avis and Europcar, while Liechtenstein also has some local companies such as AMAG Buchs and Mobility Carsharing. With plenty of car rental companies to choose from, tourists are guaranteed to find a vehicle that suits their needs.
The same advice applies to Liechtenstein as in other countries to always shop around online and reserve a rental car in advance whenever possible. This will help drivers avoid disappointment upon arrival if the vehicle they require is unavailable.
Every car rental agency will require the following documents if a tourist wishes to rent a car in a foreign country. Not providing these documents on arrival will result in a tourist not being able to obtain a rental vehicle. The documents required are:
- National driver’s license
- International Driver’s Permit
- Debit/ Credit card for payment.
The cost for a driver renting a car in Liechtenstein will vary depending on several things. Factors such as the type and size of the car, any addons such as wifi, GPS or car seats, required insurance, and the driver’s age will all be considered.
Although some companies will rent a car to a younger driver, most companies will charge what is known as a young driver’s fee. Drivers aged between 21-25 can expect to pay a young driver’s fee. This is mainly due to the increased insurance cost associated with inexperienced drivers driving in unfamiliar areas and on unknown roads.
Another thing to consider when renting a car is that the cost will increase if the tourist intends to drive the vehicle across the Liechtenstein border. In general, car rental in Liechtenstein can cost around $70 per day upwards.
Third-party insurance is mandatory on all vehicles in Liechtenstein, including rental cars. Failure to have adequate insurance on a vehicle will result in fines and stops by police. Car rental companies may require a driver to purchase additional insurance, so check out what each company needs before deciding where to rent a car.
Hire car driving tips
- It is always recommended to inspect the inside and outside of the vehicle before accepting it to ensure it is in adequate working condition. Check the car’s tires, seat belts, oil, and lights before driving.
- Make a note of any damages previously done to the vehicle and inform the rental car agency in advance. Doing this will stop the agency from thinking the driver caused the damage so that they won’t be responsible for any damages costs.
- Ensure all documents are ready to go when arriving to collect the car.
Schengen states visa
One of the best things about traveling to Liechtenstein is how close it is to the rest of Europe. Liechtenstein is a Schengen state, a European state that can issue visas for traveling freely within other countries without needing separate visas. The following countries all allow Schengen Visa to be used: Germany, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
Once a tourist has a Schengen visa, they can drive through these states without worrying about separate visas.
Driving And Safety In Liechtenstein
Driving in Liechtenstein is considered very safe, and roads in this country are well maintained and in good condition. This country is immaculate, and they prefer rules and order. The streets are spotless, and littering can result in fines!
Liechtenstein takes safety extremely high, and as such, breaking road traffic rules or road laws is not permitted whatsoever. Breaking any road rules will result in a tourist being pulled over and fined by local police.
Liechtenstein is considered one of the safest European countries for a tourist to visit. Even with that statistic, tourists are still urged to exercise the same cautions they would traveling in any foreign country. Don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuables and do not have or take drugs of any kind.
Drivers are also warned that it is legally mandatory for all drivers to have a warning triangle within reach in their car at all times and must be used in the event of an accident.
Road rules in Liechtenstein
Brushing up on the road rules is wise before getting behind the wheel in a foreign country.
Some things to remember are:
- Parking is easy in Liechtenstein, with designated parking zones that are color-coded. Tourists should know the different color zones and what parking rules apply to each zone.
- Drink driving is not permitted in Liechtenstein
- Passengers in both the front and rear of the car must wear a seat belt
- Car seats are also mandatory for children under 12 years old and under 150 cm in height.
- The speed limits are 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h in rural areas, and 120 km/h on motorways
- Using a phone while driving in Liechtenstein is not allowed, and if a driver must have a mobile phone present, they have to use a hands-free system instead.
- You must carry your license, IDP, passport, and insurance documents with you at all times.
Top 2 Places to Visit in Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein is a beautiful country, only 25 km in length; and is nestled between Switzerland and Austria and is very close to Germany. Tourists are advised to be aware that Liechtenstein does not have an airport, so flying to this country is not possible. Accessing Liechtenstein is done by flying to Switzerland or Austria and driving or taking a bus from there.
Liechtenstein is a county straight out of fairytales, ruled by a monarch and situated deep in the lot where castles crown it. This small country has so much to do, and it is easy to forget its size.
Liechtenstein has an alpine climate, giving this country warm and wet summers and cold/snowy winters. The widely spoken languages in Liechtenstein are mainly German and English.
Vaduz is a small but mighty city full of beauty, culture, and history. Any tourist will enjoy a trip to Vaduz.
Vaduz is Liechtenstein’s capital city and is most tourists’ first stop when visiting. One of the biggest attractions of this city is the Vaduz Castle which dates back to the 12th century and sits on the Rhine river, boarding Switzerland. This castle is still home to the Royal Residence.
Another popular tourist sites are the National Museum, which is home to cultural and archaeological artifacts hosted in a medieval museum. The Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is a modern art museum that regularly displays new art.
Overlooking a small village called Balzers, Gutenburg Castle is a traditional Liechtenstein Hohenstein castle that sits on top of a hill. It dates back to the Middle ages and has been preserved in pristine order.
This castle stood during the Neolithic period and is full of wonders from that era, such as the rose garden and the elegant chapel.
What do I do if I lose my IDP in Liechtenstein?
If you lose your IDP, you must contact your IDP insurer as soon as possible to have a replacement sent! If you do not hold a valid European License, you will not be permitted to drive until replacement services.
Are police stops typical in Liechtenstein?
With safety being a top priority in Liechtenstein, police stops are common, and they often conduct checkpoints across the country and its borders. Every tourist should carry their driver’s license, IDP, passport, visa, car registration documents/rental documents, and insurance details.
Is driving different in Liechtenstein in the winter?
Although it is not legally mandatory, tourists should always have snow tires and chains when winter driving in Liechtenstein.