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 Kazakhstan?
Kazakhstan is one of the countries where an International Driver’s License is not permitted use as a driver’s license.
Any International driver who wishes to drive in Kazakhstan needs to have an IDP and is permitted to drive here for up to 6 months.
Applying for an IDP
Getting an International Driving Permit is an easy and convenient process. If a driver has a valid driving license from their home country, fill out the application form and send in the required documents on our website – “insert website link.” The following documents are required when applying for an IDP:
- National driver’s license
- Application form
- Up-to-date photo ID, i.e., passport
- Debit/credit card for payment
How long does it take to get an IDP?
How long it will take for an IDP to arrive will largely depend on where it has been ordered. Our website will have an application processed, and a digital IDP sent to your email within 2 hours. The delivery time of a physical IDP varies between 2 – 30 days, depending on chosen delivery method.
We offer an express service for an added fee for customers who are in a rush to get their IDP. Choosing express means the IDP will be processed, and a digital IDP will be received in your email within 20 minutes. Express shipping is also available for an added fee, decreasing the shipping period to 2 – 14 days.
Its especially important to double-check the application form and ensure all required documents are valid and correct, as incorrect information will delay the application process while we wait for accurate information.
United Nations agreement on road traffic
The United Nations Road Traffic agreement is an agreement that took place during three conventions between UN countries.
These conventions were held in 1926 in Paris, followed by one in 1949 in Geneva, and the last convention was in 1968 and was held in Vienna. These conventions aimed to implement the use of IDPs in 150 countries worldwide.
Another fundamental purpose established during these conventions was allowing the country’s governments to authorize other automotive associations, such as the American Automobile Association, to issue IDPs on behalf of the government.
Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Kazakhstan
The most important part of having an IDP as a tourist visiting Kazakhstan is the legal requirement for any foreign drivers who wish to drive vehicles during their stay—not having an IDP. At the same time, driving will get tourists into trouble with local police.
International Form of Identification
The most significant side benefit to having an IDP while traveling in Kazakhstan or any foreign country is its ability to act as an international form of identification. Since an IDP contains the driver’s name, a photo, and essential driver information translated into different languages, it makes a great form of identification in a country with a language barrier.
Rental car companies
Car rental companies nearly always request a foreign driver to hold an International Driving Permit before they will rent a car to a person. Other documents will also be asked for, and the driver must provide everything necessary.
Driving Requirements For Non-Citizens
Short-term visitors vs. long-term stay
Short-term visitors staying in Kazakhstan can drive with an IDP for six months. For any person who wishes to remain in Kazakhstan for a more extended period or intends on becoming a citizen here, getting a Kazakhstan Driver’s License would be best.
When Do I Need To Get A Driver’s License in Kazakhstan
International drivers are permitted to use an IDP for six months in Kazakhstan. Anyone international who wishes to continue driving after that time is required to obtain a local driver’s license. Drivers can swap their national driving license for a local driver’s license by following the steps below:
- The applicant must gather the documents and submit them to the government for Citizen Public cooperation.
- The following documents will be required: A national driving license, updated photo, ID such as passport, health certificate, and a copy, and a cert to prove payment.
- Once all documents have been received, a Kazakhstan driver’s license should be issued within 2 hours.
Renewing your IDP or Driving license in Kazakhstan
Since an IDP can only be used for six months, Kazakhstan foreign visitors wishing to drive longer can not renew their IDP. However, a driver in Kazakhstan can renew their IDP if they intend to use it in another country after their visit. To do this, contact the IDP issuer to have a renewal sent.
If a tourist needs to renew their driver’s license while in Kazakhstan, contact the local licensing office from the home country where the license was issued.
Vehicle Rental In Kazakhstan
Renting a car in Kazakhstan will help any traveler experience the variety of scenery this country offers. With Kazakhstan being so large, using public transport outside the main cities for a long drive isn’t the most ideal.
With so much to do and see, renting a car will make the entire trip more accessible and relaxing. Stunning views make for fantastic road trips; luckily, it is an affordable way to travel.
Renting vehicles in Kazakhstan
Like when visiting any foreign country, it is best to take a look online to compare prices between car rental companies and find out precisely what type of car can be obtained and will suit the needs of everyone—reserving the chosen car in advance is always a good idea wherever possible as it will ensure that the selected vehicle is available upon arrival.
Typically most car rental agencies will be located within the cities and airports, making it very easy to collect and drop off the rental car. Some big-name car rental companies are available in Kazakhstan, with the likes of Hertz, Avis, Europcar, and Autorent providing airport pick up and drop off.
The minimum driving age in Kazakhstan is 18, but Kazakhstan does not permit tourists under 23 to rent a car to anyone over 75.
Any tourist who wishes to rent a car will be required to provide the rental agency with the following documents to do so:
- National driving license
- International Driving Permit
- A valid form of ID, i.e., passport
- Debit/credit card for payment
Failure to have the required documents ready when collecting a rental car will result in the tourist being unable to obtain it.
Vehicle rental costs
Renting a car in Kazakhstan is affordable for most tourists. Rental car prices will always vary, and different factors can influence the cost. The type and size of the car required, age of the driver (young driver’s fee), insurance cost or any additional insurance, add ons a driver may want such as GPS, car seats, and wifi will all influence the price of a rental car.
Car rental can typically range from $60 to $100 per day. Finding the best car that suits the needs of the travelers while comparing it with other companies, including big names and local rental companies, can ensure a person is getting the best value for money.
It is illegal to drive any car in Kazakhstan without the required obligatory insurance. Having insurance will protect the driver from high costs in the case of road accidents. The minimum insurance allowed in Third party, fire, and theft, but insurance companies will often request additional insurance.
A younger or inexperienced driver can expect higher insurance costs due to the increased risks of driving on unfamiliar roads. Make sure to check with the car rental company that insurance is included in the package, or else it is the driver’s responsibility to get the rental car adequately insured before driving.
Driving without insurance is a legal offense, and anyone caught doing this can expect to face hefty fines or driving bans from local authorities.
Hire car driving tips
- Choose a car that is suitable for the exact purpose it is needed. If driving in cities the entire duration of the trip, smaller city cars are better suited. Due to the mountainous terrain, someone driving outside of the urban areas may require a larger vehicle.
- Be aware of the car rental policies regarding any accidents. If something happens to the car, will a replacement be given? It is also good to check about insurance cover.
- Always inspect that the vehicle is in good working standard and that all seat belts, lights, and tires are working well – taking note of any damages done to the inside and outside of the car before the driver accepts it, and make the company aware of them. This will stop the driver’s being charged damage fees they didn’t incur.
Driving And Safety In Kazakhstan
The standard of driving in Kazakhstan can vary greatly, with many roads poorly maintained, especially outside urban areas. Pedestrian zones are often poorly signposted, so always take caution when driving, especially in residential areas.
Traffic police are often seen patrolling the roads in Kazakhstan to enforce road rules and traffic laws. Breaching these laws will get a tourist into trouble and possibly face fines, driving bans, or imprisonment.
Kazakhstan is generally considered a safe country for tourists to visit, but as with any country, there is always a risk of robbery and theft. Be mindful when traveling, don’t carry large amounts of cash or jewelry, and always lock car and room doors.
Road rules in Kazakhstan
Brushing up on the road rules before getting behind the wheel in a foreign country is always wise.
Things to remember are:
- You must drive on the right-hand side of the road
- Kazakhstan has a zero-tolerance policy for driving under the influence of alcohol
- The speed limit is 60 km h in urban areas. A maximum speed limit of 20km h applies when driving outside of urban areas. On highways, drivers can drive vehicles up to 110 km h.
- Every person in a car must wear a seat belt
- You must carry your passport, license, IDP, and insurance documents in your vehicle at all times
Top 3 Places to Visit in Kazakhstan
Thanks to its sweeping and dramatic scenery, Kazakhstan is now becoming a destination country! Until recently, Kazakhstan was closed to tourists, but now that travel is permitted in this country, it is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination. Full of giant mountains, untouched lakes, and a vast land mass with a limited population, driving through Kazakhstan is a breathtaking venture.
Located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan is neighbored by Russia, China, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan and has a coastline to the west on the Caspian sea.
Kazakhstan has an extreme continental climate, meaning this country experiences long, sweltering summers and icy winters. The mainly spoken languages here are Kazakh and Russian, and English is rarely spoken.
Almaty was the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997 and is still one of the biggest cities in Kazakhstan. It is a commercial and cultural hub, with plenty of bars and restaurants for tourists to choose from.
Unique nature lies at the foot of Almaty, beside the Tian Shan mountain range, offering picturesque views from within the city. There are ski resorts and skating rinks available on the peaks.
Albany has plenty of historic sites and museums for any history buffs to visit, with plenty of documentation of Kazakhstan’s time as part of the Soviet Union.
Astana has been Kazakhstan’s capital city since 1997 and is constantly changing. Landmark buildings with impressive architecture are continually being built around the city, guaranteeing a modern feel to the city.
Soviet, western, and Kazakh influences can be seen throughout the large boulevards. Khan Shatyr is the world’s largest tent, made of ETFE, which traps heat, even when cold. This tent is a mini city, with shops, restaurants, cinemas, a water park, botanical gardens, and a mini golf course found inside!
Karkaraly National Park
In Kazakhstan’s central highlands lies dramatic landscapes, glistening rivers, and breathtaking views in Karkaraly National Park.
The park is home to plenty of nature walks, hikes, fauna, and flora to satisfy any nature lover.
What should I do if I lose my International Driving Permit in Kazakhstan?
Any tourist who loses their IDP while in Kazakhstan will not be permitted to drive until it is replaced. It is essential to contact your IDP issuer as soon as possible to have a replacement sent to you, so you can continue enjoying your trip.
When is it not safe to drive in Kazakhstan?
Driving outside of urban areas at nighttime can be hazardous for drivers due to dimly lit and poorly maintained roads. Driving during the cold season can provide extremely harsh and icy conditions, so having snow gear ready for the car is essential.
Are police stops typical in Kazakhstan?
Police stops are very common in Kazakhstan as safety is prioritized here. If the police require you to pull over, they will signal you to do so. Police will also legally need to state their name, position, rank, and division of service and must provide an adequate reason for pulling you over.
It is essential to have all of your documents with you when driving at all times, as police will request these if you are pulled over. Your driver’s license, IDP, passport, visa, car rental documents or foreign car registered papers, and insurance documents can all be requested.
References https://egov.kz/cms/en/articles/recovery_vu. https://www.google.ie/amp/s/internationaldriversassociation.com/kazakhstan-driving-guide/amp/ https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/kazakhstan/safety-and-security