International Driving Permit Armenia
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 IDP work in Armenia?
Only driver’s licenses from countries contracted to the Vienna Road Traffic Convention in 1968 are accepted in Armenia. Drivers can drive in Armenia for as long as their driver’s licenses are valid. If you are from any other country, you can drive in Armenia if your driving license has been issued in the Latin alphabet. It is recommended you have an international driver’s permit. If your driver’s license has been issued in another alphabet, you must have an international driver’s permit. You may also use your international driver’s permit as an identification document in the Czech Republic.
How do you apply for an IDP in Armenia?
You can apply for your IDP through our website. You will receive your digital IDP in under 20 minutes to your email box. Your printed IDP will be sent to you within 2 to 30 days, depending on your chosen delivery method.
United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic
There have been three international road traffic conventions – in Paris (1926), Geneva (1949), and Vienna (1968). The United Nations organized the conventions to standardize global road traffic regulations. The countries contracted to the first two conventions recognize IDPs for one year, and countries contracted to the latter convention honor IDPs for three years. Each country has institutions that the United Nations authorized to issue international driver’s permits.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Armenia
Functionality as an ID
Many travelers are worried about losing their passport or national ID while traveling. An international driver’s permit can double as an identification document. This way, you can keep your important documents locked up while using the IDP as a legal document. You may have your domestic identification documents in a language that is not internationally recognized. Your IDP can be used as a translated identification document that any foreign government official can use.
Quicker traffic authority stops.
Armenia allows countries that are contracted to the Vienna convention. However, many countries on that list do not issue their driving licenses in an internationally recognized language. Drivers that go to Armenia and deal with Armenian traffic police and other law enforcement authorities face trouble when their licenses are processed. While some police officers in cosmopolitan centers in Armenia are familiar with processing foreign driving licenses, most aren’t. We recommend having an international driver’s license to maximize your vacation time.
Car rental companies
Most car rental companies in Armenia require an international driver’s permit, even if the country that issued your driver’s license is contracted to the Vienna convention. This is especially true for countries that use scripts that are not the Latin alphabet. Some car rental agencies will increase the deposit kept if you don’t have an IDP.
Laws requiring an IDP
Armenia was contracted to the Vienna Motor Traffic Convention in 1968 and recognizes International Driving Permits for one year. You can drive in Armenia for as long as your foreign driver’s license is valid and the country that issued your driver’s license is contracted to the Vienna convention. If you are from any other country, you are allowed to drive on Armenian roads if you have an IDP in addition to a valid driver’s license.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Armenia
Short-term visitors vs. residents
Armenia has a visa-free regime for several countries with bilateral agreements. If you are from such a country, you can stay in Armenia for 180 days after each entry. Armenian tourist visas are granted for a maximum of 120 days, and you may extend your visa for another 60 days for a total of 180 days after your arrival.
Suppose you are studying in Armenia or a wife, husband, child, grandparent, or grandchild of an Armenian citizen or a foreigner with a special Armenian passport. In that case, you can get a temporary resident permit there. You are also eligible if you have a business in Armenia. Once you live legally in Armenia for three years, you can apply for a permanent resident card, which is issued for five years.
How long can I drive with a foreign driving license?
You may drive in Armenia indefinitely if you have a driver’s license from a country contracted to the Vienna motor traffic convention. The license issued needs to be valid and unexpired. If you are from any other country, you should have a valid international driver’s license.
When Should I Get an Armenian Driver’s License?
If you have a license in the Latin alphabet and find that Armenian law enforcement process your driver’s license quickly, you can very well keep using your original domestic license. This is as long as the driver’s license renewal process in the country that issued your license is quick and easy to do from abroad. If you have business in Armenia and live there, you may want to get an Armenian driving license if you have been living there for more than six months.
How to get an Armenian driving license
It can be lengthy if you have a foreign driver’s license and want to convert it to an Armenian one. You should submit three filled copies of the application form and three copies of your foreign driver’s license. Three copies of an official driver’s license translation and three copies of your identification card from MFA.
The process is even more lengthy if you don’t have a foreign driver’s license and apply for an Armenian driver’s license from scratch. You will also need to submit a letter of intent, your passport, an identification document with your place of residence, payment slips for the written and practical tests given by the government, and a separate payment slip for the service test. You should also give the government a payment slip for processing your application.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in Armenia
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your IDP on our website.
Renewing your original driver’s license
You may need to renew your driver’s license while in Armenia if you are there for a prolonged period. Most countries have an internet portal to help with the procedure for expatriates. Some countries require you to have a vision and medical tests before allowing your license to be renewed. In this case, you may have to return to your home country to complete the procedure. As this process can take over three months for some countries, ensure you have enough time when planning your trip.
Car Rental in Armenia
Requirements for car rental
Most companies require you to be 21 before renting a vehicle, and some companies will need you to be over 22. You must have a valid driver’s license, a valid international driver’s permit, and a credit card. Some car rental agencies will also require your passport.
Deposit and costs for car rental
The cost of renting a car from an Armenian car rental company will be from €20 to €80, depending on the size and age of the vehicle. On average, you can rent a mid-sized four-door sedan for about €35 per day. This comes to around €210 per week as the duration is a little longer. Luxury vehicles can cost over €80. Car rental deposits generally reflect the type of vehicle you rent. Depending on your rental company, the deposit will be from €200 to €500 for a mid-sized sedan. You can rent extras such as a GPS for a nominal daily charge. When planning your payment methods, remember that the deposit will be blocked off on your credit card for the rental duration.
Like in most other countries, you must have third-party insurance in Armenia. Third-party insurance covers the cost of injured people and damaged property if you meet with an accident. Your vehicle (or rental vehicle), property inside the car, and you are not covered by this type of insurance. You should get Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and theft insurance when driving in Armenia, as there is a possibility of having an accident due to improperly maintained roads. If you want to be carefree in your driving, you can opt to go for Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), which takes care of all liability in an accident.
Armenia has a mid-level of crime when compared to other European countries. You should get travel insurance in addition to car insurance when traveling there. Please consider some of the following points when choosing your travel insurance:
- The insurance coverage should include cancellation and lost deposits.
- The insurance package should cover hospital stays.
- The coverage should cover excess charges not covered by your rental car insurance.
- The coverage should include lost and damaged baggage.
- The insurance cover should include emergency dental work/surgery.
- If you are risk averse, it’s good to have the travel insurance cover funeral costs in the event of sudden death in the travel group. The hospital, transportation, and administrative expenses in such an event can be excessive.
Driving and Safety in Armenia
Where can you get a driving handbook with the road rules?
It won’t be easy to find a free copy of the Czech highway code on the internet, especially if you are looking for one in English. However, you can get a basic idea of the road rules at https://expat.praha.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/basic-traffic-rules-in-the-czech-republic.pdf. You will be given a basic overview of Czech traffic laws. Usually, you are given a free copy of the driver’s handbook when you enroll for a course in an accredited Czech driving school. You may also find up-to-date highway code booklets in bookstores in major cities.
Overtaking on Armenian roads
Armenian motorists drive on the right side of the road and have left-hand driven vehicles. This means you can only overtake from the left unless there is a sign saying otherwise. You should check all your mirrors and ensure there is sufficient space in front before overtaking. You may not overtake on dangerous roads or when there is poor visibility. Look out for traffic signs depicting either when driving.
Turning and right of way on Armenian roads
Motorists on bigger roads prioritize motorists on more minor intersectional roads. If the intersecting roads are of a similar size, vehicles going straight and turning right have the right of way. A motorist turning left has to wait until there is a sufficient gap in the oncoming traffic.
On some rural roads, there are no markings on which crossroads to stop before moving forward. When approaching an unmarked crossroads, go slow enough to come to a complete stop. Motorists merging into traffic on a roundabout should give way, and you should adapt to the speed of the traffic on the roundabout.
Speed limits on Armenian roads
The speed limit can be as low as 40 km/h (25 mph) in areas with Kindergartens or primary schools. In urban areas, the speed limit can be as high as 60 km/h (38 mph). You can go up to 56 km/h on Armenian highways. There are speed traps with an automated camera system that regulates much of Yerevan’s traffic, so be careful not to exceed the speed limits there. Also, the roads are not well maintained when traveling outside metropolitan areas. On rural roads, you may wish to go well below the speed limit of 90 km/h (56 mph).
Tips for driving in Armenia
- Motorists drive on the right side of the road in Armenia.
- You should be 18 to drive on Armenian roads.
- The driver and front passengers of all vehicles should wear seatbelts.
- You cannot use a mobile phone unless you are using a hands-free device.
- Children under 12 cannot use the front passenger seat if passenger seats are in the rear.
- Armenian people are friendly and ready to help. Don’t hesitate to ask questions if you are lost or need assistance.
- Farm animals such as sheep and cows are regularly allowed to roam alongside and on roads.
- If you are traveling far in Armenia, fuel up before you embark on the journey. In some areas, fuel stations are scarce.
- There may be mileage limits on your rental car. If you exceed the limit, you will pay extra for every kilometer.
- If you can afford it, go for an SUV if you plan on using rural roads.
- Armenian drivers can be reckless and erratic on the road. When driving, try to be aware of all the vehicles around your vehicle (including the ones in the rear).
Drinking and driving
Armenia has a zero-tolerance policy for drinking and driving. Your blood-alcohol level should be 0.0% when driving on its roads. The punitive measures taken by the country if a law enforcement agent catches you driving while under the influence will be a hefty fine. You may also be assigned jail time depending on the infringement’s egregiousness. Repeat offenders are given progressively higher fines and longer jail sentences. You can be stripped of your license if you cause injury or death to someone on the road while driving under the influence.
Top 3 Places to Visit in Armenia
Yerevan is Armenia’s capital, and it’s a great place to start exploring the wonders of Armenia. One of the main attractions of this city is dedicated to the Soviet victory in World War II. The monument is called Cascade and is situated in the Grand Republic Square of the city. You can climb to the top to get some scenic selfies. Another place to visit is the memorial dedicated to the Armenian Genocide. There are many other historical places to visit as you meander around the city’s well-structured streets. When you are ready to spend some money and enjoy yourself, you can do thrift shopping at the Vernissage flea market. You should visit the Blue Mosque, the only mosque in the country. You should also visit the unusual but thrilling attraction of Levon’s Amazing Underground World. You can use Yerevan as a base to explore much of the country.
Shikahogh State Reserve
It’s hard to imagine, but Armenia has a large forest reserve that remains unexplored. Shikahugh state reserve is Armenia’s second biggest and home to over 1,100 species of plants. It’s hard to guess the number of fauna present as the reserve has not been adequately assessed yet. However, leopards, bears, wild goats, and vipers are in the mix. A successful lobby prevented a highway from being built through it in 2005. When you are exploring Shikahugh, be sure to visit a couple of its several waterfalls to relax. You may even discover an animal that hasn’t been recorded at the park.
Lake Sevan is the largest lake in Armenia. The nature in that area is beautiful and is a great place to visit when you need some time to relax and contemplate. When you are ready to explore some of Armenia’s historical sites, you can visit some of the many monasteries in the area. The most impressive of these is the Sevanavank Monastery. If you are into watersports, you can windsurf with this gorgeous site in the background. There are several famous beaches at the lake, many of which have seafood shops for which the area is famous. This is the place to go if you want to get your summer tan.
Can I drive a vehicle with a foreign license in Armenia?
You can drive on Armenian roads indefinitely with a foreign license. If you are from a country contracted to the Vienna convention, you don’t even need an international driver’s permit.
How long will my International Driving Permit be valid in Armenia?
Armenia was contracted to the Vienna Motor Traffic Convention in 1968, so you may use your IDP for three years.
How long will transferring my license to an Armenian one take?
The licensing authorities in Armenia are not that streamlined, and the process can take up to two months.
On which side of the road do you drive in Armenia?
In Armenia, vehicles are driven on the right side of the road.
Do you need a foreign license printed in English to drive in Armenia?
According to Armenian law, you must have an international driver’s permit if your license is not in the Latin Alphabet. However, in reality, you should have an IDP if your driving license is not in an internationally recognized language.