What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driving Licence (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.
On the other hand, 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 Australia?
Australian states and territories will recognize your foreign driver’s license for three months in general, and some states will remember it for six months. You may need to get a temporary driver’s license if your stay in Australia is longer than three months in some states. If using an IDP, your driver’s license has to remain valid for the duration. You may also use your IDP as an identification document while traveling. If your valid driving license is in a foreign language, an IDP can be used as a translation of your license.
How do you apply for an IDP in Australia?
You can apply on our website.
In Australia, how long will it take to get an IDP?
A digital IDP takes up to 2 hours to land in your email. However, we will process your application within 20 minutes if you choose the Express Order option. A printed IDP will be delivered to your preferred address, and the estimated delivery date will vary based on your chosen delivery method (approximately 2 to 30 working days).
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Australia
Functionality as an ID
You may use an international driver’s permit as an identification document when traveling overseas. This is useful if you want to keep your national identity card and passport under lock and key. An IDP will also provide the details of your NIC in many recognized languages, making interactions with government authorities easier.
Quicker traffic authority stops
Authorities in the countries you travel to may find it hard to process driving licenses if you do not have an IDP. An IDP will allow police officers to quickly process your driving license information and send you on your way. This is useful when facing motor traffic accidents and other emergencies.
Car rental companies
A foreign car rental company might be hesitant when renting a vehicle to an international driver without an IDP. This problem persists even if the corresponding country does not officially require an IDP to drive on its roads. Having an IDP will help you save precious vacation time when dealing with car rental agencies.
Laws requiring an IDP
Australia was contracted to the Geneva Motor Traffic Convention in 1949. All international driver’s permits are only recognized for 12 months, and you must have a valid foreign driver’s permit while using an IDP.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Australia
Short-term visitors vs. residents
Australia doesn’t allow you to drive for long on its roads as a visitor, with most states limiting the recognition of a foreign driving license to 3 months. Some states will require you to get a temporary driving license if you stay longer than six months. Australian law states that you must get a local driving license within three months, even when moving interstate.
How long can I drive with a foreign license?
You will generally be able to drive in Australia for three months with a foreign driver’s license, and you can use one for six months in a few states like Victoria. Your driving license and IDP must remain valid throughout this period.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s Licence While in Australia
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your IDP through our website worldwide and get it delivered to you in under 30 days.
Renewing your original driver’s license
When using an IDP, you must have a valid driver’s license. If your license expires while you are abroad, you may have to renew it. Each country has a separate procedure for driver’s license renewals. If the country your license is issued from needs medical or vision tests, you will have to return home to renew your license. However, most countries have an online application procedure to help expatriates renew their licenses.
Car Rental in Australia
Requirements for car rental
You may only rent a motor vehicle in Australia if you are 21 or over. You must also have had a full license (learner’s and provisional licenses don’t count) for a year and are below 75 years old. Your license should have been issued in English. If your license is not in English, you should have an international driver’s permit or an official translation. You should have auto insurance (including theft and CDW) and a credit card in the driver’s name. If a car rental agency doesn’t require a credit card, there will probably be excess charges.
Costs for car rental
Car rental charges will depend on the type of car, the rental location, and the time of year. For example, a car rental from Brisbane airport will have a daily surcharge. Rental deposits will range from $150 to $1,500, depending on the type of car. Car rental companies will require a major credit card company for deposits above $700. The deposit amount will be blocked off on your credit card for the duration of your rental. This should be considered when planning expenses to be paid using your credit card. A daily rental will cost $30 to $100 for non-luxury sedans. An average week’s rental should cost around $320.
International drivers below 25 will probably have a surcharge.
All cars need to have 3rd party insurance to go on Australian roads. Third-party insurance covers damage to people and property other than the driver and the vehicle he is driving. Car rental companies insure their entire fleets for eventualities. However, if the car is stolen or has to be scrapped, the excess charges will range from $3,500 to $9,000 for the renter. To prevent these extra payments, rental companies will encourage you to go for theft insurance and a collision damage waiver (CDW). You can go for a super collision damage waiver (SCDW) if you want to be absolved of any excess payments in case of an accident.
The crime rate in Australia is moderate when compared to other developed countries. You are still recommended to get travel insurance on your trip there. You should keep the following points in mind when choosing travel insurance:
- Hospital stays should be covered with total expenses
- Lost deposits and cancellation fees should be covered if you have multiple stops
- Lost or damaged baggage should be compensated
- You should have any excess costs covered by your travel insurance if you don’t plan on getting CDW or SCDW car insurance
- Visits to the dentist in an emergency should be covered
Driving and Safety in Australia
Brushing up on the rules before driving in a foreign country is always recommended. Australia provides an official driver’s handbook on the government website. You can download it in PDF format and get a printout for review. You can also get a copy of Australia’s Highway Code in major bookshops. Some handy tips to remember are:
- You are advised to only overtake from the right-hand side as long as there have been no signs signifying otherwise
- Drivers of the main road have priority over a lane coming into the main road
- On equal roads, vehicles going straight or turning left have the right of way, which means that drivers turning right to have to wait until there’s a gap in traffic to do so
- You should slow down before junctions that don’t have signs or traffic lights. In Australia, you must go slow enough to stop at a junction if you have to give way to a motorist coming on the other road.
- If you are entering a roundabout, you have to give way to vehicles already in the roundabout
- The speed in built-up and urban areas is 50 km/h (31 mph), except for the Northern Territory, which has a speed limit of 60 km/h (38 mph)
- You can travel at 100 km/h (63 mph) on roads outside of urban and built-up areas in most states except
- You must drive on the left-hand side of the road in Australia
- All people in the car should wear seat belts
- Riders of scooters and motorbikes should wear helmets at all times.
- You are not allowed to use mobile phones unless you use a hands-free device.
- Be vigilant for wildlife crossing the road, such as kangaroos, emus, wombats, and koalas.
- The emergency dial code for Australia is 000
- Drinking and driving
- Most states have a zero-tolerance law for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
Top 3 Places to Visit in Australia
Sydney is a modern city with an extended history defined by its scenic harbor. It was the landing site for convicts sent from Europe during the 1700s. The harbor is also home to the iconic Sydney Opera House. You can take a ferry to Manly Wharf, where tourists can rent kayaks to explore the inlets of the harbor. You can walk in Raleigh Reserve Park, which has spectacular sea views and visit the historic Macquarie Lighthouse, Australia’s longest-serving lighthouse. Sydney has beautiful beaches such as Bondi Beach and Manly and Coogee, where you can laze around and people-watch during summer. As a bustling metropolitan hub, Sydney has a wide variety of restaurants and eateries to sate your palate.
Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park
Uluru is one of Australia’s most prominent landmarks and is quickly recognizable due to its rosy red hue. As a top tourist destination, it has a lot of food outlets that allow you to enjoy Australian cuisine while basking in the glory of this natural rock formation. You may want to pick up a few souvenirs from one of the shops near it to commemorate your visit. Uluru has tremendous cultural and spiritual significance to the Anangu Aboriginal people. The cultural center in the park is focused on informing all visitors about how Uluru has shaped Australian culture and spirituality for thousands of years. You should also visit the many mesmerizing rock formations at Kara Tijura on your visit. The park has many bike trails, walkways, and tours that help you explore.
Great Barrier Reef
It is the most extensive reef system in the world. It is an amalgamation of 2,900 individual coral reefs and hundreds of islands and cays. It is one of the world’s most complex and diverse ecosystems and was formed over millions of years. The Great Barrier Reef is protected as the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, where visitors can enjoy many of its intricacies and wonders without harming the ecosystem. The reef contains 1,500 species of fish, 360 species of corals, and numerous species of whales, dolphins, marine turtles, sea snakes, and birds. Many of the reef’s islands are used by these animals for reproduction. You can explore during a boat cruise along the northern coast of Queensland to view most of the reef system.
Am I required to have an International Driving Permit in Australia?
While some countries will accept a foreign license for a while, many will require you to have an IDP.
How long will my international driving permit be valid in Australia?
As Australia was contracted to the Geneva Motor Traffic Conventions in 1949, you may use your IDP for one year.
How long will transferring my license to an Australian one take?
Suppose there are no complications and you have a driver’s license from a country in the recognized country. In that case, the process should take no longer than a week.
On which side do you drive in Australia?
Vehicles always drive on the left side of the carriageway in Australia.