International Driving Permit Barbados

What Is An International Driver’s License/ Permit?

An International Driving license is a translated copy of your driver’s license and can be used in some foreign countries as a form of license.

An International Driving Permit is also a translated copy of your driver’s license and is accepted in a large majority of countries to use as an International Driver’s License.

What is the difference between an international driver’s license and a permit?

An International Driving Permit often called an IDP, is a legally accepted translation of your driver’s license in 150 countries worldwide. It will allow you to drive a motor vehicle in foreign countries without needing to get individual licenses for every country you visit, where it is authorized to do so.

An IDP will have your driver information translated into 12 different languages, including English, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, and Spanish, and will also include your name and a photo. An IDP is a small white book containing white pages and is generally a small bit larger than a passport. It can be valid for either 1 or 3 years, but it varies depending on the country you are visiting.

An International Driving License, however, is not legally accepted in a large majority of countries. Even if you are travelling somewhere an International Driver’s License is not accepted as a valid license, you can use it as a form of identification.

Both an International Driver’s License and an IDP can be applied for online, you will need to fill out a form and submit the relevant documents. It is usually slightly faster to obtain an International Driving License then an IDP, so check the legal requirements for the foreign country you are travelling to and see which license is necessary.

How do International Driving Permits / International Driver’s License work in Barbados?

An International Driver’s License is not accepted in Barbados as a valid license. If you wish to drive in Barbados, you must get a Barbados driver’s permit.

Tourists also cant drive with just an IDP in Barbados. Any tourist who intends on driving in Barbados must apply for a Barbados driving permit. A Barbados driver’s permit has a validity period of either 2 months or 1 year, depending on how long you intend on staying.

If you are staying less than 2 months: you will need to submit a valid IDP (unless UK license holder), and a completed application form including name, date of entry, country of residence, and Barbados address. You will need to pay a fee of $10.00

If you are staying for longer than 2 months: you will need to submit the same as above, and also a passport showing your work/living status. You will also need to pay a fee of $100.00.

A Barbados driver’s permit can be applied for in a vehicle rental agency before obtaining a rental car, or you can apply for it online via email.

How do I get an International Driving Permit for Barbados?

It is super simple and easy to do the application process for your International Driver’s Permit before your trip to Barbados. You can apply online on our website “insert website link”, and you will need to fill out an application form and send in the relevant documents. The documents needed are as follows;

  • A driver’s license,

  • Identification, like your passport,

  • A valid form,

  • Your signature and,

  • A debit or credit card to pay the fee.

How much does an IDP cost?

Obtaining your IDP on our website costs just $49 per year.

How long does it take to get an IDP?

The wait time for an IDP can vary depending on where you are applying and your local delivery times. You can apply online on our website at “insert website link”, fill in the required application form, and send in the required documents. It will take about 2 hours for your digital, it then it will take 2 – 30 days for your physical IDP to arrive.

If you don’t have time to spare before your trip, you can apply for an express service that will let you have your IDP in about 20 minutes, and apply for express shipping. You will need to pay a small fee, but this is a great idea for people stuck for time to spare.

United Nations agreement on road traffic

The United Nations Road Traffic agreement is an agreement that implements the usage of International Driving Permits to be used in 150 countries. The agreement authorizes the usage of IDPs and also ensures that IDPs being issued are legal.

There have been 3 automotive conventions so far, one in 1926 in Paris, one in 1949 in Geneva, and the last one in 1968 in Vienna. The UN convention also allows other automotive associations to issue IDPs on behalf of the issuing government.

Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Barbados

Legal requirement

Although you cannot legally drive vehicles on just an International Driving Permit in Barbados, it is necessary to have one to obtain a Barbados Visitor’s Permit.

Functions as an international form of id

One of the most popular benefits of having an IDP on you when visiting other countries is its ability to act as an International Identification. Since it contains all of your relevant information translated into 12 different languages, this can be very beneficial if authorities stop you.

Car rental companies

All around the world, vehicle rental companies will request a copy of your IDP before they will let you a vehicle, and Barbados is no exception to the rule. It is especially important to have your IDP in Barbados since you will need it to apply for your Barbados Permit.

Driving Requirements For Noncitizens

Short-term visitors vs long-term stay

Any visitor intending on driving in Barbados has to obtain a Barbados driver’s permit. You can drive with this permit for one year, and any international driver intending on staying longer will need to get a valid driver’s license instead.

When Do I Need To Get A Driver’s License in Barbados?

If you have decided to extend your stay in Barbados for longer than 1 year, or you are moving there on a more permanent basis, you will need to begin the application process for a Barbados driver’s license if you wish to continue driving in this country.

If you are getting a driver’s license in Barbados, you will need to complete the following steps;

  • You first need to apply for and sit a theory test. You need to provide documents such as passport-sized photos, proof of age i.e passport, an official document certifying medical fitness from a dr, address proof, and pay the fees of $80.00 for the learner’s permit and £30.00 for the theory examination.

  • After you have held your learner’s permit for a minimum of 30 days, you can then apply to sit a driving test to get your full license. You will be granted your full driving license if you complete this test. You need to pay a fee of $100.00 for the test and $50.00 for the license.

It’s a pretty easy process to obtain a driving license in Barbados once you study the local road rules and traffic laws.

Renewing your IDP or Driving license in Barbados

Since your IDP is valid for 1 year there is no need to renew it once expired in Barbados, if you are intending on driving in this country after that timeframe.

If you are in Barbados and are intending on driving in another country but need to renew your IDP before heading off, you can do so online. You will also need to provide the same documents and the expired IDP, and you can get your renewed IDP sent to your address.

Vehicle Rental In Barbados

Barbados has so much to do and see it would be a shame not to rent a car. Public transport is available around Barbados and tends to be pretty reliable, but if you are doing long journeys or hoping to explore rural areas in the country, being able to rent a car is a very popular option for tourists.

Barbados has plenty of vehicle rental agencies available throughout the cities and airports and is generally considered quite affordable. You must have every document you need ready when you are renting vehicles.

Renting vehicles in Barbados

Renting a vehicle in Barbados is similar to other countries around the world, with plenty of well-known motor vehicle rental companies available such as Europcar, and local Barbados companies such as Drive Barbados.

It is recommended that a driver should research and shop around different rental agencies to find the best-priced vehicle that will suit their needs. You must have all the relevant documents ready before intending to rent a vehicle.

Drivers must be a minimum age of 18 to drive in Barbados, with most rental companies only leasing to drivers over the age of 20. Younger and less experienced motorists may have to pay a young driver’s fee if they are aged between 20-25.

Vehicle rental costs

Vehicle rental costs can vary on many different factors. The size and type of car, the age of the driver (young driver’s fee) and any add on’s you require in the vehicle such as built-in GPS, car seats, or wifi.

Most vehicle rental options are affordable for most people in Barbados, with vehicles ranging from $35 per day upwards.

Documents required

The driver must have any document the vehicle agency will require such as:

  • Domestic Driver’s license

  • An IDP

  • A passport

  • Debit or credit card for payment

Vehicle insurance

It is highly recommended to check the insurance laws in every foreign country you are travelling to, before renting a vehicle. Any motor vehicle in operation on the roads in Barbados is legally required to have car insurance, with a minimum of Third-party, Fire, and theft coverage being accepted. Failure to provide insurance on a vehicle could land you in trouble with the local authorities, and result in fines.

Insuring vehicles, including one which is for rent, is the license holder’s responsibility. It is important to check with the rental agency to see if the provided car is already adequately insured, and if not, a driver will need to purchase insurance from a separate company before driving the car.

Vehicle insurance costs can vary depending on the type of car, age of the driver, and of course insurance is needed. It is common to get insurance for just a few days if needed but always check with the rental company as often insurance is already provided.

Even though Third party, Fire, and Theft is the minimum insurance policy that is legally required, most car rental companies will request you to purchase additional insurance such as Personal Accident Insurance and Loss or Damage to Motor Vehicle Insurance, so that you are covered in any situation.

Hire car driving tips

  • Shop around online if possible to find a suitable car for a price within your budget. If possible, reserve your chosen vehicle online and this will prevent any disappointment when arriving on your trip.

  • Always check that the vehicle is in good working condition, with all lights, tries, and oil up to standard, and the car is working and safe to drive.

  • Make sure to check both the interior and exterior for any damage and take note of any damage to the company. Inform them before accepting the car so you cannot be held liable for any damage you didn’t incur.

Driving And Safety In Barbados.

Driving within the main cities in Barbados is considered relatively safe. Tourists are urged to exercise caution when driving in rural areas as roads can be unpaved, unmarked, and contain blind corners.

Driving at night is also urged to do so with caution, as poor lighting and minimal signage can cause driving issues, especially for inexperienced road users.

In general, Barbados is considered pretty safe to visit. When visiting any foreign country, it is always recommended to exercise a degree of caution. Petty theft against tourists isn’t hugely common, but the police recommend against tourists carrying large amounts of cash or jewellery.

Road rules in Barbados

To keep your trip stress free and avoid any unnecessary run-ins with local police, familiarize yourself with the local road rules and traffic laws. There is a book you can purchase called the Highway Code Booklet, which is also used as a driving manual for getting your license.

You must carry all your documents with you while driving, such as your IDP, your Barbados driving license, any travel documents including a visa, your rental documents, insurance information, and your passport.

Drinking and driving

Drink driving laws have been implemented in Barbados since 2020. The maximum blood alcohol level is 35 micrograms per 100mls of blood. Police can conduct roadside breathalyzers, and any road user found over the allowed limit will face fines up to $5000 or imprisonment of 2 years.

Driving side and overtaking

Driving in Barbados is done on the left side, with overtaking happening on the right-hand side. Overtaking is allowed in Barbados, but drivers are to do so with caution. Always check your mirrors, and only overtake when clear to do so.

You are not permitted to overtake at or near a pedestrian street, an intersection, a road bend, or a narrow road.

speed limits

The maximum permitted speed limits vary in Barbados, depending on the type of roads and area you are in. Speed limits are measured in mph which is lower than km. Generally speaking, within a city or urban area you can drive up to 20-30 mph, outside of cities in rural areas a maximum speed limit of 37mph. Driving on a motorway will allow you a maximum speed limit of 50mph.

Top 3 Places to Visit in Barbados.

Barbados is a sun lover’s dream island getaway. Located in the Caribbean, Barbados is an island surrounded by white sandy beaches and clear blue waters. It is also an independent British Commonwealth nation, meaning the most widely spoken language is English.

Barbados has a tropical climate, giving it long hot summers that get tropical rain showers, and warm winters. Barbados records around 3000 hours of sunshine every year. The average mean temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius, meaning it’s always a good time to visit!


Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and is home to a wealth of attractions such as the neo-Gothicstyled Parliament BuildingsThere’s plenty of historical bridges to see in the city, churches, and cathedrals.

On the west coast of Bridgetown, you can take a cruise from the docks and go on two or three snorkelling trips where you can swim with turtles, visit coral reefs and see schools of tropical fish.

Carlisle Bay

On the edge of Bridgetown is one of Barbados’s tourist hotspots Carlisle Bay. This breathtakingly beautiful beach is full of white sand and sparkling turquoise waters, inviting everyone for a swim. Pebble beach is located along Carlisle Bay and if you head down here at dawn you can see the racehorses having a morning bath while the sunrises.

Barbados wildlife reserve

The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a fun and exciting day out for everyone. Full of Barbados’s most notable wildlife such as green monkeys, deer, tortoises, iguanas, parrots, and snacks, among many more. A trip to The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a must-do for anyone visiting Barbados.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I do if I lose my IDP in Barbados?

If you lose your IDP in Barbados you can apply for a replacement to be sent to your address through your original IDP issuer.

Can I drive at night in Barbados?

Driving inside the cities at night time shouldn’t pose any major concerns for international drivers. Be aware that driving outside of the cities at night time can cause some issues since traffic signs can be hard to see and roads are often unmarked without road signs.


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