International Driving Permit Cambodia

International Driving Permit Cambodia

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.

Applying for an IDP

You can apply for an IDP online through our website. A digital IDP will take less than twenty minutes to arrive in your inbox.

A printed IDP will then be delivered to your doorstep in 2-30 days, depending on your selected delivery method.

How long is an IDP valid for in Cambodia?

When driving in Cambodia, an IDP is necessary, even for short vacations. A valid license from your country is also required to operate in Cambodia legally. While an IDP is valid for one year, you can use your IDP for up to 6 months in Cambodia, and tourists who wish to stay longer must apply for a Cambodian driving license instead.

United Nations agreement on road traffic

International driving permits must be issued through organizations authorized by the United Nations, such as ours, to comply with the UN traffic conventions. There have been three international motor conventions in 1926 (Paris), 1949 (Geneva), and 1968 (Vienna).

Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Cambodia

Functions as an international ID

An International Driving Permit can be used as a form of identification since it includes your name alongside your picture and all your necessary information. Since it translates your documents, it is an excellent option for people traveling in areas where they don’t speak the language.

Car rental companies

Car rental companies in Cambodia will require you to present your driver’s license and IDP to rent a vehicle. Both your IDP and original license need to be valid and in date.

The law requiring an IDP in Cambodia

To legally be allowed to drive vehicles in Cambodia, international drivers must have a valid IDP. Failure to provide a valid IDP can result in heavy fines (approx $300), and if the offense is repeated a second time within six months, vehicle users could face legal charges.

Driving Requirements For Non-Citizens

Short-term visitors vs. residents

Short-term visitors can use an IDP for a maximum of 6 months in Cambodia before it is no longer valid. If you are staying longer than six months or are becoming a resident of Cambodia, you will need to get a Cambodian driving license.

Car Rental In Cambodia

When visiting Cambodia, renting a car is the easiest and best way to explore the beautiful country. This will entail you be able to see the vibrant and busy cities, as well as the beauty of the landscape the surrounding regions have to offer.

It is easy to rent a vehicle in Cambodia, with plenty of car hire companies available throughout the country. There are many different types of cars and SUVs to choose from.

Most companies will only lease cars to people over 21, and you must have your driver’s license, a credit card, and photo identification such as a passport and an IDP.

Car Insurance Policy

Some things you should get in line before driving away are:

  • Make sure the vehicle will accommodate to the number of passengers and any belongings you need to bring
  • Ensure your vehicle has reliable GPS to avoid getting lost
  • Take pictures or notes of any damage inside or outside the car before driving (to not end up paying for damage that you did not cause)
  • Note down the number from the rental company to contact them if you have any issues with the vehicle

Insurance in Cambodia

Car insurance

When driving rental vehicles in Cambodia, the driver will need to purchase third-party insurance to protect the car in the case of a collision.

Travel Insurance

Although travel insurance is not mandatory in Cambodia, it is recommended that international travelers have it. Although rates of crime are not extremely high in Cambodia, having travel insurance will protect your personal belongings in any cases of theft or crime.

Driving And Safety In Cambodia

In 2020, Cambodia introduced some new driving laws to help reduce road accidents and make it safer and easier to drive around Cambodia. They are:

  • Vehicles need to drive on the right-hand side of the road
  • You are not required to drive with headlights on during the day unless it is particularly foggy or heavy rain and vision is impaired
  • Driving with high beam lights is not permitted in cities with streetlights
  • Animal crossing highways are common, particularly outside main cities, so be aware of these and always slow down or stop if necessary
  • When driving motorbikes, tricycles, or scooters, drivers must wear a helmet
  • A seat belt must be worn at all times

Speed Limits

There are different speed limits in Cambodia, depending on where you are driving and what type of vehicle. In towns or cities, a speed limit of up to 30km/h applies when driving motorcycles or tricycles, and if driving a car, a speed limit of 40km/h applies.

Outside of built-up areas, vehicles and motorcycles can drive up to a speed limit of 90km/hr.

Drinking and driving

Cambodia has zero tolerance for driving under the influence of alcohol over the 0.5g/l limit. Anyone driving while intoxicated with alcohol can face fines between 250’000-800’000 riel (60-80$).

Law on Overtaking

Overtaking incorrectly when driving in Cambodia can lead to severe fines or even driving disqualifications.

To overtake, drivers must speed up and allow at least 1m between you and the vehicle behind. Once a driver has overtaken, you must signal your right diverting light to let other road users know you are merging back into traffic.

On two-lane roads, they usually have white lines or dotted lines down the middle to indicate whether overtaking is permitted or not. Dashed lines indicate that all lanes can be crossed openly.

On roads without traffic lanes, drivers can overtake by using other parts of the road as long as it is safe and does not cause a disturbance to other drivers.

The 4 Places to Visit In Cambodia

Cambodia is a traveler’s dream vacation spot, filled with cities bustling with people and culture with breathtaking beauty around every corner to explore. Cambodia has 12 widely spoken languages, with Khmer being the most common.

Due to the southwest monsoon, Cambodia has its rainy season from mid-May until October. Traveling around this season tends to be cheaper, but people driving in Cambodia during the rainy season are urged to drive with care.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s bustling capital city and is full of exciting things for tourists to spend their day doing. Explore traditional Cambodian food by walking through the central market or visit the two famous genocide museums; the Tuol Sleng genocide museum and the Choeung genocide museum. You can also take a trip to see the Cambodian Royal Palace.

Angkor Wat

This city’s most significant drawing factor for tourists is its temples. The Temples of the Angkorian era are accessible from the town of Siem Reap and regularly draw hundreds of tourists to the destination. These vast and breathtakingly beautiful temples are rated as one of the world’s ancient sites that must be visited.

During the middle ages, Siem Reap was believed to be the largest city in the world and an absolute powerhouse of its time. The wooden houses once homes have been overtaken by sprawling forests or left to decay, but the magnificent temples of this ancient civilization remain.


Ratanakiri is considered the outback of Cambodia, and this region is full of endless red-road tracks, which lead to small minority communities for plenty of exploring. The Virachey National Park is home to elephants, lions, and snow bears and is a fantastic place for a hike.

You can head to the city of Ban Lung for a refreshing swim in the emerald water Yeak Lom Crater or visit the waterfalls of Chaa Ong or Ka Tieng.


Kratie draws many tourists thanks to its local family of dolphins. These dolphins are endangered and protected by environmentalists that keep an eye on their numbers and ensure they are not declining. The endangered dolphins of Irrawaddy are native to the Mekong river and make for a beautiful day out on a dolphin-watching trip.

Kratie is also home to the famous Phnom Sambok Pagoda temple and the Sambok mountain.


What should you do in case of accidents in Cambodia?

The first thing is to contact the police and give them your location and as many details about the crash as possible. If there are any casualties, you must call an ambulance straight away. Cambodia is strict on road accidents- if you are found to be at fault, you can be detained until you can pay the damages, hence why insurance is so important.

Naturally, you will most likely be asked to produce valid documents such as your driver’s license, IDP, and proof of car rental.

Are police stops common in Cambodia?

Security can be pretty strict in Cambodia. During traffic stops, you may be asked to provide the required documents. You will need to have your license, your IDP, passport, visa, and all your rental certs on you at all times while driving.

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