International Driving Permit Chile

What is an International Driving Permit?

Your driver’s license has been translated into multiple official languages by the International Driving Permit (IDP). You must have both your national driver’s license and IDP with you at all times when driving to the destination; the International Driving Permit does not serve as a substitute for a driving license. In a booklet known as an International Driving Permit (IDP), your international driver’s license is translated into ten widely spoken languages. Over 150 nations have accepted it, which is intended to lessen language barriers when traveling.

Some nations, like Chile, formally demand an International Driving Permit, while others, like Spain, also demand a translation document into the native tongue in addition to an international driver’s license. Both issues can be resolved with an international driving permit. Additionally, rental agencies have the right to demand that foreign drivers carry an IDP, irrespective of local legislation.

The International Driving Permit (PIC), issued by the Automobile Club of Chile in accordance with the regulations set forth in the Worldwide Agreement about Road Circulation, signed on September 19, 1949, in Geneva, allows drivers to operate a vehicle in any nation outside of Chile (Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru) where there is no bilateral agreement between the two countries.

This particular agreement supersedes all prior ones and governs the International Driving Permit. If the Chilean license doesn’t expire before then, it is valid for a year from the date of emission.

How does an IDP work in Chile?

During the time they have a valid tourist permit, visitors may drive (usually 90 days). Although valid form of insurance may not be available for drivers without a Chilean or international driver’s license, renting a car is still an option.

In order to lawfully drive in Chile, dual nationals and U.S. citizens must possess a Chilean driver’s license and International Driving Permit. You must submit your international driver’s license application to the motor vehicle division of the municipal building in your neighborhood.

Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Chile

In the nations of the world that have allocated the traffic international agreement established by ONU, an International driving permit is the only means to authenticate your Chilean driving license.

Considering that it is a requirement if the visitor is involved in traffic issues, infractions, or vehicle accidents outside of the country.

The International Driving Permit allows you to demonstrate your status as a tourist to the transportation authorities without having to display your passport.

Driving and Safety in Chile

Because Chile offers a strong network of tarmac-surfaced, private, high-quality motorways and roads with numerous toll booths, self-driving is a great option for your vacation. However, it is important to thoroughly review the terms of the car agency before you drive as some car businesses do not cover the costs of damage or overturning a vehicle. Additionally, being aware of some of Chile’s key driving laws will be beneficial for your travels around the nation.

Driving Rules

It can make your vacation and self-drive adventure much safer and even save your life if you are aware of some of the key driving laws in Chile or any other country. In order to drive your rental car in Chile, they will need you to be familiar with several key driving regulations in the nation. To help you become familiar with these regulations, we have listed some of the most crucial regulations that should always be followed while driving.

Alcohol driving limit

Driving in Chile – the legal limit for drinking while driving is only 30 milligrams (0.05 percent ). The minimum penalty for exceeding is a substantial fine and suspension of your international driver’s license, but most violators face lengthy prison sentences due to their significant alcohol consumption. So be sure to steer clear of drinking and driving as much as you can here.


The International Driving Permit, international driver’s license, passport, and any rental car paperwork, if applicable, must all be carried by foreign drivers at all times. There are numerous checkpoints all around Chile that demand the aforementioned document issued. If you don’t, your native driver’s license will simply become invalid and you’ll be charged a steep fine. You could avoid needless problems by preparing the relevant document issued before entering the country.

Wear seat belt

The seatbelt law is a component of Chile’s general traffic laws, which provide that seat belts must always be worn while driving in Chile. This may be fairly typical in all nations, however despite the complete absence of traffic police in Chile, police officers will not hesitate to pull you over and issue you a ticket if you break the law. A seat belt should always be used as the country’s roadways have quite a bit of traffic, therefore they constantly advise adhering to local traffic laws and paying great attention to road signs.

Speed limit

You can go by car to three different sorts of locations in Chile, each with a different speed restriction. The maximum driving speed on city streets is often 50–60 km/h (31–38 mph); on highways, it’s typically 120 km/h (75 mph); and on country roads, it’s 100 km/h (62 mph).

If there are posted speed limit by the road, all of these restrictions can be waived. And if you are discovered speeding while visiting Chile, you will be severely penalized; but, depending on how fast you are driving, it’s possible that you might also be put in jail if you are a native.

Driving Side

Right-hand turns at red lights are often prohibited unless otherwise indicated in Chile, where driving is done on the right-hand side of the vehicle. On the right side of the road, they drive and overtake on the left. This must always be on your mind, especially if you are from a country where driving is done on the left-hand side. Accidents may result from confusion.

Police stops

Do not be alarmed if the Chilean police ever stop you; Carabineros are very courteous, especially to international drivers. In the event that you are ever stopped by the police, you merely need to listen and cooperate. Talk to them politely and avoid becoming obnoxious. Be truthful and prepared to pay fines if you’ve ever been stopped for breaking the law. Never try to argue with the police and persuade them to waive the fine; doing so will only make the situation worse. Once everything is in order, thank the police for their assistance and turn in your direction. Take the officer’s advice or directives seriously, especially if they pertain to your status or path.

Renting A Car in Chile

Car Rental Companies

Many tourists in Chile opt for an organised driving trip, visiting some of the top attractions in the nation. However, for those who want to travel alone and at their own leisure, renting a car is the perfect alternative. Being your online tour guide, we have covered the information you need to know in order to hire a car in Chile. Driving on the open road and embarking on an adventure into the wide unknown is thrilling.

You must first decide which automobile rental agency is the best before you can begin driving in Chile. We have included some of the top automobile rental agencies in Chile so you may familiarise yourself with some of these possibilities, which range from locally owned businesses to well-known multinational corporations.

Documents required

You would require your international driver’s license, a credit card in the name of the driver, and your international driver’s license for Chile in order to rent a car in Chile. The US embassy in Chile notes that if you don’t have a Chilean or international driver’s license, you might not be able to obtain insurance. Additionally, you must be at least 20 years old to hire a car, though some companies may raise this age limit to 21 or 25. It is best to check this beforehand with the rental agency of your choosing.

Car Rental Cost

Depending on the sort of vehicle you choose, you should budget at least 24,000 Chilean pesos (USD28) a day if you intend to rent a car. The cost of renting will also be significantly increased by additional insurance in the event of severe injury, gasoline, and a 19 percent IVA (value-added tax).

Age Requirements

In Chile, you must be at least 20 years old to begin driving a rented car (this will depend on the rental car company). The legal age to drive in Chile is 18, therefore if you are that age and have had your international driver’s license for a year, you are permitted to drive a car if the car rental business permits it, as long as you are going with a driver.

Top 3 Places to Visit in Chile

This Patagonian nation is a diverse fabric of plains and mountains, forest and sea. With one of the world’s harshest deserts in the north and freezing temperatures in its southern tip, which is home to animals like penguins, the country’s unusually long shape has given it a variety of climates. Along with Argentina and New Zealand, Chile is one of the nations that is most adjacent to Antarctica.

Before the Panama Canal was created, everyone who sailed around the world passed the country’s tip, hence the south has a long history of having explorers come. Additionally, it is a well-known wine region that draws several wine connoisseurs all year long.

The Easter Island

Even though it is nominally part of Chile, Easter Island is actually a part of the Pacific Ocean. The Navel of the World is its original name, Te Pito O Te Henua. One of the most isolated places on earth is an island. Despite its remote position, Easter Island nevertheless receives a large number of inquiries and tourists every year, and its most famous landmarks are the Moai statues. Sadly, flying is the only way to reach Easter Island. Starting in Chile’s capital city of Santiago, you will then take a short domestic flight to the island.

Majestic Torres del Paine

One of Chile’s top ten natural parks, Torres del Paine, also referred to as “Towers of Blue,” is also one of its most well-known. The park is named after the three enormous pillars that are also the location of various horn-shaped mountains and glacial lakes. There are minivan tours, multi-day treks, and catamaran journeys you may take to thoroughly explore this park.

With its spectacular snow-capped mountains, pristine lake waters, and rolling hills and valleys surrounding them, Torres Del Paine is a breathtaking landscape that must be seen to be believed. It stood for beauty, and given its brilliance, this natural wonder is both captivating and entrancing.

Torres Del Paine can be reached via two different roads. The second route would simply be longer, and the only thing to worry about is the traffic that comes in on this route. The first alternative would be more likely to be slower owing to road construction ahead. Be aware that crossings through Argentina and tolls are present on both routes.

San Pedro de Atacama

San Pedro de Atacama is surrounded by numerous mountains, lakes, and rock formations and is located in the Antofagasta Region of Chile. Due to its beautiful beauty and fascinating settings, the little village is a favorite choice for both Chilean and foreign tourists. The Atacama Desert can be explored from San Pedro, a picturesque village with winding cobblestone alleyways.

San Pedro is a nice town where you may take advantage of the bustling cafés and their laid-back atmosphere, but most tourists use it as a launching point to explore the surrounding area. Starting in the city’s heart, it is simple to plan a trip to any of the outstanding pre-Columbian archaeological sites and ruins that are close by.

Be aware that there are tolls involved in the drive from Santiago to San Pedro de Atacama, and it could take up to 18 hours, depending on how quickly or slowly the traffic moves.


Can I Drive in Chile with a Local Driver’s License?

As long as they have their tourist pass on them, visitors from the US are valid in Chile. To rent and drive a car in Chile with your international license, you will need to get an international driver’s permit, nevertheless, if your local driving license is not from the United States.

Is an International Driver’s Permit Required in Chile?

If you want to drive in Chile, regardless of whether you have the US or European driving license, you must get an international driver’s permit. To drive safely in Chile, you should have the choice of purchasing automobile insurance. Additionally, if Chilean authorities ask for your driver’s license or other chilean identification card and documents, possessing an international driver’s permit will translate your local driving license so that they can comprehend it better.

A foreign license is required for visitors who intend to drive in Chile. Only the individual whose name appears on both the international driving permit and the driver’s license is permitted to operate a vehicle in the nation. You could receive a fine of at least $100 USD and be forced to appear in court to pay it if you are found using someone else’s foreign driver’s permit or driver’s license.

Does an IDP Replace Your Native Driver’s License in Chile?

Your native license still remains valid if you have an international driver’s permit. If you want to drive in Chile using your home country license, the UN has added requirements. But as long as they have their tourist passes, visitors with U.S. licenses are permitted to drive in Chile without an international driving license. However, if the license holder does not possess an international driver’s permit or a driving license for Chile, there is no guarantee that auto insurance will be offered.

Your international driver’s permit would not be valid if your domestic license has expired. If your license expired before receiving your international driver’s permit, you must be sure to renew it before departing on your trip so that you can use your permit when you arrive in Chile.

How Do I Get an International Driving Permit in Chile?

Anyone who wishes to self-drive in Chile may do so, provided they possess a valid driver’s license and a passport-style photo. Online International Driver’s Permit applications are simple to complete. A three-year international driver’s permit bundle plan (digital and paper copy) with a reasonable cost is offered by several businesses like the International Drivers Association.

You simply need to complete the application’s required fields and, of course, select your preferred payment method—a credit card or PayPal. After making a payment, you can easily acquire your digital copy via email within six hours.

If you can still use it during your trip, consider applying for an international driving permit as early as three years before you go on holiday. You will have plenty of time to plan your vacation, whether you want to travel to Chiloe Island or visit Santiago, thanks to the three-year allowance on your international driver’s permit.

How Long is an International Driver’s Permit Valid in Chile?

Depending on what you purchased, your International Driver’s Permit’s validity will vary. If you purchased a one-year validity, that is how long it will last. Just be careful to utilize it before it expires to avoid wasting your money.

As soon as you start driving in Chile, you can use your international driver’s license. However, you must always have your domestic driver’s license and passport on you. An international driver’s permit does not take the place of a domestic license, and if the local authorities find you driving without one, you could face fines or even a night in jail.

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