What is an International Driving Permit or License?
What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driving 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.
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 do you apply for an IDP in Cyprus?
You can apply for an International Driving Permit through our website.
How long will it take to receive an IDP in Cyprus?
A digital IDP takes up to 2 hours to land in your inbox. Alternatively, if you want a faster processing time, you can choose an Express Order, in which you will receive your IDP in 20 minutes.
A printed IDP can be delivered to your doorstep, with the estimated delivery date varying between 2-30 days, depending on the selected delivery method.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Cyprus
Functionality as an ID
An IDP is a handy travel document because it doubles as an identity document. This is incredibly convenient if you wish to keep your passport under lock and key for security purposes. An International Driving Permit can also be used in place of a national identity card, especially if your national identity card is in a language that is not used internationally.
Quicker traffic authority stops.
Traffic police may have trouble deciphering driver information on your license during a traffic stop. Having an IDP ensures that policemen can quickly note down your details and send you on your way.
Car rental companies
Car rental companies may be reluctant to rent vehicles to foreigners without an IDP. Since an IDP is a legal document recognized by the United Nations, most international and domestic car rental companies require it for you to rent a vehicle.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Cyprus
Short-term visitors vs. residents
If you are from the EU or a country with which Cyprus has an exchange agreement (List 17), you will be considered a Cyprus resident after six months. If you are from any other country, you should consult your country’s embassy or consulate for further information. You must have your residential address on your driver’s license after becoming a resident of Cyprus unless you are from the EU.
How long can I drive with a foreign license?
You are allowed to drive a motor vehicle in Cyprus with a driving license issued from an EU country for as long as it is valid and you are under the age of 70. If you have a license from a country Cyprus has an exchange agreement with, you can drive for six months.
When should I get a Cyprus Driver’s Licence?
Since Cyprus was contracted to the Vienna Convention on Motor Traffic in 1968 and the Geneva Convention on Motor Traffic in 1949, you can use an IDP for a maximum of 1 year before being required to renew your IDP or get a domestic Cyprian driving license. Since you can indefinitely use your driving license if issued in the EU, you only need to renew your IDP. However, if you are from any other country, you should get your Cyprus license before the allotted 6-month period.
How to get a Cyprian driver’s license
You must apply to the Department of Road Transport (DoRT) in Cyprus to get a local license and be a resident in Cyprus. If you have a license issued by a country in the EU, you can exchange your license for a Cyprian one. To apply, you will need the form TOM 7D, two recent passport-sized colored photographs, a Certificate of Alien Registration (for foreigners), the original and a photocopy of your identity card, and proof of 6 months’ residency (a utility bill will do), passport (original and a photocopy), and your IDP.
If you are from a country not in the EU, you should apply for a Cyprian driving license through the standard procedure for getting a driving license in Cyprus. This involves taking the driving test, both theory and practical, and getting a medical certificate.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s Licence While in Cyprus
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your IDP through our website.
Renewing your original driver’s license
For your IDP to be valid, you must also have a valid driving license. If your license expires while abroad, you must get a new license to continue driving in that country. The procedure for renewing a license varies significantly by country, and license renewal may include a vision test that cannot be taken online, which may mean you need to return to your home country to renew your license.
Car Rental in Cyprus
Requirements for car rental
Before renting a car in Cyprus, you should have a valid driving license and IDP. The requirements state that you must be at least 21 and have three years of experience driving. If you are under 25, there may be a surcharge from the car rental agency. Most rental companies will also require a copy of your passport. Almost all car rental companies will only accept a credit card in the driver’s name.
Deposit and costs for car rental
Car rental agencies will have rental deposits of €300 to €1,000. If you use a credit card, the amount will be blocked for the duration of your rental. It’s best to be mindful of this when calculating your card’s limit. Your daily rental charge will be from €18.00 to €50.00, depending on the size and type of car you rent. You can expect to pay around €250.00 per week.
It is required to have car insurance to drive in Cyprus, irrespective of whether your stay is short or long-term. The minimum requirement is third-party insurance covering costs arising from an accident. Your insurance contract should protect other persons, vehicles, animals, and property damage. Remember that third-party insurance contracts do not cover damage to yourself or your car.
If you opt for Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) and Theft insurance, it will cost you €10.00 to €20 per day, and Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) will cost you an additional €2.00 daily. The Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW) cost will be subject to the type of car you rent.
The crime rate in Cyprus is relatively high for a developed country, so it is wise to get travel and car insurance when visiting there. Some points to look out for when getting your travel insurance are:
Unlimited medical expenses that cover hospital stays
Insurance of lost, stolen or damaged property
Rental car excess in an accident
Driving and Safety in Cyprus
Where can you get a driving handbook with the road rules?
You may download a copy of the Cyprus driving handbook, The Highway Code, from https://www.cyprusdriving.net/forms/the_official_highway_code_-_29-04-2015.pdf. There are copies of the highway code in bookshops that cost around €8.00, with the English version costing slightly more. To ensure road safety, read the road rules before embarking on your journey on Cyprian roads.
Overtaking on Cyprian roads
You are advised to only overtake from the right-hand side as long as there have been no signs signifying otherwise. You must check your mirrors, judge the speed correctly and make sure that the lane ahead is sufficiently clear for you to enter back into its traffic. You cannot cut in on the vehicle that you are overtaking. Overtaking during nighttime or with poor visibility should be undertaken with extra vigilance.
Turning and right of way on Cyprian roads
Drivers on 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 before proceeding.
Slowing down before junctions that don’t have signs or traffic lights is a must. In Cyprus, 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. You should also pay attention to the speed at which the traffic is moving and the signal lights used by the vehicles in the roundabout when entering one.
Speed limits on Cyprian roads
Cyprian towns and cities have a speed limit of 50 km/h (31 mph). You can drive 80 km/h (50 mph) on rural roads, and the speed limit for motorways is 100 km/h (63 mph). On motorways, you cannot go slower than 65 km/h (41 mph). Unlike most European countries, Cyprus also has a ‘pedestrian zone,’ with a lower speed limit of 30 km/h (19 mph).
Tips for driving in Cyprus
You should drive on the left side of the road
The minimum legal age to drive on a Cyprian road is 18
Road signs are usually in Greek, English, and Turkish
All passengers in the vehicle should wear seatbelts
Mobile phone use is prohibited unless it is used with a hands-free device
Helmets need to be worn by the driver and passengers when riding a scooter or a motorcycle
Looking both ways when crossing a junction is vital since Cyprian drivers don’t always adhere to the rule of law when driving
You can dial 112 for assistance if you have any road-side emergency
Rental cars must have red license plates, so Cyprian drivers usually know you are a foreign driver
Your car rental insurance coverage might not include mountainous or rocky terrain (it’s wise to ask your car rental company for details on your insurance cover if you plan to travel on rural roads)
Drinking and driving
You can only have 22 micrograms of alcohol per liter of blood when driving on Cyprian roads (BAC of 0.5 mg).
In other cases such as:
A driver with under three years of experience
Driving over 3.5 tons
Driving motor bicycle
The vehicle has more than eight seats
The vehicle transports dangerous cargo
You can only have 9 mg of alcohol per liter of blood.
3 to 6 points can be deducted from your license if caught driving under the influence, and you will also face a fine determined by a traffic court.
Top 3 Destinations to Visit in Cyprus
Situated on the tip of the southwestern part of Cyprus, Paphos is locally referred to as the birthplace of Aphrodite. The lower part of Paphos is referred to as Kato Phapos, and it is home to most of Paphos’s hotels and archaeological sites. The upper part of the town is home to the town’s commercial heart and brimming with restaurants and shops around every corner. Make sure you don’t miss the Roman ruins of the House of Dionysus and the House of Theseus, the 16th-century Turkish fort called the Paphos Fort, or the class Greek amphitheater called the Kings of Odeon on your visit to the historically rich Paphos.
Limassol is the 2nd largest urban center in Cyprus and is a significant seaport in the country. Tourists looking to bask in the sun and enjoy the fine sands of the country should make time for Limassol. You can also enjoy Limassol’s Old Town’s historic beauty and tour the splendid Limassol Castle. If you have time for some shopping, visiting Anexartisias Street, also in Limassol’s Old Town, will surely not disappoint.
If you are traveling alone, taking a few days to enjoy Limassol’s Saripolon Square, which serves as a cosmopolitan nightclub, is guaranteed to be a unique experience. Your trip to the city will not be complete without enjoying the sights and sounds of Limassol Marina, where the wealthy dock their luxury yachts. You can also wind down your activity-packed trips to Saripolon Square by taking a stroll down the Akri Olympion path and enjoying Limassol’s beachfront views.
The center of Cyprus’s nightlight is the resort destination Ayia Napa. This hotspot for nightlife has developed into a hub that offers everything that can be provided after sunset. There are a great many bars and clubs that are open until the twilight hours. This city is frequented by Cyprians looking for a good time and foreigners looking to sample Cyprus’s extracurricular activities. There is an excellent youthful atmosphere with live music, innovative drinks, and flavourful foods. You can also check out numerous beaches in the area, such as Nissi Beach, Grecian Bay, and Makornissus Beach if you want to take a small break from the nightlife. You can taste history by visiting the Ayia Napa Monastery or the Thalassa Museum. The Thalassa Museum is home to a unique collection of exhibits that display Cyprus’s important role in the development (and destruction) of nations and empires in the region.
Am I required to have an IDP in Cyprus?
Having an IDP to drive in Cyprus is highly recommended as many countries require you to have a valid driving license and an IDP.
Can I use my EU driver’s license in Cyprus?
Yes, you may use your EU license in Cyprus until 70 years of age.
How long will my International Driving Permit be valid in Cyprus?
Since Cyprus was contracted to the Vienna and Geneva Motor Traffic Conventions in 1968 and 1949, you may use your IDP for one year.
How long will transferring my license to a Cyprian license take?
If there are no complications and you have a valid foreign license, the process should take no longer than one month.
On which side do you drive in Cyprus?
Motorists drive on the left side of the road in Cyprus.