What Is An International Driving Permit?
What is the difference between an international driver’s license and a permit?
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 International Driving Permits work in Georgia?
An International Driving Permit is legally accepted in Georgia as a driver’s license, although they are not necessarily legally required if you have a valid foreign driver’s license from your home country, once it is written in the Latin Alphabet.
Even though an IDP is not legally required, car rental agencies and local police will most likely request one due to the language barrier. Another benefit of having an International Driving Permit is its ability to act as a translated form of ID!
International tourists can drive with their valid driving license or an IDP in Georgia for 1 year. If you intend to drive any longer, you will need to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.
How do I get an International Driving permit for Georgia?
Applying for an IDP couldn’t be an easier process. You can apply hassle-free through our website.
With the application process, you will need the following documents:
A valid driver’s license
Identification such as your passport or ID card
A debit or credit card to pay the fee
How much does an IDP cost?
You can view our prices on our pricing page.
How long does it take to get an IDP?
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.
United Nations agreement on road traffic
The United Nations Road Traffic agreement is an agreement made between UN states, to implement the usage of International Driving Permits. There have been three automotive conventions where these rules were discussed and implemented. The first convention happened in 1926 in Paris, the next was in 1949 in Geneva, and the last convention was in 1968 in Vienna.
This agreement has authorized IDPs in 150 countries and ensures that any IDP issued is authorized for use by the UN. It also allows countries to authorize other automotive to be able to issue IDPs to residents, on behalf of the government.
Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Georgia
Functionality as an ID
If you have security concerns and want to keep your passport under lock and key, your IDP can serve as an identification document. Most countries will allow you to use your IDP instead of your national ID card during traffic stops. This is useful if your ID card is in a language not recognized by the country you have traveled to.
Quicker traffic authority stops
Due to language or formatting differences, some processing issues may arise when deciphering the information on your driving license. An IDP allows traffic authorities to identify your details quickly. This is especially useful during emergencies.
Car rental companies
Most car rental companies, irrespective of the country they operate in, require you to have an International Driving Permit and a valid driving license to rent a car. This is because the United Nations recognizes IDPs as valid driving permits. Having an IDP will ensure that your valuable vacation time isn’t wasted on trying to convince a conservative car rental agency of the validity of your foreign driver’s license.
Laws requiring an IDP
You must carry an International Driving Permit in Georgia while driving if you possess a foreign driving license. As Georgia is contracted to the Geneva Convention on Motor Traffic of 1949, an IDP is valid for 12 months.
Driving Requirements for Non-citizens
Short-term visitors vs. long-term stay
Tourists who are planning on staying in Georgia for less than a year can drive with their own valid foreign driver’s license and an IDP until that timeframe is up.
If you plan to stay in Georgia longer than a year to become a Georgia resident, you will need to obtain a Georgia driver’s license.
When Do I Need To Get A Driver’s License in Georgia?
Any person staying in Georgia longer than one year must get a Georgia License. Foreigners are entitled to swap their driver’s license for a Georgia license, or you can apply for a Georgia driver’s license. Still, you will be expected to sit both a theory test exam and a driving test exam.
Renewing your IDP or original driving license in Georgia
Since an IDP is only valid in Georgia for one year, you will not be able to renew it in this country. If you are renewing an IDP from Georgia to drive in another country it is accepted, you can renew it online through our website.
If you are driving on a foreign license in Georgia and need to renew your driver’s license, you will need to renew it on your own country’s driving authorities website. Some countries may require you to be present for license renewal, so it is best to ensure it is valid for longer than 1 year before your trip.
Vehicle Rental In Georgia
Like many foreign countries, vehicle rental is a very popular option for people who wish to have the freedom to explore Georgia on their terms. Georgia has an abundance of car rental companies available, including some big international companies such as DXB, Sixt, and Hertz, and are available in many cities and airports across the country, making car rental an easy and convenient option.
Renting a car in Georgia will let you experience everything this country has to offer, making traveling throughout the country easier to plan. With so many car rental companies to choose from, it’s easy to find a vehicle that suits your needs.
Tourists must be aware that even though the minimum driving age in Georgia is 18, car rental agencies won’t lease a car to anyone under the age of 20-25, or if they do, it will be with an added surcharge.
Car rental in Georgia is quite affordable and tends to be cheaper than in many other European countries. Price will vary depending on several factors, such as the type and size of the car required, the driver’s age (young drivers fee increases costs), required insurance, and any addons you require such as GPS, wifi, or car seats.
In general, car rental can start as little as $10 per day and work up to around $309 per day for the most advanced package and largest car option. This is why it is best to shop around with as many agencies as possible and get the best-priced option.
Car insurance policy
It is mandatory to have the minimum required driving insurance in Georgia – third party, fire, and theft on all vehicles, including rental cars, while driving in Georgia. Failure to have insurance on you can result in fines.
Some rental companies may require you to have fully comprehensive insurance on a rental car, so it is best to check with the company what insurance is required. It is also your responsibility to ensure your car is adequately insured, so make sure the company ensures the carny, or you will need to purchase insurance yourself for the time you drive the car.
You will need to provide the following documents if you intend on renting a car in Georgia:
Your driving license
A Credit or debit card for payment
Hire car driving tips
Always make sure to check both the inside and outside of the provided vehicle to make sure it is not damaged. If there is any damage, make sure to notify the rental agency before accepting the car so you cannot be held liable for any damages incurred on the car previously.
Make sure to check with the rental agency if the car is insured already in the price, and if not, you will need to get insurance for the car yourself.
Before driving, inspect the car’s mechanisms to ensure it is all in good working condition, such as the tires, oil, and lights.
Driving And Safety In Georgia
Before getting behind the wheel, it’s best to familiarize yourself with traffic laws.
It is a good idea to check weather information before taking off on a road trip across Georgia, as heavy rainfalls and snow can make driving extremely difficult or even impossible. Landslides are also a common enough occurrence due to flooding.
Georgia is considered quite safe to travel to as a tourist, with the crime rate relatively low. Still, tourists are urged to exercise caution in tourist hotspots as pickpocketing is an issue in any foreign country.
If you are traveling around Georgia, tourists are urged to be cautious around the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which usually contain unmarked roads. Crossing these borders is illegal and can get you into serious trouble with authorities. There is also some risk from the unexploded ordinance, particularly on Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Azerbaijan borders, and these may not always be marked.
It is best to learn about Georgia’s road rules and traffic laws to avoid accidents. Not following these rules can land tourists into trouble with local authorities, or even possibly being in or causing a collision.
It is necessary to carry all your legal documents, such as your driver’s license, your IDP, passport or other identification, a visa (if applied), and any rental documents or insurance documents. Other things to remember are:
Driving under the influence of drugs is a criminal offense.
You must drive on the right side and overtake (if you must) on the left
If two cars arrive at an intersection at the same time, the vehicle to the left must yield to the driver on the right
At four-way intersections, all vehicles must yield to pedestrians where both drivers are met with stop signs
At an intersection, if two cars approach at the same time, you need to pay to traffic from the right
The speed limit in commercial or suburban areas is a maximum of 30 mph, unpaved country roads limit of 35 mph, highways in remote areas have a speed limit of 70 mph, and urban freeway or multi-lane highways have a speed limit of 65 mph
Top 2 Places to Visit in Georgia
Georgia is a country located in the Caucasus region, in between eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bordered by Russia, Turkey, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Georgia is a beautiful place to visit, with a dramatic landscape full of mountains, rainbow hills, volcanoes, forests, and dark sand beaches along the black sea.
Georgia benefits from a humid subtropical climate, consisting of short, mild winters and long, hot summers. This makes it easy to visit Georgia any time of the year.
Georgia’s capital city Tbilisi has plenty to offer to satisfy everyone, and it is a hub for culture, arts, and food. Tbilisi lies in a valley surrounded by breathtaking mountains each with cable cars at the ready. The medieval Narikala Fortress sits on a mountain looking across at the Soviet-embellished Mtatsmin. Both look down into the cities, home to ancient churches, the bridge of peace, and the Rike Concert hall.
Batumi is a city located in the gulf of the black sea and is known by tourists for its pebbly dark beaches. Batumi has been dubbed as the ‘Las Vegas of Caucausus’ due to its dramatic modern architecture and nightlife scene. There is plenty of nature to explore in Batumi, with Georgias National parks and plenty of hikes and trails to choose from.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What should I do if I lose my IDP in Georgia?
If you misplace your IDP while traveling in Georgia, you can contact us to issue a replacement sent to you.
Can I drive at night in Georgia?
Driving in Georgia at nighttime is safe if staying within the cities. If driving outside of the cities, it is best to do so during the day if you are unfamiliar with the roads.