International Driving Permit Ireland

What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driving Licence (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 does an IDP work in Ireland?

You can drive in Ireland with an International Diving Permit for 12 months, supplementary to your original driver’s license. If your valid driving license is in a foreign language, an IDP can be used as a translation of your license.

How do you apply for an IDP in Ireland?

You can apply for an IDP through our website.

How long will it take to get an IDP in Ireland?

A digital IDP takes up to 2 hours to land in your email. However, we will process your application within 20 minutes if you choose the Express Order option. A printed IDP will be delivered to your preferred address. The estimated delivery date will vary based on your chosen delivery method (approximately 2 to 30 working days).

United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic

There have been three international motor traffic conventions. They were in Paris, Geneva, and Vienna in 1926, 1949, and 1968 respectively. As each convention had different standards for motor traffic, not all countries were contracted to each of them. However, many countries were employed to each of them, and some to more than one convention. The countries contracted to at least one convention agreed to honor at least one kind of international driving permit as valid documents.

Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Ireland

Functionality as an ID

An international driver’s license is a handy document to have when traveling abroad. You can use it as a personal identification document instead of your passport or national identity card. It is also helpful if your other identity documents are not in an internationally recognized language such as English.

Quicker traffic authority stops

Some countries will let you use your foreign driver’s license for a while. However, their law enforcement authorities might not be able to process your driver’s license efficiently if it is not in that country’s language or an internationally recognized language. Having an international driver’s permit will allow local police officers to take down your license’s particulars and set you on your way expeditiously.

Car rental companies

Car rental companies can be pretty conservative when renting out vehicles to foreigners. Even if a country doesn’t require you to have an IDP to drive in that country, the car rental agencies might. As the United Nations recognizes an international driver’s permit, most car rental companies recognize it as a valid driving permit. You may be able to save valuable vacation time by taking an IDP with you, irrespective of the country’s legal traffic requirements.

Laws requiring an IDP

Ireland was contracted to the Geneva Motor Traffic Convention in 1949, recognizing international driver’s permits for 12 months.

Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Ireland

Short-term visitors vs. residents

You will be considered a resident of Ireland if you live there for 185 days within one year. You must get an Irish driving license when you are considered a resident and an Irish driving license within three months of getting resident status.

When should I get an Irish Driver’s Licence?

You should consider getting an Irish license if you plan on making frequent visits to it and consider it a second home. You may also choose to get an equivalent Irish driving license if you move there mid to long-term. After a while, the extra time taken by local authorities to process a foreign license for traffic-related administration might seem an unnecessary waste of your time.

Renewing your International Driver’s Permit

By filling out the application form, you can renew your IDP worldwide through our website.

Renewing your original driver’s license

When using an IDP overseas, you must have a valid original license. Every country has a different procedure for the renewal of driving licenses. Suppose you are abroad when your driving license expires. In that case, you will have to return to your country of origin if a medical checkup or vision test is required. Most countries have an online service where expatriates can renew their driving licenses without hassle.

Car Rental in Ireland

Requirements for car rental

Having an IDP, other identification (a passport will do) and a credit card registered in the driver’s name is a must to rent a car. If you want to rent a car on a cash basis or with a debit card, the options will be limited, and the cost may be higher.

Your license must have been issued at least two years prior to renting a camper. Car rental agencies will generally only rent to international drivers above 25. They might ask you for a letter from your insurance company, an affidavit from you stating you drive regularly, or a letter from a medical practitioner stating you are fit to drive if you are above 75.

Deposits and cost

You will probably be asked to deposit €250 to €1,000 before being allowed to rent a car from a car rental agency. If you are using your credit card for payment, this amount will be blocked off for the duration of your rental. Keep this in mind when planning payments with your credit card. Ireland has a lot of fully electric and hybrid vehicles in keeping with its green energy policies. The rental amounts are slightly higher than in other European countries and range from €40 to €120 daily. An average weekly rental will cost you €450, and the costs are significantly higher for luxury vehicles.

Car insurance

You must have 3rd party insurance cover when driving on Irish roads. Third-party insurance covers damage to people, animals, and property, but not to the driver of the vehicle he is driving. Irish car rental companies usually provide 3rd party and limited theft insurance on the rental charge. It would be best to let your insurance company know whether you are traveling between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. You should get a collision damage waiver (CDW) cover and additional theft cover before you start your trip. Super collision damage waiver (SCDW) covers all expenses in case of an accident.

Travel Insurance

Ireland’s crime rate is moderate compared to other developed countries and European states. However, we always recommend getting travel insurance and car insurance when traveling. It would be best if you looked into the following points when getting travel insurance:

  • The insurance contract covers expenses during hospital stays
  • The warranty covers cancellation fees and lost deposits if there is more than one stop during your trip
  • The contract covers costs incurred due to damaged or lost baggage
  • The insurance contract covers excess costs not covered by car insurance in the event of an accident
  • The contract covers emergency dental procedures
  • The contract covers the expenses of a funeral in an extreme eventuality

Driving and Safety in Ireland

Brushing up on road rules is wise before getting behind the wheel. The official Highway Code can be downloaded from the government website or purchased from any bookstore. Some general rules to keep in mind are:

  • Drivers of 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 to do so
  • The speed limit 50 km/h (31 mph) in built-up or urban areas, 80 km/h (50 mph) for single non-national open roads, and 100 km/h (63 mph) on highways
  • People drive on the left side of the road
  • The driver and passengers of vehicles must wear seatbelts when driving
  • You can only have 50 mg of alcohol per 100 ml when driving in Ireland

Top 3 Places to Visit in Ireland

Causeway Coast

The Giant’s Causeway is the only UNESCO Heritage site in Northern Ireland. It is highly rated by tourists who come to puzzle over the interlocking rocks of this marvelous formation. Widely different explanations have been offered. Some imagine it has been formed through volcanic activity over millions of years. Others, with wilder imaginations, prefer the legend in which Irish giant Finn McCool built it to reach his Scottish rival Benandronnern. You can also visit the Dark Hedges along the Bregagh Road, which was featured in the Game of Thrones TV series. On your visit, you may want to see the Carrick-a-rede Rope Bridge and Dunluce Castle and enjoy the scenery along Ballintoy and Murlough Bay.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are sheer drops that excite anyone that beholds them. They gained popularity when featured in the Harry Potter film series in 2009. The cliffs are a part of Ireland’s traditional natural beauty. They are at the edge of The Burren region, a barren landscape that is second to none other in Ireland. The Cliffs of Moher stretch for 8 km and rise 210 m above sea level. You should make sure to get to a good vantage point and observe the Aran Islands in Galway Bay on your visit.


Connemara is the place to visit if you want to soak in Ireland’s rich traditional culture. People seldom speak a language other than Irish here. The area has an open, lush landscape that encapsulates Irish folklore. On your visit, you can engage in hiking, fishing, and horseback riding around the Twelve Bens mountain range. A must-visit is the fabulous Kylemore Abbey, built by a wealthy English surgeon for his wife. The abbey was run by Benedictine nuns and used as a girls’ boarding school until 2010.


Am I required to have an International Driving Permit in Ireland?

While some countries will accept a foreign license for a while, many will require you to have an IDP.

How long will my international driving permit be valid in Ireland?

As Ireland was contracted to the Geneva Motor Traffic Conventions in 1949, you may use your IDP for one year.

How long will transferring my license to an Irish one take?

Suppose there are no complications and you have a driver’s license from a country in the recognized country. In that case, the process should take no longer than a week.

On which side do you drive in Ireland?

In Ireland, vehicles drive on the left side of the road.

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