International Driving Permit Maldives

International Driving Permit Maldives

The Maldives is arguably carved and shaped into one of the most beautiful tropical places on earth. From the dusted beaches of the North Atoll to the soil sea sheds and fishing villages of the southern islands, the entire country is scattered in the turquoise waters far from the Indian subcontinent. More recently, with the discovery of new local guesthouses and wave swells, the Maldives has transformed from honeymoon hotspots to surfing, adventure, and backpacking destinations. Paradise now seems to be open to everyone. Get ready for a relaxing trip to the Maldives, and be sure to do some research if you want to be eligible to drive on the roads of Maldives.

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.

Driving requirement in the Maldives as a foreigner

The Maldives, along with other participating countries, participated in the 1949 United Nations Convention, which allows travelers from different parts of the world to drive on the road by obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP). Driving in the Maldives with an IDP and domestic driver’s license is hassle-free as long as you always carry these essential documents.

Your local driver’s license will be invalid in the Maldives when used alone. However, it will be acceptable and correct when paired with an International Driving Permit.

If you opt for residency in the Maldives or extend your stay for longer, note that you cannot use your original or IDP to drive a car or bicycle in the country. Even if you already have a driver’s license and want to get a local driver’s license, you still need to take an actual driver’s license test, and you will also need a theory test if you do not have a driver’s license.

Here’s what you need to apply for a local driver’s license:

  • The completed LL1 application form that can be downloaded from the official website of the Maldives Department of Transportation
  • Passport photo
  • Original and copy of work visa card (if applicable)
  • Foreign driver’s license (both copy and original)
  • Passport (copy and original)
  • Certificate of authenticity of the issued license card

You will then be instructed to take an actual driving test with your local driving instructor, and you may also be asked some theoretical questions during the test. Country driving instructors have a reputation for being strict, so be careful when taking the test and follow the rules to the letter.

After completing the test, you will need to submit the following documents to receive your license:

  • Passport photo
  • Passed the driver’s license test

Car rental

The best way to travel comfortably to see all the incredible destinations and beautiful scenery of the Maldives is to rent a car. When traveling abroad for the first time, renting a car can be confusing. Don’t worry; it’s easy to know the importance of renting a car in the Maldives, such as rental conditions, types of vehicles you can rent, rental inclusions, etc.

Car rental in the Maldives is easy and hassle-free. Once you have selected the best car rental company to close the deal, you must give the car rental the necessary documents. Most car rental agencies in the Maldives require an ID card, a national driver’s license, and an IDP if the domestic driver’s license is not written in the Latin alphabet.

Unless you are applying for a Maldivian driver’s license or residence permit, you do not need to obtain the required Maldivian driver’s license from a local.

Owning an IDP will help you realize your dream of driving with Maldivian videos while driving in Male, Maldives, and different parts of the country.

Like other countries, the Maldives has car rentals that offer travelers different types of car rentals. Expedia, AVIS, CarSolaris, and Hotwire are car rentals that allow you to contact and rent a car in the Maldives. When you land in the Maldives, you can pre-book or rent a car locally to book and trade online, depending on your preference. When you arrive in the Maldives, you can save time by booking in advance, as you can go on an adventure right away instead of looking for a rental car locally.

In the Maldives, car rental agencies offer a variety of cars, including car types, sizes, and price ranges, so that you can choose the right car rental for your trip. Vehicle types and prices vary by car rental company. You can rent Economy, compact, midsize, and SUVs, and SUVs are also the most rented cars in the Maldives.

Other vehicles rented in the Maldives have different price ranges and policies, vehicle capacity, mileage, car accessories, and insurance. The initial cost of a rental car per day in the Maldives is $ 8.99.

A prerequisite for car renting is that you are at least 20 and 21 years old. A domestic driver’s license is valid for over a year, and an International Driving Permit in the Maldives. You will be asked for your age when renting a car. Some car rentals charge an additional fee for young drivers due to having less experience.

Most important driving rules in the Maldives

Before rolling the wheels, you must still ensure a smooth ride. The imposed driving regulations are usually similar across most Maldives and must be strictly followed.


Every international traveler planning on traveling to the Maldives should always carry a local current driver’s license and an IDP. It’s necessary documents for a foreign driver’s registration to travel from a car rental company. If you choose a road trip, be sure the necessary paperwork accompanies this. Your national license will not be valid alone if you have hired a vehicle in the Maldives since it must be present in the country.

Driving in winter or rainy seasons

Maldives winter weather has rains from November to April, so be cautious when traveling during rain. It is advisable to avoid it altogether because it can result in accidents. The road surface is slippery, and it isn’t easy to see through due to the heavy rainfall.

Driving under the influence

Drunk drivers and drinkers are banned in public and are considered a felony under Maldivian law and custom. The sober driver ensures that locals and tourists can avoid violating the Maldivian traffic laws.

Speed limit

The Maldives’ coast limits are generally 15 km/h (1 km/h). It can change depending on how you travel. It is best to be careful to observe the signs of a speed increase to stop driving or cause an accident.

Mobile use

Using mobile phones while driving on the Maldivian islands is not permitted and only allowed when using the phone in hands-free mode. Also, using your cell phone while driving can cause problems because you can focus all your attention on your cell phone, not just on the road.

You must avoid driving and talking on the phone simultaneously for your safety, the safety of your fellow travelers, and the locals’ safety.

Seat belts

There is no specific seat belt law in the Maldives. However, you must wear a seatbelt to ensure your driver’s and passengers’ safety and prevent accidents while driving or traveling in the Maldives. There are no child seat rules for traveling with children; however, car rental companies offer booster seats. Everyone in the car must always buckle while enjoying a scenic drive.

Legal driving age

The legal driving age of the Maldives is 18 years old, and you need necessary documents such as a passport and a one-year driver’s license. Some of the paperwork you need is an IDP and insurance that covers damages and costs if you are unfortunately involved in an accident. The maximum age for driving in the Maldives is 65 years.

Driving side

In the Maldives, drive on the left side of the road. It’s easy and convenient if you’re from a country with left-hand traffic. Otherwise, you’ll be confused, but don’t worry. You can get used to it by practicing left-hand traffic on the road. In the Maldives, overtaking is permitted unless there is an oncoming vehicle from the other side of the road. As long as the overtaking is safe, overtaking is allowed. Impulsive overtaking is dangerous, so be careful when overtaking and avoid accidents.

Travel tips

There are a few things to keep in mind when planning your visit to the Maldives:

  • The Maldives has a reputation for being an exclusive and ultra-luxury destination. However, it is perfectly possible to visit the Maldives within your budget. If you’re scouting for connecting flights via Europe or Asia, airfare isn’t exorbitant either. To save money, stay in a local guesthouse or an affordable hotel.
  • The Maldivian islands are on the equator. That is, the sun’s rays fall at a 90-degree angle. In other words, the sun is powerful; ensure sunscreen is waterproof and needs to be packed with SPF and constantly reapplied. Also, if you need additional protection, pack a hat, visor (during comeback), and light, breathable long-sleeved shirt or trousers.
  • Planning during Ramadan fails, as many hotel staff goes out to meet their families. Food availability during the day is also an issue, with many services and shops closed, especially during prayer hours. Don’t expect pork and alcohol. One of the tips for traveling to the Maldives at this time is to cover your knees, shoulders, stomach, chest, and elbows, especially when visiting the local islands.
  • The Maldives is a Muslim country, and private resorts are the only safe place to have a drink. One of the best Maldives travel tips we can give you is not to carry alcohol upon entry. You may be taken away or fined by customs.

Top 6 Places to Visit in the Maldives

The Maldives has a stunning coastline surrounded by glistening beaches and sweeping views. The Maldives is widely recognized for its natural beauty and captures and enrages travelers worldwide. It is an excellent travel and honeymoon destination, perfect for families and private vacation destinations.


Male is the main center of the Maldives and is the perfect destination when one wants to experience the city’s bustling streets, enclosed in imposing pleasant structures. The town is seldom explored due to its crammed streets, but it has a wealth of historical and cultural attractions worth exploring! The ideal time for visiting Males natural beauty is July through October, during the summer and mid-fall seasons in the Maldives. During these months, the weather is like Hulhumale, offering the ideal conditions to swim or sunbathe.

Hulhumale Island

Hulhumale is a significant reason for the Maldives being ranked among the best destinations worldwide. Hulhumale Island is easily accessible, offering various options for affordable holidays, so you can still enjoy luxury holidays in the Maldives. The Hulhumale area is the most comfortable destination for a relaxing vacation. Hulhumale is an idyllic destination in the Maldives with immense beauty and gorgeous beaches.


Gan is the perfect place to stay when you seek a luxurious vacation that’s neither isolated nor far from the locals. Here, it is possible to have the luxury of a holiday while enjoying the Maldives’ unique cultural traditions. Tourism on Gan Island mainly reflects the island’s long history as a World War II military base. Gan has many historical places to see, making it an ideal destination for travelers. The excellent times to visit Gan Island are January to April and July to August due to the weather conditions.


Maafushi may not have many of the vast luxury resorts and five-star hotels of its fellow countrymen nearby, but it has a lot of charm. Sadly, the town was devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and has rebuilt salt-washed fishing piers and hard-working sailors’ huts for the past decade. Helped to free up rights to local guesthouses and turn Maafushi into one of the best quirky island vacations for budget-conscious travelers. Of course, plenty of palm trees, beautiful beaches with waves, and cozy little cafes on the coast.

Thulusdhoo Island

It is the spirit of the salt-washed Caribbean that drives the island of Thulusdhoo. This little-discovered spot on Malé Atoll is surrounded by vast sand, from which hundreds of bulbous coconut trees sprout. The beach is excellent; the locals love dressing up on faded fishing boats and sometimes making delicious seafood barbecues. It all fits perfectly with surfing, another pastime for travelers in Thulusdhoo. Notice the fun left reel that turns into a barrel near Villingilimathi Huraa.


Fuvahmulah promises something different from other Maldivian atolls. First of all, this place on the map of the Indian Ocean has no direct neighbors and occupies its atoll, and it is also dotted with inland lakes, rare in this flat country. On the other hand, the sandbars surrounding the famous Banging Beach produce breaking waves and refreshing salt sprays (changes from the usual relaxing lagoons). Being close to the Earth’s equator means hot weather all year round.


How can I get IDP for the Maldives?

It’s possible to obtain a license for an IDP online through our website.

Is it necessary to have an IDP in the Maldives?

Some countries honor US driver’s licenses with an international translator (e.g., Spain). The IDP can handle such scenarios. Although some nations may not require IDs for their citizens to travel in their own country, some car rental companies in these countries, like Hertz, may ask for an IDP for the rental of the vehicles. The purchase of an IDP before departure could reduce potential problems.

What side of the road to drive in the Maldives?

In the Maldives, drive on the left side of the road. It’s easy and convenient if you come from a country with left-hand traffic. If not, you’ll be confused, but don’t worry. You can get used to it by practicing left-hand traffic on the road.

How are the roads of the Maldives?

Long journeys are rare with so many people in such a small space. With an average of 9 road fatalities per year (2012-2019), road traffic in the Maldives is considered very safe.

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