What Is An International Driving Permit?
An International Driving Permit is a translated version of your current driver’s license, which allows you to drive in foreign countries.
What is the Difference Between 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.
How Does an IDP Work in Mongolia?
An International Driving Permit is required if you rent a car or drive in Uruguay. You will still need a driving license, which must have been issued within the last year.
Rental agencies may not require the document to rent a car; however, local authorities will ask to see your valid International Driving Permit and license if you are stopped, or an accident occurs. You may be subject to a fine if you do not have the appropriate paperwork. Also, in the case of an accident, it allows other drivers to understand your information if they cannot understand the language of your original license.
How do I get an International Driving Permit?
You can apply for an IDP through our website. The application process is super simple. For the application, you will need the following documents:
- Your current driving license
- An ID card or passport
- A debit or credit card for payment
How much does an IDP cost?
International driving permits are highly affordable. You can see the fair 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 between member UN nations to implement the authorization of International Driving Permits. The agreements ensure that the UN authorizes all IDPs being issued and that they comply with UN traffic agreements.
There have been three international automotive conventions, one in Pairs in 1926, one in Geneva in 1949, and one in Vienna in 1968. This agreement also authorizes countries to allow other automotive associations to issue IDPs on behalf of the government in that country.
Benefits Of Carrying An IDP In Mongolia
The most important reason to have an International Driving Permit while traveling in Mongolia is that it is legally required if you wish to drive during your visit.
Functionality as an ID
IDPs are a convenient travel document as it doubles as identification documents. This is advantageous if you want to keep your passport under lock and key due to security considerations. An IDP can be used instead of a national ID card, especially if your national ID card is in a language that is not internationally used.
Quicker traffic authority stops
Traffic police may have trouble deciphering your driver’s information on your license during a routine traffic stop. Having an IDP ensures that officers can quickly note down your particulars and send you on your way. This may be especially handy during the unfortunate event of an emergency or motor misfortunes.
Car rental companies
Car rental companies worldwide require you to have an International Driving Permit and a valid driving license to rent a car. This is due to the United Nations recognizing an IDP as a valid driving permit. 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.
Driving Requirements For Noncitizens
Short-term visitors vs. long-term stay
Tourists staying in Mongolia for less than one year can drive using their IDP alongside their original license.
If you intend on staying in Mongolia for longer than one year, you will need to apply for a Mongolian driver’s license.
When Do I Need To Get A Mongolian Driver’s License?
After your IDP is no longer valid, you must apply for a Mongolian driving license. To apply for a driving license in Mongolia, you will need to bring the required documents to the License Center of the National Police Agency. The following documents will be required;
- Proof of residence
- Photo ID such as a passport
- National driver’s license from your own country
- A completed medical form
- Filed driver registration form
- A receipt of payment for the license (costs 12.500MNT $4.37)
- Attendance certification for 1-week of training on Mongolia driving safety
Vehicle Rental In Mongolia
Although public transport is available in the main cities in Mongolia, it isn’t always the most convenient or reliable. That is why most people opt for vehicle rental in Mongolia, and it is easy and reasonably affordable for most people to rent a car in Mongolia.
Mongolia has many different vehicle rental companies, making renting a car much more accessible. Two of the most popular car rental companies in Mongolia are Sixt Rent a Car and Drive Mongolia.
International visitors must be aware that although the driving age is 18, the minimum age most rental companies will allow drivers to rent a vehicle is 20. Even with that, most car companies will charge an extra fee for younger drivers (between 20-25), as the insurance risk is greater with inexperienced drivers than with experienced drivers.
When visiting any country overseas, it is always recommended to shop around to get the best price vehicle. By checking out some car rental agencies’ websites, you might get a better idea of the styles of cars you can choose from and the cost of renting them for whatever period of time you need.
Reserving your vehicle online will lower the odds of you getting there and not having your chosen vehicle available and will usually also allow you to select a collection point, for example, the airport.
Most car rental agencies will require documentation before allowing you to rent a car. All car rental agencies in Mongolia will most likely require:
- Your valid driving license, to be in date for at least a year
- Your International Driving Permit
- Your Identification, such as a passport
- A debit or credit card is to be used for the payment
Vehicle rental costs
Car rental prices in any country will always vary depending on the type and size of vehicle you are looking for, the age of the driver, any add-ons you require such as GPS, wifi, car or car seats, and also the type of insurance that is required on the vehicle. Insurance needs vary from country to country, so we recommend shopping around to get the best value before renting your car.
Car renting costs in Mongolia is considered affordable. Prices vary from company to company, but a rough guide for pricing is:
- Compact: $35 per day
- Standard: $45 per day
- Sport SUV: $75 per day
- Economy SUV: $47 per day
Car insurance policy
Vehicle insurance has recently become mandatory in Mongolia and is affordable compared to most other countries. You must have a minimum of third-party, fire, and theft insurance. Still, most car rental companies will need you to have added insurance on a rented vehicle to cover Gravel protection, Loss Damage Waiver in the car of loss or theft, sand and ash protection, and tire and windshield protection.
Some rental companies will have insurance included in the cost of renting a car, but not every rented vehicle will. You must check with the rental agency before driving, as if the car is not covered by insurance, it is your responsibility to ensure the vehicle.
Driving uninsured in Mongolia can result in trouble with the authorities, and you could face fines.
Hire car driving tips
- Check the interior and exterior of the rental vehicle, and make sure to take note and make the rental agency aware of any damage on the car before you start driving. This will prevent you from paying for any damages that didn’t occur in the vehicle.
- Always make sure the vehicle is in good standing, check tire pressure and oil, and all lights and breaks, etc., are working. Make sure the vehicle you have chosen is suitable for your needs and can comfortably fit all passengers and luggage, especially if you intend on driving across the country on long road trips.
- It is your responsibility to ensure a vehicle is covered with insurance, so always check with the rental agency first and get the required documents to prove insurance cover is in place. If the car is not insured, you will need to shop around online to find a reasonable price for insurance cover for the duration of your stay.
- It is always wise to take a phone for the rental company in case of any emergencies and request information on what the company will provide in this case. If the vehicle breakdown, for example, will a new vehicle be provided, and do they send someone to tow the car?
Driving And Safety In Mongolia.
Driving in Mongolia is not an easy task, so drivers are warned to be cautious. Inside the country’s capital city Ulaanbaatar, traffic can be heavily congested, and road traffic accidents are common. Only 10% of Mongolia’s roads are paved, and there is very minimal signposting on the roads. Driving standards have not kept up with Mongolia’s rapid growth in recent years. Always wear a seatbelt and avoid driving at night if possible.
Driving outside of Mongolia’s central city can be a dangerous and challenging drive, especially for inexperienced drivers. Drivers need to be mindful that there are often animals on the road outside of Ulaanbaatar. It is also wise to plan your journey and be aware of the weather, as heavy rains can often impair dirt roads.
Road rules in Mongolia
Given the hazardous driving conditions in Mongolia, it is best to familiarize yourself with the local road rules to avoid unnecessary run-ins with local police or accidents.
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in paying fines, driving penalties, or even jail time. Mongolia also has a traffic point system; if you reach 10 points on your license, you will no longer be allowed to drive.
Drink driving rules
Mongolian authorities have a zero-tolerance policy on drinking and driving, with a blood alcohol limit of 0/02%. Police can deduct roadside drink and drug testing, and it is highly recommended against tourists trying to drive while under the influence.
Suppose the police pull you over under suspicion of driving under the influence. In that case, you will be required to show authorities all the relevant documents, such as your original driver’s license, IDP, car rental documents, and visa. If you are caught driving under the influence, expect to pay fines of 768.000 MNT ($244) and possibly harsher fines or even imprisonment if you are well over the legal alcohol limit or under the influence of drugs.
Driving side and overtaking
In Mongolia, road users drive on the right-hand side, although cars can be both left-drive and right-drive.
When it comes to overtaking in Mongolia, it is not permitted to overtake, especially on level crossings, non-regulated intersections, pedestrian crossings, or within 100 meters of them. It is considered quite dangerous to try an overtake in Mongolia, and tourists are discouraged from doing so.
In Mongolia, it is generally considered better to stick to the speed limits to avoid accidents. Since most roads are dirt and gravel, it is essential to be aware of the speed limit and stick to it, which is highly unrecommended to speed.
Speed limits in Mongolia are as follows:
- Within residential zones, the speed limit is 20km/h.
- In built-up areas within Magnolia, the speed limit is 60km/h.
- Outside of built-up areas, drivers are permitted to drive at a speed limit of 80km/h,
- On motorways, the speed limit is 100km/h.
It is best to familiarise yourself with the legal speed limits in Mongolia as signposts are not always in place, and when they are, they may be hard to read.
Top 3 Places to Visit In Mongolia
Mongolia is a country located in the eastern half of the world, between Russia and China. It is considered a generally safe place to travel, although tourists are advised to be cautious about petty crimes such as theft.
It is also essential that international tourists familiarise themselves with Mongolian customs and traditions before traveling here so as not to offend the national people. Mongolian and English are two languages that are widely spoken throughout the country.
Mongolia has an extreme continental climate due to its high altitude and how far it is from the sea. This means that it has warm but short summers and receives most of its rainfall then, and it can be extremely cold winters, lasting longer than average.
Mongolia’s capital city has plenty to explore. Walking around this city will show you plenty of the old soviet-communist style architecture, as well as the modern Sukhbaatar (Parliament) Square. Ulaanbaatar is also home to the Natural History Museum and the famous black market shopping district. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to visit during your trip.
The Gobi desert
The Gobi desert is located in the south of Mongolia and is the fifth-largest desert in the world. This desert has one of the unique ecosystems in the world, where it is home to plenty of endemic flora and fauna. There were also many dinosaur fossils found here.
Bayanzag flaming cliffs
Bayanzag red sand cliffs, or the flaming cliffs, are famous for their ochre and red colors, giving the most spectacular views, especially at sunset. These cliffs are home to many dinosaur fossils discovered in Mongolia, including a dinosaur’s nest with eggs clutch, which got the world’s attention.
What should I do if I lose my IDP in Mongolia?
If you lose your IDP in Mongolia, you mustn’t drive until it is replaced. Immediately contact us to issue a new permit.
How common are police checks in Mongolia?
Police checks on vehicles are standard in Mongolia, and your IDP will be very helpful if there is a language barrier. They are often checking to ensure the driver is not under the influence. Still, you will probably be asked for documents such as your driving license, IDP, proof of vehicle rental, and possibly your passport and visa.