Nicaragua has it all. Luxurious Spanish colonial architecture, rich indigenous culture, idyllic white sands under the swaying palm trees of the Caribbean islands, mountaineering volcanoes, world-class surfing beaches, and vast inhabitants of numerous birds and animal species. If you want to explore the secluded roads by strolling through quaint towns, rippling along the Pacific coast, staying in coffee co-operatives, or stepping into the pristine rain forest, traveling by car would be the best mode of transport. However, there are some things you should know and obtain before going abroad.
What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Drivers 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 does IDP work in Nicaragua?
Non-residents generally require an exclusive license to rent a car to drive. This is a legal process to go through and avoid unnecessary trouble along the highway. All foreign nationals must have an IDP to drive a four-wheeler in Nicaragua, and IDP is the main requirement of car rental companies in the country. This is one of the essential pieces of proof that a national driving license is legal. Without officially translated documents, an international citizen cannot own a rental car in Nicaragua.
Why do people carry IDPs?
Your IDP will also contain your name and driving history. It can convert your identification data into ten languages — it can understand it even when you don’t. Most of countries suggest international permits. A different nation can issue the IDP as part of the U.S. driving license. An IDP accompanying an American driver’s permit is limited to U.S. citizens only. Almost all foreign countries have a driver’s license as legal driver in their country. Driving with no I.D. can result in severe penalties and fines. Check the country requirements.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP
Doubles as identification
An IDP can also replace a valid Identity card; it can be used as a form of identity for foreigners as it is translated into many languages and can be understood by traffic authorities. IDP guarantees that police officers can quickly write down your details and send you along the way. This is especially useful in emergencies and car accidents.
Many countries require you to carry an IDP to drive vehicles, most countries don’t accept international driver’s licenses, and you have to face the punishment in the form of a heavy fine. Moreover, rental car companies may refuse to allow you to rent a car without a driver’s permit.
United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic
The Convention was prepared and opened for signature by the U.N.s Conference on Road and Motor Transport held in Geneva from 23 August to 19 September 1949. The Conference was also organized and opened for the signing of the Decree. Letters concerning the presently occupied countries or territories and the Protocol on Road Signaling, and certain other decisions are contained in the Final. Actions of the Conference. A description of the driving license and international driving license under the 1949 Convention can be found in Annexes 9 and 10. The 1949 Geneva Convention provides that the IDP is valid for one year from the date of issue.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Nicaragua
For the most up-to-date information on driving in Nicaragua, all non-residents of the country must present their IDP, national driver’s license, rental car document, passport, and national identification card. When doing immigration procedures at the checkpoints.
Nicaraguan law requires an International Driver’s Permit if you are not a Nicaraguan driver. There are checkpoints in the city, so updating the International Driving Permit for Nicaragua should be a top priority. With this, the touring driver will avoid troubles along the way. Yes, you can drive domestically using your U.S. driver’s license. However, as mentioned, it must be accompanied by an international driving license per the Convention on Road Traffic provisions.
If you are driving a private motor vehicle in another nation, you must obtain an inter-American driving permit. Inter-American driving permits (IADP) are like IDPs. However, they are specifically for those in the south, north, or central America.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in Nicaragua
Original driver’s license
If your license expires while you are abroad, you will be required to renew it to keep driving in that country. The procedure for renewing a license varies widely by country. License renewal may include a vision test that cannot be done online, meaning you must return to your foreign country to renew your license. However, you may also be able to renew a valid driver’s license online.
International Driving Permit
You can purchase a new international driving permit and re-apply for it online by filling out an application form. Get an email of your IDP on the same day within 2 hours. We will process your application within 20 minutes if you choose Express Order. A printed international driver’s license will be sent to your postal address, and delivery will vary based on the selected delivery method.
Car Rental in Nicaragua
In Nicaragua, online booking is a trend and a way to cut down on paper-based transactions. The collection of complete documents is essential when renting a car to travel abroad. Even though you have booked online, it is still necessary to present hard copies of the documents you have downloaded. Car rental agents will double-check this when they meet at the airport. The changes will depend on the car rental company you have chosen. The documents you will need are:
- Original driving license
- International Driving Permit
- A payment card (credit or debit)
There are many types of cars that visitors can rent in Nicaragua. But, before choosing a vehicle, find out in advance about the number of passengers in the group. This can help tenants choose the right type for the number of occupants. 4WD vehicles are best if you are exploring outside of town.
For most rental car companies, the age to drive is 18, and individuals must meet the minimum age to enroll in a driving school. Finally, getting a driver’s license is the next step. However, the tenant must be at least 25 years old to take advantage of a rental car. Overseas auto basic insurance is essential and can help travel drivers protect themselves in emergencies and traffic accidents. However, purchasing basic insurance directly from the car rental company can cost them more than usual. Agents can add unnecessary things. To avoid withdrawing a large amount, contact your bank credit provider first.
Laws differ among nations, but one thing that remains common is that the ITA’s international driving license allows you to lease your vehicles to other destinations. Some rentals will require a valid license before letting your car in. Many consumers find themselves at a destination location and are confused about buying approval from their country abroad.
Driving rules in Nicaragua
To travel on the island of Nicaragua, a resident needs a valid driver’s license and an IDP. If Nicaraguan traffic police pull you over, you must present your legal documents and be wearing a seat belt or helmet, depending on your vehicle. Some rules to keep in mind are:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited
- The maximum speed limit is 45km/h in urban areas and 60km/h in expressways
- The legal minimum driving age is 18 years old
- All drivers must stay on the right side of the road
- In case of an emergency, the police phone number is 118
Top 6 Places to Visit in Nicaragua
Somoto Canyon, called Cajon de Somoto, is a beautiful gorge in northern Nicaragua. Known for retaining its fascinating old ruins, it attracts tourists. The breathtaking panoramic view of the canyon should be seen with a camera. This website has a variety of extreme sports titles and a wide range of extreme actions that will be rewarded with intense thrills. Make a serious effort on a breathtaking canyon during the dry months of late July through early September. Taking a trip during a rainy season means heavy rain. Some trails can swim through the canyon until it reaches another side.
The Cliff Carvings of El Tisey
Esteli is a popular place to see famous and stunning mural paintings. A primary source for tobacco production Inside the Nature Reserve of Telsey is imposing sculptures from local explorer Alberto Gutierrez Jirón’s famous cliffs. His incredible masterpiece and extraordinary ability to present historical figures make him an excellent reason why people should visit Esteli. Explore El Tiseys spectacular carving cliff walls is incredibly good in Winter, around December and February. Summers are also good between September and June. The prices are low, and the weather is perfect.
Cerro Mogotón was Nicaragua’s wettest and had the highest mountain among the volcanic jewels on the planet. It defeated the famed Masaya Volcano, though it was an important destination among travelers. The summit has an elevation of 2107 meters. Beginners can climb Cerro Mogoton for professional climbers only. Make sure you have a suitable time to take an active hike in the upcoming green seasons. It is generally between mid-May and late October to mid-November. Traveling in Winter is helpful, but slippery roads await.
Reserva Natural Miraflores
Reconnection to nature is best at Reserva Natural Miraflor. This gorgeous house is situated north of Estoril. There are more than 300 birds on the reserve, and among those is a beautiful quetzal bird. Aside from cute tiny creatures, tourists can see spidery or howler monkeys roaming around Miraflor. Flower buffs can enjoy a bouquet of plants around the house and find Costa Rican native flowers, Cattleya Skinner. Foreign travelers should reserve a visit during the Winter, which would be the most suitable time to book a trip to this nature reserve.
Télica Volcano is a volcano in Leon. It hasn’t exploded since 1948. Over time it releases smoke or grumbling sounds. It has a height of 1,062 meters and 120 meters deep in its crater and is 700 meters deep. Hikers must start at San Jacinto Hot Springs. The spring is not in Telica but the starting point for the hike. Setting up excursion dates is perfect in dry seasons. The hiker generally advises bringing sunblock lotion and plenty of food to keep you active after hikes. The use of tour guides will help new visitors to the site.
Visit Masaya Volcano in the glittering capital of Nicaragua. This legendary volcanic site sleeps beautifully in the state’s largest national park. One of the fascinating facts about this “tourist moment” is that brave adventurers can drive near the volcano’s crater and die. Hard Riders can follow the route until they reach the rim. Accessing this part is an exciting experience. You can go there any time. However, frequent travelers arrive at the scene early in the morning. Another incredible discovery of the night leaves a word for visitors. A fantastic volcano show begins around 5 pm.
Playas Maderas are favored by surfers. It is a worldwide surf destination for those who enjoy surfing. The stunning sandy beaches and breathtaking beaches attract visitors. Beginners and professional surfing lovers enjoy a beautiful ocean view. It would be an excellent weekend to indulge in several water activities at Playa Maderas. Crowds will likely rise during weekends which is very stressful, and it’s much more relaxing without a lot of people around.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get your IDP for Nicaragua?
Our application process is simplified with an easy-to-understand guide.
All you need is your current driver’s license details, a photo of yourself, and your driver’s license to verify your identity.
Do you need an international driver’s license in Nicaragua?
An international driving license is mandatory if you are not a Nicaraguan driver. There are checkpoints across cities, so ensuring updated driver’s licenses is a top priority for Nicaraguans.
Can Americans drive in Nicaragua?
All foreigners must get IDPs to drive a 4-wheeler vehicle in Nicaragua. In most countries, IDP is required by rental car providers, and it’s crucial evidence that domestic licenses are legitimate for drivers.
Can I drive with my local license in Nicaragua?
Owning an original local driver’s license in Nicaragua is not enough to drive a car legally. Owning an IDP is very important if the driver is a non-resident. If a foreign driver without an IDP is caught on the highway by local police, the appropriate fee will apply.
Will IDP replace my native driving license in Nicaragua?
Please note that an international driver’s license is just a translation of a domestic driver’s license. Even if you purchased your IDP from a government agency, this is not an alternative or practical alternative.