What is an International Driving Permit or License?
What is the difference between an International Driving Permit (IDP) and an International Driving 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 an IDP work in Romania?
You can only drive in Romania for three months with an foreign license, permitted you have an International Driving Permit alongside it. You may also use your IDP as a valid identification while traveling. It’s especially helpful if your driving license is in a foreign language, as an IDP can be used as a translation of your license.
How do you apply for an IDP in Romania?
You can apply for an IDP through our website.
How long does it take to get an IDP in Romania?
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.
Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Romania
Functionality as an ID
An IDP is a convenient travel document as it can also function as identification and used in place of a national ID. This is largely useful if you want to keep your passport somewhere safe for security reasons.
Quicker traffic authority stops
Having an IDP ensures that policemen can quickly note your details down and make any traffic stop as efficient as possible. This is especially useful during emergencies and motor accidents.
Car rental companies
To hire a car in a foreign country, youmust have an International Driving Permit to present upon request. Since an IDP is a valid document recognized by the United Nations, most car rental companies accept it as a valid driving permit. It also saves vacation time and unnecessary delays when dealing with rental companies.
Laws requiring an IDP
You can use a foreign driving license in Romania for only three months, permitted you also possess an IDP. Since Romania was contracted to the three Motor Traffic Conventions (Vienna in 1968, Geneva in 1949, and Paris in 1926) your IDP will remain valid for one year, as long as your original license also remains valid.
Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Romania
Short-term visitors vs. residents
Recurrent visitors to Romania who stay for over 183 days within one year are considered resident individuals. A foreign driving license can be used in Romania for three months with an IDP. This is sufficient for short visits, but if you are doing business there or have other vested interests, you will need to get a Romanian driver’s license. Long-term visitors and residents from EU countries will still find it beneficial to get a Romanian license.
When should I get a Romanian Driver’s License?
If you have a driver’s license from a member of the European Union, you can use it for as long as it remains valid before replacing it to a Romanian one. Romania is integrated into the European Union, and its law enforcement officers are familiar with EU driving standards. However, it is highly recomended that you carry an IDP in conjunction with you license, just in case law enforcement authorities have difficulty processing you at traffic stops or other vehicle-related activities.
If you are from a county outside of the EU, you should get a Romanian driver’s license and a Romanian residency if you are staying in Romania for a prolonged period.
How to get a Romanian driver’s license
Foreign drivers can transfer their license to a police station for about $92 each. You should be above 18 and a Romanian resident (lived in Romania for at least six months). You should take your original driving license and a photocopy of it, an authentication certificate that is sworn before a public notary, your residency card, an IDP will suffice, a completed application form, a medical certificate of good health, and two passport-sized photographs. If all goes well, you should receive your Romanian driver’s license within two weeks.
It’s important to note that the procedure will take longer if the country of your original driving license is not contracted to the Vienna Convention of Motor Traffic. In this case, you will be asked to take the theoretical and practical driving tests. The theory test will be administered in English if requested.
Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in Romania
Renewing your International Driver’s Permit
You can renew your International Driving Permit easily through our website.
Renewing your original driver’s license
For your IDP to be valid, you must also have a valid driving license. If your license expires while abroad, you must get a new license to continue driving in that country. The procedure for renewing a license varies significantly by country, and license renewal may include a vision test that cannot be taken online, which may mean you need to return to your home country to renew your license.
Car Rental in Romania
Requirements for car rental
You must be over 21 and below 70 years old to rent a car from a car rental agency. If you are below 25 of have had your license your less than three years, an added surcharge will be requested.
To rent a car, you will also need an identification card, a valid driving license with, and an IDP. It’s recommended to get a smaller vehicle if you are exploring the cities, and a larger vehicle is for a self-drive tour of the country.
Deposit and costs for car rental
Your rental car deposit will be high and range from $1,000.00 to $3,000 in Romania. The daily rental cost will be $18.00 to $40.00, depending on the type of car. On average, you can expect to pay $200.00 for a week’s rental. You will need to pay extra days for an additional driver, GPS, a car seat, or WiFi router in the vehicle.
You are required to have insured your vehicle to drive in Romania. This is irrespective of whether your stay is short or long-term. The minimum requirement is third-party insurance covering costs arising from an accident. Your insurance contract should protect other persons, vehicles, animals, or property damage. Third-party insurance contracts do not cover any damage to yourself or your car. You can get Collision Damage Waiver (CDW), Super Collision Damage Waiver (SCDW), Supplemental Liability Insurance (SLI), and Personal Accident Protection (PAP), depending on your needs.
While the crime rate in Romania is moderate compared to other EU countries, it is still clever to get travel insurance and car insurance when traveling there. Some points to look out for when getting your travel insurance are:
Funeral costs in case of an extreme scenario
Coverage for property
Rental car excess in an accident (this will cover expenses not covered by your car insurance)
Driving and Safety in Romania
Where can you get a driving handbook with the road rules?
Romania’s driver’s handbook, The Highway Code, is available in English bookstores but can cost as much as $40.00. The Romanian version is considerably cheaper. You can get a synopsis of the main rules online before you start to drive in Romania without having to buy the pricey copy.
Overtaking on Romanian roads
You are advised to only overtake from the left-hand side as long as there have been no signs signifying otherwise. You must check your mirrors, judge the speed correctly and make sure that the lane ahead is sufficiently clear for you to enter back into its traffic. You cannot cut in on the vehicle that you are overtaking. Overtaking during nighttime or with poor visibility should be undertaken with extra vigilance.
In Romania, you are expected to leave at least 10 cm between you and the car front of you in traffic. The law is that you keep 10 cm for every 10 km/h you are going, which means you should come up to 100 cm from the car before overtaking. You are not allowed to exceed the speed limits while overtaking.
Turning and right of way on Romanian roads
Drivers on the main road have priority over a lane coming into the main road. On equal roads, vehicles going straight or turning right have the right of way, meaning that drivers turning left have to wait until there’s a gap in traffic before proceeding.
You should slow down before junctions that don’t have signs or traffic lights. In Romania, you must go slow enough to be able to stop at a junction if needs be in order to give way to a motorist coming on the other road.
If you are entering a roundabout, you have to give way to vehicles already in the roundabout. You should also pay attention to the speed at which the traffic is moving and the signal lights used by the vehicles in the roundabout when entering one.
Speed limits on Romanian roads
In residential areas, the speed limit in Romania is 50 km/h (31 mph), like in most other European countries. You can drive 90 km/h (56 mph) on open roads outside built-up areas. The speed limit for dual carriageways is 100 km/h (63 mph) and 130 km/h (81 mph) for motorways.
Tips for driving in Romania
People drive vehicles on the right side in Romania
The minimum driving age for all vehicles other than 2-wheels under 125 cc is 18 (you can drive 2-wheelers under 125 cc from 16)
Mountain roads can be treacherous during the winter months
Vehicles are parked on sidewalks regularly, so be careful when driving and walking
Crosswalks are often poorly marked so be extra vigilance while driving
Local drivers often ignore traffic lights and crosswalks
You cannot use a mobile phone unless you use a hands-free device
Drivers and passengers should wear seat belts
Children from ages 3 to 12 cannot occupy the seat on the driver’s right
Headlights should be turned on with the low beam during the daytime
You should have a warning triangle in the vehicle in case of an emergency
Drivers and passengers of scooters and motorcycles need to wear helmets
You must pay the ‘Rovinieta’ tax to use Romanian roads
While big streets in cities are well-maintained, the same can’t be said for rural roads
Drinking and driving
The legal allowable blood-alcohol level for driving in Romania is 0.0%. You can be imprisoned for up to 5 years for an accident if your blood alcohol level is just 0.1%. Driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.08% is a felony, and you can be sent to prison for up to 5 years. You shouldn’t drink while driving in Romania, as the punitive actions are pretty harsh.
Top 3 Destinations to Visit in Romania
Sighisoara is a city on the Târnava Mare River in Mureș County, Romania. It is located in the historical region of Transylvania. It has a well-preserved town wall built by German craftsmen during the 12th century. The Old Town region has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historic city was a part of Hungary until 1918. The town was built on a site of a Roman fort to preserve the frontiers of Hungarian land. The city became a thriving center for traders, and the citadel was built to defend it from raiders and foreign invaders. The town continued to expand into the 16th century. Another attraction for visitors is the Medieval Festival which takes place in the old citadel every July. You should visit the 64m (210ft) tall ‘Clock Tower built-in 1556.
Brașov city is the administrative center of Brașov county. It is a modern city that boasts a dynamic young working environment in the middle of its old-world charm and fascinating scenery. The picturesque Carpathian Mountain range surrounds Brașov. Tourists frequent this city to stay in its mountain resorts that are second to none in Europe. All kinds of winter sporting activities like skiing and piece skating are routine in the winter with state-of-the-art facilities. You should check out the Black Church too, which gets its name from a 17th-century fire that blackened its stones. The medieval cathedral has a gothic architectural style that sets it apart from newer churches in the area. A stroll through Brașov’s Rope Street, the narrowest in the country, is a must.
These beautiful monasteries are located in Bucovina, which is in north-eastern Romania. Each of these monasteries was built during the 15th and 16th centuries. The exterior walls of these buildings are covered with gorgeous frescoes that depict portraits of Christian saints and prophets. There are also frescoes of the life of Jesus, images of angels and demons, and heaven and hell. These paintings are deemed masterpieces of Byzantine art, making Bucovina a one-of-a-kind site for European architecture. The best-preserved are the monasteries in Humor, Moldovita, Patrauti, Probota, Suceava, Sucevita, and Voronet. Seven of these churches are named UNESCO World Heritage sites. Make sure to visit each of these monasteries to make the most of your trip to Bucovina.
Am I required to have an International Driving Permit in Romania?
Having an IDP to drive in Romania is highly recommended as many countries require you to have a valid driving license and an IDP.
Can you drive with a foreign license in Romania?
You can drive for three months with a foreign license in Romania, as long as you have an IDP.
Can I use my EU driver’s license in Romania?
Yes, you may use your EU license in Romania until it expires.
How long will my international driving permit be valid in Romania?
Since Romania was contracted to the Vienna, Geneva, and Paris Motor Traffic Conventions, you may use your IDP for 1 year.
How long will transferring my license to a Romanian license take?
If you are from a country in the EU or a country that was contracted to the Vienna Motor Traffic Convention in 1968, the process should take no longer than two weeks. Otherwise, it can take up to a month.
On which side do you drive in Romania?
Vehicles must drive on the right side of the road in Romania.