International Driving Permit Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is beautiful and mystic, fascinating to everyone who sets foot on the beach. Always impressive, she welcomes her visitors with gentle waves, warm beaches, and kind people. The island embodies adventure and inspiration as the only sovereign state named after a woman.

St Lucia caters to travelers looking for a relaxing beach vacation with active activities and fascinating island culture. Tour around and explore in the comfort of your own car. But before taking the opportunity to hop into the driver’s seat, you should be aware of driving eligibility in Saint Lucia as a foreigner.

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.

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 Saint Lucia?

The Saint Lucia International Driving Permit translates non-English driver’s licenses into 12 languages. However, an IDP does not replace your local driver’s license. It’s simply an addition that allows you to drive safely and hassle-free in St Lucia. Using your local driver’s license when driving here is temporary. Purchasing your International Driving Permit is highly recommended as checkpoints drive on common highways.

How do you apply for an IDP?

You can apply through our website. 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. 

Why do people carry an IDP?

Your IDP is an authorized form of identification for more than 150 countries. It can convert your ID to 10 languages – which means it can speak the language even when you don’t. Some nations require an IDP to ensure travel safety. Consult country regulations before going.

Benefits of Carrying an IDP

Function as ID

The IDP is a practical travel document because it also serves as an ID card. This is useful if you want to keep your passport in a secure place for security reasons. An IDP can be used in place of your ID card too. This is especially true if the ID card is a language not used internationally.

Quicker traffic authority stops

In some countries, foreign licenses are available for a short time. This is intended to boost tourism and reduce the annoyance of tourists. However, traffic police may have trouble decrypting the driver’s information on your driver’s license during routine traffic stops. Having an International Driving Permit guarantees that police can quickly note your details and send you along the way. This is especially useful in emergencies and car accidents.

Car rental companies

Foreign companies may be reluctant to rent a car to a foreigner without an IDP. Since an IDP is a legal document approved by the United Nations, most international and domestic car rental companies accept IDP as a valid driver’s license. It also saves valuable vacation time and unnecessary delays when dealing with landlords.

United Nations Agreements on Road Traffic

International driving permits are issued through institutions authorized by the United Nations. They comply with UN road traffic conventions. There have been three international motor traffic conventions – in 1926 (Paris), 1949 (Geneva), and 1968 (Vienna). Many countries have been contracted to honor IDPs as valid documents in each convention. Specific automotive associations and institutions have been given authority to act on behalf of the country’s government in issuing IDPs.

Local driving permit

A local permit is a document issued by the Government of Saint Lucia and stamped by the permitting authority. This allows international drivers with a valid driver’s license to drive on the island during their stay legally.

Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Saint Lucia

Short-term visitors will find it beneficial to use their original license with a translation (an IDP). Long-term visitors will find it more practical to get a national Saint Lucia driving license as a substitute. Traffic stops will take significantly longer if you have a foreign license without the appropriate translations.

Renewing your IDP or original driver’s license in Saint Lucia

Renewing your International Driving Permit

You can renew your IDP online through our website using your current driver’s license details, a photo of yourself, and your driver’s license to verify your identity. The process with not take longer than 20 minutes, and you will receive your IDP in your inbox once it has been processed.

Renewing your original driver’s license

As an IDP is not a stand-alone document for driving in any country, you must have a valid, unexpired driving license to show if requested. 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 permit differs widely by country. License renewal may include a vision test that cannot be done online, meaning you must return to your home country of origin to renew your license. Most governments provide an online license renewing service for expatriates, which may simplify the process.

Car rental in St Lucia

If you plan on venturing to see the many wonders of the islands, we recommend renting a car for the best experience. It’s also a great way to save money instead of booking many taxis. The Saint Lucia driver’s license requirements state that a complete driver’s license valid in your country of residence is required. You must get a local driver’s license and an IDP to rent a car. For hiring a car in Saint Lucia, you must be at least 25 years old (age may vary depending on the car rent category) and have had a driver’s license for over two years.

Driving abroad

Laws may vary across different countries, but a single point is consistent — an ITA-approved IDP is available to anyone wanting the freedom to drive in other countries. Some rental companies require an International Driving Permit before renting your car. Some people travel in a destination state unaware that it is necessary to obtain an IDP and are therefore not accepted to rent a car.

Safety while driving

Before getting in the driver’s seat, you must understand all the driving principles in Saint Lucia to avoid any road accidents. You should always follow driving regulations when travelling to St Lucia.

Carry your IDP and your driver’s license with you at all times

Since you can only temporarily use your national driver’s license in St Lucia, carrying IDP alongside your original license is recommended. Traveling on highways with checkpoints is commonly found, and a police agent might refuse your driving license if they can’t read English. The International Drivers Permit for Saint Lucia transposes driver licenses that are not English to 12 widely accepted countries. Your IDP does not replace your native license but merely gives you the chance to travel safely to the Caribbean and without any hassle.

Drive on the left side

Like all British colonies, the driving side is strictly to the left of the road.

Before and after the seat belt

Drivers are required to wear seat belts, but passengers in the back seats are not required to wear seat belts. Child seats are also needed. It is essential to follow the rules to avoid violations as authorities are in random locations. While rear seat belts are not required, it’s up to you to ensure safety and comfort.

Drunk driving

The maximum blood alcohol level in St Lucia is 80mg. Going above this limit in St Lucia may cause accidents and injury. Do not drink alcohol, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road or plan to drive at night.

Speed limits

Most car accidents are the result of speed violations and legal negligence. Following the speed limits posted in certain areas of St Lucia is essential. Pay attention to the road signs that indicate the required speed limit—miles. The maximum speed is 30 km/h in rural areas, 24 km/h in the city, and 40 km/h on highways. These speed limits may vary depending on traffic and road conditions.

Traffic signs

Traffic signs save lives, help you drive without confusion, and should not be taken for granted. Like other countries, St Lucia has strict orders to follow easy-to-understand road signs. Ignoring these traffic signs can lead to difficult situations.

Road conditions

Roads are safe to drive but are mountainous areas with slight differences in elevation as you move around the island. The two arterial roads that cover the island (one on the east or Atlantic side and the other on the west or Caribbean side) are paved two-lane roads. West coast roads are more adventurous and scenic. The general conditions of these two streets are suitable for the level of tourism on the island. However, be careful when driving, as recent heavy storms have affected roads. Due to this unfortunate situation, expect many holes on the road, especially near the edge. Hitting one of these potholes at high speed can cause an unexpected flat tire and cause slight damage to the rim of your car.

Top 5 destinations to visit in St Lucia

Pigeon Island National Park

It is one of the best attractions for tourists visiting the island, known for its historical monuments and tales of pirates and the sand on their feet. Pigeon Islands National Park hosts a year-round Jazz Festival for visitors. Pigeon Island is an excellent tourist destination, and renting or having a car is advisable. Although a most coveted festival, the jazz and arts festival annually takes place only in June. It offers dozens of activities every year. Tourists come to Pigeon Island throughout the year, and these spots provide ideal escapades. Many retired people come here for relaxation.

Soufriere

Soufriere is the capital city of St Lucia. The town is famous for its pitons which attract many tourists. It also hosts many famous suites and dining rooms on Saint Lucian territory. Make a wonderful holiday experience in Soufriere by hiking the Pitons zip line over jungles and sipping the Dasheen Fantasy at the famed T’cholit bar. Soufriere attracts numerous tourists every year, although mainly in January or March. Soufriere is best visited in April, and prices should remain at the usual price level until October.

Splash Island Water Park

A family-friendly water park at Reduit Beach in Rodney Bay offers water sports activities with obstacles. Splash Island water park is famous for its fun and welcoming theme, perfect for all the family. The best time of the year is June-February at the Splash Islands Water park to soak up the sun and splash in the many attractions. This site is accessible by car and is easily reached since Splash Island has a vast population.

Marigot Bay

Marigot Bay is a five-star resort located in Saint Lucia along the West Coast of the Caribbean. This Bay offers beautiful scenery, beautiful pools, and restaurants perfect for yacht enthusiasts. Marigot Bay is well known for its attractive and simple setting, which is why Hollywood has used it for scenes in many available film genres. Best season for visiting Marigot Bay from late June to early April. It’s easily accessible via a motorized bus or by sea boat.

Spencer Ambrose Tours

Spencer Ambrose tours is a top 6 boat tour in Vieux Fort, which has been praised for its spectacular itinerary. Take photos while you take a trip on a modern speedboat and travel across the islands. Spencer Ambrose Tours provides a friendly and experienced service for a safe tour. The best times to visit are June and March because it’s mainly on the beach. You can get into the place and stay at Lucia hotels quickly because it is close to the Hewannora International Airport.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need an IDP to drive in St Lucia?

We highly recommend having an IDP when traveling to St Lucia, as many countries require you to have a valid driving license and an IDP. 

What side of the road to drive in St Lucia?

It is legally required to drive on the left-hand side of the road.

How long will it take to get my IDP in St Lucia?

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. 

Is it hard to drive in St Lucia?

The roads are safe to drive but are mountainous, with a bit of elevation gain. Be sure to follow safety guidelines to ensure a great experience traveling around the island.

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