International Driving Permit Tanzania

Tanzania is a sovereign state formed in 1964 by combining two states, Zanzibar and Tanganyika. Tanganyika is the mainland, covering over 99% of the country’s total area. There are various Islands, such as Mafia Island, which is governed by the country’s mainland, whereas Pemba and Zanzibar Islands have different governing systems. Dodoma is the country’s capital, and it’s located centrally on Tanzania’s mainland.

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 International Driving Permit work in Tanzania?

If you plan to drive in Tanzania, you must apply for an International Driving Permit. This will allow you to drive even if you don’t have the country’s national driver’s license.

It’s mandatory to provide your national driving license alongside the IDP if you are asked to show it by Tanzanian authorities.

Tanzania has strict guidelines for foreign drivers. If you don’t have a legal driving license and the International Driving Permit, you will not be allowed to drive in the country.

How to apply for an International Driving Permit

You can apply for an IDP through our website. To do so, you must possess a valid driving license from your country of origin.

How long does it take to have an International Driving Permit Processed in Tanzania?

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 Agreements on Road Traffic

The United Nations authorizes the issuing of International Driving Permits across the globe. These permits adhere to UN road traffic conventions. Three conventions have been – Vienna (1968), Geneva (1949), and Paris (1926). Many countries now recognize an International Driving Permit as a legal document.

Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Tanzania

No extra driving tests required

You don’t need to take any extra driving tests in Tanzania if you have an IDP; this makes it very convenient and saves you time.

Insurance claim

If you have an IDP, you can claim insurance if you are involved in an accident in Tanzania.

Faster traffic stops

Various countries allow foreigners to use their original/national license while visiting. The main reason for allowing this is to reduce tourists’ hassle and boost tourism. However, traffic police may experience difficulty interpreting license information during traffic stops due to the different language. An International Driving Permit makes it easy for police authorities to take your particulars in the shortest time possible. IDPs can also be very important in case of motor accidents and emergencies.

You can use an IDP as an Identification Document

An International Driving Permit is a travel document containing all your essential information, which can be used for identification purposes. It can be especially handy if you choose to keep your passport in a secure location for safety concerns. An International Driving Permit is used in place of an Identification card in Tanzania; this mainly applies in cases where the Identification card is in a language that isn’t internationally used.

Renting a car

Certain companies will hesitate to hire out a car to foreigners who don’t have an IDP. Given that the UN legally recognizes an IDP, most car hire companies in Tanzania recognize it as a legal driving permit (as long as it isn’t expired, of course). An International Driving Permit in Tanzania helps you to save time by avoiding unnecessary delays or being turned away when wanting to hire a car.

Ease of travel and sightseeing

An IDP enables you to move freely from one place to another without getting in trouble with the authorities.

Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Tanzania

It’s mandatory to have an International Driving Permit if you are a foreigner in Tanzania. Whether you are planning to drive on the offshore islands or on the mainland, you must possess a legal driving license and an IDP. Additionally, you must have a competence certificate to take to the Tanzanian Police Traffic Office. Remember that you can’t hire a car if you don’t have an IDP.

How long is a foreign license valid in Tanzania?

You can only use a foreign license in Tanzania for six months if you aren’t coming from the EEA or EU. Additionally, you must have a valid IDP. However, if you’re from an EEA or EU state, you can use a foreign license for two years. All foreign drivers must have an IDP to be allowed to drive in Tanzania.

When should I get a Tanzanian Driver’s License?

You need to get a Tanzanian Driving License if you are a foreigner but also intend to stay in the country for a more extended period (for example, more than two years). Additionally, if you are a Tanzanian resident and are over 18 years and are interested in driving, you can apply for a driving license.

If it’s your first time applying for a Tanzanian Driving License, you must meet the following guidelines:

  • Have a provisional or learner driving license

  • You must pay for the test fee and undertake the test

  • Be over 18 years to get a permit for driving motor vehicles and over 16 years to get a license for motorcycles

  • Have enrolled in and attended a recognized driving school/college and have a certificate from the same institution

  • You must own a certificate clearing you of any eye problems

  • You have made an application to the Traffic Police department for testing

  • You must visit the Traffic Police department with a vehicle for testing

Upon meeting the above guidelines, applicants are allowed to drive saloon cars and motorcycles.

Renewing Your IDP or Original Driver’s License While in Tanzania

Renewing your International Driver’s Permit

You can renew your IDP through our website for one year.

Renewing your original driver’s license

You will need a valid driving license and your International Driving Permit when driving in a foreign country. If, by chance, your driver’s license expires while abroad, you will need to renew it to continue driving. This must be done by the institution that initially issued your driving license. As you might be aware, the procedure for renewing a driver’s license will vary according to the country. In some countries, you will need to take medical and vision tests that cannot be done online, so you may have to return to the country that issued your license. However, most governments have online driving license renewal services available to expatriates.

Car Rental in Tanzania

Tourists visiting Tanzania will want to hire a car to enable them to move from one location to another conveniently. If you want to enjoy the freedom to explore the beautiful sceneries in Tanzania on your own time, it’s recommended to hire a car. Finding reliable car hire companies in Tanzania can be difficult, especially if you’re looking for a specific car brand. There are several factors to consider before hiring a car in Tanzania.

Should you book a car in advance?

It’s highly recommended for visitors to book a car for hire companies in good time to ensure they save time and avoid inconvenience. If you book a car in advance, you get a chance to negotiate for cheaper rates and discounts too.

Which documents do you need to rent a car in Tanzania?

Visitors will often be asked to produce their identification documents (including their IDP), credit cards, passports, and visas. Most companies will ask for a deposit, especially if you rent a car in rural areas.

Certain companies offer optional extra insurance, which eliminates the need to make a security deposit. Ensure that the car you hire has the necessary extras such as jumper cables, a spade, a roadmap, a radio that can be attached to a USB port, a spade, a tow rope, jacks, and spare cables.

Best car hire vehicle options in Tanzania

If you need a car to use in the city, you can choose small or luxury sedans or 4x4s. If the vehicle is for use outside the city, go for the rugged cars capable of tackling the rough roads.

Double cabins are prevalent car hire vehicles in East Africa since they are compatible with all types of roads. Fortuner SUVs are very popular with Tanzanian visitors because they can comfortably accommodate five people. Land cruisers have more space but are more expensive than other 4×4 cars.

Driving and Safety in Tanzania

Necessary driving regulations and safety tips:

  • If you are driving in Tanzania, you are not permitted to consume any alcoholic drinks

  • Carry a valid driving license and IDP with at all times

  • Driving is on the left-hand side

  • Give right of way at intersections and roundabouts

  • Always observe traffic Regulations and Rules to ensure safety while moving from one destination to another in Tanzania

  • Beware of fluctuating speed limits (look out for the road signs indicating the speed limit in that area)

  • Do not beep your car horn unless you want to warn other drivers of danger

  • You are not permitted to use your mobile phone while driving

Precautional measures for long-distance drives

  • Tourists are advised to ensure they have enough water, food, and fuel since supermarkets, shops, and service stations may be few or located far away along the roads

  • Always ensure that you have essential camping gear such as gas-fired heaters, a torch, puncture repair kits, warm jackets, headlights, and blankets.

  • Take rests along the journey

  • The humidity and heat levels might be very high, so it’s advisable to rest for approximately 15 minutes after driving for two hours

Top 5 tourist destinations in Tanzania

Some of the most renowned natural attractions and tourist destinations are in Tanzania. It is a fact that most tourists visit Tanzania to see the wildlife in the many parks and national reserves.

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the most spectacular tourist attraction in Tanzania. The National Park is visited by people curious to see the beautiful mountain and many others who love climbing. Tourists can climb Mt. Kilimanjaro all year round, though the best time is between late June and October.

Over a million years ago, Mt. Kilimanjaro came into existence; volcanic movements along the Rift Valley formed it. The rainforest slopes around the mountain are home to eland, elephants, monkeys, leopards, and buffaloes. Bird lovers can watch several bird species.

Serengeti National Park

The Serengeti National Park is a substantial treeless plain home to millions of wild animals. The National Park is renowned for the wildebeest migration that occurs every year. There are also the Big Five in the National Park and several bird species that bird enthusiasts can watch. Serengeti is the 2nd largest park in Tanzania, and thousands of domestic and international tourists visit it. The wildebeest migration takes place in May and June.

Zanzibar Beaches

Zanzibar Island is also known as Unguja, a popular tourist destination renowned for its breathtaking beaches. The island is home to some of the most beautiful beaches globally. Tourists can enjoy the clear waters and soft sand along the coasts. The historic Stone Town City is also home to narrow alleyways, a port, and Arabian townhouses.

Ngorongoro Conservation Area

Ngorongoro conservation area is located between Lake Manyara and Serengeti. It’s home to the Ngorongoro Volcanic Crater. The conservation area is among the most visited destinations in Tanzania. The crater has a continuous water supply which attracts different animals to quench their thirst. Bird lovers can also watch the thousands of bird species in the area. Some animals you may encounter at Ngorongoro include zebras, wildebeests, buffaloes, and gazelles.

Olduvai Gorge

The Olduvai Gorge is an archaeological site with ancient bone fragments and skulls with necessary information concerning early humanity. Several erosions have occurred in the area, revealing remnants and fossils of early human existence. There are also some footprints of a child, woman, and man at Laetoli, which is close to Olduvai.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I apply for an International Driving Permit in Tanzania?

You can apply for an IDP through our website.

How long will I have to wait for my International Driving Permit in Tanzania?

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. 

Can I use my IDP as an identification document in Tanzania?

Yes. You can use an IDP as an identification document since it is recognized by the United Nations.

Which side should you drive on Tanzanian roads?

You are legally authorized to drive on the left side.

Can I renew my IDP in Tanzania?

Yes. You can renew your IDP in Tanzania as long as you have the expired one and other identification documents such as a passport.

How long is an IDP valid in Tanzania?

An IDP is valid for one year in Tanzania.

Can I use my original driving License in Tanzania?

You can only use a valid license together with an IDP.

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