International Driving Permit Uruguay

Uruguay is part of South America and is home to a few popular tourist destinations from Montevideo to Punta Del Diablo. No matter where you go in Uruguay, you will have great memories of your visit.

When planning a trip, it’s a great idea to look into renting a vehicle to be able to explore at your leisure. Having a car allows you the freedom to visit more places, travel further inland, and create an itinerary that fits your schedule.

As with everything, some things to remember if you are planning to drive in Uruguay, including knowing some general rules and dealing with road traffic.

Of course, there is your passport and your valid driver’s license. But another item that you may not know about is that you need an International Driving Permit, which is a required document if you intend to drive while in Uruguay.

What is an International Driving Permit or License?

An International Driving Permit or IDP works alongside your home country’s driver’s license and is required in Uruguay for foreign visitors. An International Driving Permit works as an additional document and is a translation of the critical information on your current driver’s license. The International Driving Permit contains your driver information in many languages. Although it contains accurate information, remember that it is not a substitute for your driver’s license or other identification. However, it is legally required to drive in Uruguay as a visitor.

You can complete an application form through our website to get an International Driver’s License. You can receive it via email within 2 hours, ready for you to print.

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.

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 Uruguay?

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.

United Nations Agreement on IDP

As part of the United Nations 1968 Vienna Convention and the 1949 Geneva Convention, the IDP is required in many countries. It means the holder has a valid license from their country of origin.

Other conventions have been updated to include other motor vehicles, including motorcycles. Your International Drivers Permit will also reflect what vehicles you are permitted to drive or if there are any conditions on your license.

Benefits of Carrying an IDP in Uruguay

An International Driving Permit is an additional form of identification but should not be used to replace your passport or national ID.

An International Driving Permit assures that you can legally rent a car. Alongside valid licenses, you will have the appropriate documentation if you were to be pulled over or questioned. It can also help others understand your information if they cannot understand your country’s language.

Driving Requirements for Non-Citizens in Uruguay

According to the website, AutoEurope, you need to be at least 23 years of age to rent a car in Uruguay. The legal driving age, however, is 18. Although, if you are under 25, an additional fee may be added.

It is also essential to follow the speed limit and ensure your vehicle has its driving lights on at all times while in operation. The Blood Alcohol Content level in Uruguay for operating a car is 0%, and you may be subject to a fine or a worse penalty if caught driving under the influence while traveling in Uruguay.

All passengers and the driver must be wearing a seat belt while inside the vehicle, and cars drive on the right-hand side.

When should I get an Uruguay Driver’s License?

In most cases, for stays that are six months or less, an International Driver’s Permit will suffice for your trip, that is, provided you also have valid driver’s licenses from your home country.

However, if you are planning on staying for a longer term, or you are thinking of moving to Uruguay, you may want to look at getting an actual local license.

This requires you to have a medical exam, fill out some paperwork, and obtain a document that certifies your last entry into the country. This can be purchased from an immigration office, or if your passport was stamped, that might also work. Make sure to check with the Uruguay offices to determine if any additional information may be needed for this.

Then you will go to a Transport Department to take your photo and fill out an application form. Then they will take your documents and look at your current driver’s license to issue you a new Uruguay Driver’s license.

Renewing Your IDP or original Driver’s License While in Uruguay?

We can help issue an International Driver’s Permit. You’ll have to complete some paperwork and have two passport-type photos available. You will also need a valid driver’s license to get your International Driving Permit.

If your national license expires while in Uruguay, you may want to check your home country’s policies on renewing licenses abroad. Some places may allow you to renew your license online if it has not lapsed yet.

Car Rental in Uruguay

While driving in Uruguay, many car rental companies are available.

There are a few similarities to renting a vehicle in Uruguay and other countries. For example, it is good practice to do a complete check of the rental car you get before leaving. Take any pictures of scratches or damage before taking the vehicle. Hopefully, this won’t be needed, but in case anyone questions you about the damage when you return the car, you’ll have some proof that you or your family didn’t cause it.

Also, make sure to return your car on time, or there may be additional fees.

When renting a car, you must be at least 23 years old and have had a valid license from your home country for at least one year. The legal driving age is 18, and you will also need an International Driver’s Permit. While some rental companies may not ask for it, the permit document is required to legally drive in Uruguay.

Driving and Safety in Uruguay

When driving abroad, it is essential to know that Uruguay has a few rules for driving, including that seat belts must be worn by everyone while in the vehicle. Also, your car’s driving lights must be on 24/7. If you encounter road traffic, remember to stay calm and take your time.

If you travel with children under 12, they are not permitted to ride in the front and must be in the back seat.

People in Uruguay drive on the right side of the road, and some intersections should be treated as 4-way stops, even if there are no stop signs. The best bet is to yield at all intersections and give the vehicle on the right-hand side the right away.

Top 5 Destinations to Visit in Uruguay

There is plenty to do no matter where you go in Uruguay. And having the ability to drive yourself opens up even more opportunities when traveling. You can decide where and when you want to go and make plans without relying on booked tours or available drivers.

Having an International Driving Permit will allow you the freedom to rent a car and travel wherever you want to go in Uruguay and other foreign countries.

  1. La Paloma

Since you’re already driving in Uruguay, if you are looking for a great, one-stop destination, consider adding La Paloma to your list while in South America. It is a quiet town inland near central Uruguay, with lots to explore. It has beaches and markets to experience during the day, or if you prefer the nightlife, check out the nightclubs available here too!

  1. Montevideo

Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay for a reason and has many great things to offer. This city is located on the South side of Uruguay and has several historic buildings to check out. Cuidad Vieja is a neighborhood within Montevideo that is almost like a walled city, and it is home to incredible scenery during the day and great nightlife.

  1. Tacuarembo

This is another great stop if you have some time. Tacuarembo is located North of La Paloma and has museums and several stores to stop in at if you’re looking to get some shopping done. Or if churches, cathedrals, or more are your thing, they’ve got that covered too!

  1. La Pedrera

La Pedrera is a great tourist destination in the South East corner of Uruguay, and it’s home to great Atlantic Ocean beaches if you’re looking for something to stop at during the day. And also several great restaurants to check out after a long sunny day at the beach.

  1. Carmelo

Carmelo is a great town to stop at if you’re on the Western side of Uruguay. The historic town of Colonia del Sacramento is nearby, within driving distance. Colonia del Sacramento is a UNESCO site and a must-see if you are in the area. Carmelo also has beaches and offers some great spots to take the family for a picnic!

  1. Punta Del Diablo

Punta Del Diablo is a small village on the East side of Uruguay. Filled with South Atlantic Ocean beaches, the Parque Nacional Santa Teresa is a few kilometers from there. It is a National Park with hiking trails along the shores and is worth adding to your list.


What Are the Rules for Alcohol and Driving in Uruguay?

You should know if you plan on drinking during your travels; in Uruguay, the drinking limit for driving is 0% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). You may be subject to a fine or worse if you are caught drinking and driving while visiting.

What are the road conditions like in Uruguay?

Most roads in the major towns and cities shouldn’t be of any concern to your travels. Though on highways between major destinations, you will probably encounter more road traffic and people on road trips like yourself. However, the farther you travel outside those important centers, you may experience more potholes or rougher roads.

Does Uruguay Have Highway Tolls?

Especially if you are traveling between major cities, you will most likely encounter toll roads. Thankfully, they tend to be reasonably cheap. Tolls range from approximately $25 to 40 Uruguayan Pesos to about $0.62 to $1.01 United States Dollars.

Can I rent an automatic car in Uruguay?

When looking to obtain a car to rent, you should be able to find an automatic, if that is what you prefer. However, Uruguay will likely have a more extensive selection of manual-driven cars.

How long is an IDP valid for?

Most International Driving Permits are valid for one year from the date of issue. It is essential to keep this with you while you take your trip in case the local authorities ask for your driver’s information.

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