The importance of an International Driver’s License when moving abroad

While most people would understand that having an international driver’s license is important if they want to drive a car or motorbike in a foreign country whilst on holiday, many people do not realize that having one is equally as important if you are thinking of moving to another country for an extended period of time and would like to obtain a local driver’s license in your new home country.

One of the limitations for most countries acceptance of an international driver’s license is that you can only use it while you’re a tourist in that country – which is typically only for the first 30-60 days, depending on the country. After that grace period, you need to obtain a local driver’s license if you want to continue to be able to drive legally in that country. This is because you’re more likely to own a vehicle rather than just hire one, and to stop people from driving on foreign licenses permanently and making it hard to enforce traffic laws through license penalties.

However, here’s where having an international driver’s license is still extremely handy if you’re planning to move abroad and want to be able to drive in your new country. Holders of an international driving license from most countries are normally allowed to present the international license plus their original license from their home country and use these documents to support an application for a local license as a foreign licensed driver, without needing to undergo the standard driving tests that a new driver would need to complete.

In some countries, there are still some forms that you will need to fill out which may you to engage the services of a local translator if you’re in a country where English is not the primary language. Many countries also have some basic tests that you need to pass in order to obtain your local driver’s license – such as a short theory test to make sure you understand the local road rules or perhaps a vision/depth perception test to ensure that you are fit to drive – however, you do not need to complete a full driving test like you would if you didn’t have your international drivers license.

However, for many people, considering things like how to obtain a drivers license in their new country are fairly low on the list of priorities when it comes to tying up all the loose ends in your current home city and moving everything you own to a new country. Things like dealing with moving services to shift your furniture (or selling it) and selling or renting your family home are much more important and the driver’s license is often overlooked until you’ve arrived in your new country.

This is where IDL TRAVEL ( comes in handy. You can arrange to get your international license from wherever you are in the world, and they will have it mailed to you quickly and securely. You’ll be able to apply for your local driving license in no time – and without the hassles of having to complete a practical test.

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