If you’re going overseas and plan to drive, there’s a good chance you will need an international driver’s licence. Here's what you need to know.
An international driver's licence (also known as an international driver’s permit or IDP) allows you to drive overseas without further tests or applications. You will need an IDP to drive both cars and motorbikes.
Anyone over the age of 18 with a full valid Australian driver's licence can apply. (No learner’s permits.)
Please note, RAC doesn't provide international driver's licences to foreign visitors to Australia. If you’re a foreign visitor, please contact the Department of Transport.
To apply for an International Driver's Licence, you will need a valid Australian driver's licence and a passport sized photo. Photos must not be older than 12 months and cannot be reused from previous IDP's.
When applying online, you can upload a suitable passport photo sized image from a file on your mobile device or desktop. We will print this for you free of charge, when processing the IDP application.
Only RAC and associated members of the Australian Automobile Association (AAA) are authorised to issue International Driver's Licences/Permit in Australia.
You can apply for an IDP:
- In person at one of our RAC Member Service Centres or at one of our RAC Travel Centres
- By post - simply download the IDP application form, ensuring you include the necessary document(s), passport photo(s) and payment details, and post it to back to us (the address is on the form).
If applying by post
Please include your return address and contact number with a clear photocopy of your current driver's licence (both sides) and an original passport sized photograph. Postal permits are processed within 24 - 48 hours of receiving your application.
Delivery depends upon the postal option you choose. In most cases you will receive your permit in 5-7 days. RAC is not responsible for any mail lost if posted by ordinary mail.
If a permit is requested via post, the following postage rates apply:
- Registered post $6.00
- Express post: $9.00
- Registered post $17.00
Courier postal services can be arranged at the time of purchase for an additional cost. This will be based on international pricing at the time of sale.
For more information, please call 1300 655 179.
An International Driver’s Permit costs $39.00 when purchasing the IDP in person at one of our RAC Travel branches.
If you do not include or have a passport sized photo with your application you can purchase these from the branch at the time of application for additional cost (see What will I need?)
When applying online or via postal application, registered and express postage and handling fees apply (see Where can I get an International Driver's Licence?)
When applying online, you can upload a suitable photo when completing the application. We will print this for you and apply it to your IDP at no additional cost.
Your permit is valid for 12 months or until the expiry date of your Australian driver's licence, whichever comes first.
Make sure you’re aware of the International Driving Permit requirements of the places you’re visiting.
See the International Driver Permit Directory to find out.
A carnet (pronounced car-nay) is essential for the temporary importation of vehicles into New Zealand and most African, Asian, Middle Eastern and South American countries. It allows visitors to import their vehicles for a limited period of time with a minimum of formalities and without the need to make a cash deposit at the frontier in local currency, equivalent to the customs duty and other taxes.
Carnets are valid for 12 months from the date of issue and are a great way to save time, effort and expense.
For further advice or any queries on Carnets, email the Australian Automobile Association.
...You are better off having the IDP in your pocket. Having the right paperwork on hand when negotiating with police or at borders, speeds up whatever situation you are working through.
Not a member? Receive a free Rewards Membership with every International Driver's Permit purchase.
*Terms & Conditions apply. Gifted Rewards membership with purchase of International Drivers Permit is only relevant to those customers who are not already RAC members (ie. they don’t already hold a Roadside Assistance, Finance or RAC Insurance product). Please note that the membership is free for the first 12 months and then $29 per year thereafter, unless upgrading to Roadside Assistance or purchasing an RAC Insurance product during this period. For terms & conditions on all discount offers, visit rac.com.au/mb