Traveling abroad can be an exhilarating experience, and having the freedom to explore foreign lands on your own terms can make it even more fulfilling. If you’re an Indian citizen planning to drive overseas, you’ll need an International Driving licence (IDL) to legally operate a motor vehicle in most countries. This document serves as an official translation of your domestic driving licence, making it easier for foreign authorities to understand your credentials. In this guide, we will walk you through the process of obtaining an International Driving licence in India, ensuring you are well-prepared for your international driving adventures.
Step 1: Check Eligibility Requirements
Before applying for an International Driving licence, make sure you meet the eligibility criteria set forth by the Indian authorities. You must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid Indian driving licence to be eligible for an IDL.
Step 2: Gather Necessary Documents
To initiate the application process, collect the required documents, which typically include:
- a) Valid Indian driving licence (original and photocopies)
- b) Valid proof of Indian citizenship (passport)
- c) Proof of address (Aadhar card, voter ID, or any other government-issued address proof)
- d) Passport-sized photographs
Step 3: Choose the Application Method
There are two ways to apply for an International Driving licence in India: through the Regional Transport Office (RTO) or online through the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) portal. Both methods have their respective benefits, so choose the one that suits your convenience.
Step 4: Submit Application and Pay Fees
If you opt for the RTO route, visit your local RTO office and submit the application form along with the necessary documents. If you choose the online method, visit the MoRTH portal and follow the step-by-step instructions to fill out the application form and upload scanned copies of your documents. Don’t forget to pay the applicable fees, which may vary depending on the state and the duration for which you want to obtain the IDL.
Step 5: Schedule an Appointment (if applicable)
Certain RTOs may require you to schedule an appointment for document verification and processing. If required, ensure that you book an appointment and arrive at the designated time with all the original documents for verification.
Step 6: Await Processing and Delivery
After the submission of your application and verification of documents, the authorities will process your request. The processing time may vary, but once approved, your International Driving licence will be issued. If you applied through the RTO, you may need to collect it in person, whereas the online method usually delivers the IDL to your registered address.
Step 7: Understand the Validity and Restrictions
It’s essential to be aware of the validity and any potential restrictions associated with your International Driving licence. In India, the IDL is typically issued for a period of one year from the date of its issuance or until the expiration of your domestic driving licence, whichever comes first. This means that you must renew it if you plan to drive internationally beyond this period.
Additionally, take note of any restrictions or special conditions that may apply to your IDL. Different countries have varying rules and regulations, so ensure that you familiarize yourself with the driving laws and requirements of the specific country you plan to visit.
Step 8: Drive Responsibly and Follow Local Laws
Having an International Driving licence doesn’t exempt you from adhering to local traffic rules and regulations. Always drive responsibly and respect the laws of the country you are visiting. Familiarize yourself with common traffic signs, speed limits, and any other specific driving guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable journey.
Step 9: Keep Your Indian Driving licence Handy
While the International Driving licence is an essential document for driving abroad, don’t forget to carry your original Indian driving licence as well. Some countries may require you to present both documents if requested by the authorities.
Step 10: Renewing Your International Driving licence
If you plan to extend your international travel or your IDL is close to expiration, make sure to renew it before it lapses. The renewal process is similar to the initial application, and you can do it either through the RTO or online as per your convenience.
Suggested Read- Driving Licence Renewal
Obtaining an International Driving licence in India is a straightforward process that allows you to explore foreign destinations behind the wheel with ease and legality. Remember to plan ahead, gather the necessary documents, and choose the application method that suits you best. By following this step-by-step guide, you’ll be well-prepared to enjoy your international driving adventures responsibly and with confidence. Happy travels!