Driving laws vary from country to country, so in order to comply with the law, you need to do some research before you decide to drive abroad. At Kohistan Car Rental, we are always happy to answer your questions about driving abroad, but to get you started, here’s a quick guide for you to be able to drive in Europe and the United States if you have a UAE license.
What is an international driving license?
First of all, it is important to know that there is no international driving license or IDL, so beware of any website that offers them. A valid license is called an International Driving Permit or IDP and is issued by a government licensing organization in your country. The permit has been recognized in all European countries and more than 140 countries around the world, including the United States.
You use an IDP in addition to your UAE driver’s license, so it will not replace your standard driver’s license but serves as an internationally recognized license to drive abroad. You will need to bring both your UAE and your IDL with you when driving abroad, as the authorities may ask you to view both documents.
What does an IDP Looks like?
The IDP is slightly larger than the passport and has a photo section, so it can be used if you rent a car from Kohistan Rent A Car, or whenever you need ID proof. It translates your UAE license information into multiple languages, so that authorities in other countries can quickly and easily access your information.
An IDP is acceptable for 12 months from the date of issue. Please note that you may be limited to driving certain car classes, so you will need to check with the UAE Licensing Agency. You will need to have a UAE license for at least one year before applying for an IDP to drive abroad.
Do I always need IDP?
Holders of UAE licenses do not always need to have an IDP and now there are more than 50 countries in partnership with the UAE which means now you do not have to apply for an IDP to drive in those countries. Fortunately, this includes most of the European member states as well as The United States.
UAE driver’s license is now accepted
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Algeria, Jordan, Morocco, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Somalia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Slovakia, Ireland, Austria, Greece, Sweden, China, Poland, Canada, Turkey, Norway, Latvia, New Zealand, Serbia, South Africa, Finland, Hungary, Sudan, Mauritania, Djibouti, Comoros, Tunisia, Iraq, Palestine, Spain, France, USA, UK, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Luxembourg, Lithuania, Singapore, Austria, Slovakia, Luxembourg, China, Finland, Romania, Denmark and Serbia.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait may impose various restrictions on drivers regarding the validity of their driving licenses and the requirements of IDPs. Check with your licensing agency before traveling to make sure you are using the right license and have everything you need to be able to drive abroad.
If you want to get an IDP that allows you to drive in countries that have accepted UAE driving licenses, you can order it three months before the trip. However, keep in mind that this is valid for 12 months from the date of issue, so if you are spending some time abroad, you may be ordered as close to your departure date as possible so that your IDP End up for long time.
Don’t forget that you have to make sure you have driving insurance and that the car is properly maintained in accordance with the country’s rules (such as having a valid MOT in the UK). If you are renting a car abroad, you may also need to present an IDP, as this will serve as proof of identity in the same way as a passport or official identity card.