If you like to travel and drive overseas, then getting an international drivers license could be important for you. And depending on where you’re going, that international drivers license might actually be a requirement. We’re taking a look at how you can get that driving license, and the good news is that it’s pretty simple!
What is an International Drivers License?
Basically, an international drivers license (or International Driving Permit as it’s sometimes called) is an extra piece of paper that translates your current license into several other languages. You will need to have a valid South African drivers license to apply for an international drivers license, and you will need to carry BOTH licenses with you when you’re outside of the country.
Why Would I Need an International Drivers License?
There are several reasons why you might need an international drivers license. Some countries simply require an international driving license before you can drive there at all, and will NOT recognise your South African license. Other countries may recognise your South African license but will require you to have a translation of it into a local language, in which case an international license will mean you don’t need to get that translation. In some cases you will need an international drivers license in order to rent a car and get car insurance for your trip. Regulations vary by country, but here is the current list of countries and their international driving license rules for South African countries.
Additionally, if you plan on spending long amounts of time out of the country some countries will require that you exchange your South African license for a local one. An international drivers license generally makes this process easier. Plus, it never hurts to have an extra form of recognised identification whilst you’re travelling!
How Do I Get an International Drivers License?
In South Africa, the AA is responsible for providing you with an international drivers license. The process is relatively simple. You first start by filling out the online international drivers license application form. Once that is done, you’ll receive a confirmation code and be asked which AA store you wish to visit for pick up. You will need to take that confirmation code to the store along with:
Your valid South African drivers license (you must have the new “credit card” style of license);
Two passport sized photographs (either black and white or colour, you may be able to get these photos taken at your chosen AA store);
Your personal identification document;
Your AA membership card if you happen to be an AA member.
Your international drivers license will be given to you as soon as you go to the AA store to collect it, and will cost you R265.
How Long is it Valid For?
Depending on which country you’re visiting there are two different kinds of international drivers license, one valid for a year, the other valid for three years. When filling out your application you will be asked which countries you plan on driving in and given the appropriate length of license.
However, the law requires that you must have a valid South African license in order to get an international driving license. Should your South African license expire in less than a year (or three years for the longer international driving license) your international drivers license will expire on the same date as your South African license. You will need to renew your drivers license in order to get a full length international license in this case.
Other International Drivers License Restrictions
Other than the validity of your South African driving license there is only one other restriction that you should know about if you’re applying for an international drivers license. You can only apply for an international driving license in the same country that issued your normal driving license. So if you hold a South African license you can only apply for (and renew) an international drivers license in South Africa.
An International Drivers License in Summary
Frequent travellers should definitely consider getting an international drivers license, since in some cases it will be a requirement before you can drive abroad. The process is fairly easy and not too expensive, and once you have your international license you should be allowed to drive pretty much anywhere that you want to!
Main Subject: international drivers license
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