This question discusses driving in a specific country (Austria), but it raised a point I did not realize: some countries require an International Drivers Permit (IDP) to drive. I was always under the impression that it was optional if your license was in English or another widely-spoken European language. In other words, your issuing country determines if you need one, rather than your travel destination.

I looked at the dmv.org web site, but I couldn't find a list of countries that require this. They recommend getting one for driving in any foreign country (but that's not surprising, considering that's their business...)

Is there a list somewhere of countries that require an IDP for some drivers?

  • 1
    I don't think DMV.ORG is affiliated with either of the organizations that issue IDPs in the USA.
    – phoog
    Sep 25, 2018 at 14:02
  • 1
    I am voting to close this question as too broad, although I actually believe the answer ('countries that require an IDP for all foreign drivers') to be none. With an almost endless combination of states, districts and countries with different rules for different combinations of 'licence from A' and 'driving in B', it will be almost impossible to create such a list, at least if it supposed to be backed with halfways relevant references. Sep 25, 2018 at 15:55
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo I agree that "all" might make this too broad, since even the word "foreign" has varying degrees of foreignness, since there are concepts like free movement within Schengen states. I'll try to edit it to make it more answerable. Sep 25, 2018 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The Automobile Association(AA) in the UK publishes a list of countries where a UK licence holder requires an International Driving Permit.

I believe motoring organisations publish similar lists for their own countries but presumably because of the complexities involved in the requirement or non-requirement of an IDP between various specific countries there doesn't seem to be a definitive list for all drivers and all countries.

To further complicate matters different states of the USA have different requirements regarding IDPs.

People who drive in the U.S. must have a valid driver's license. Some states require an International Driving Permit (IDP) from foreign nationals, in addition to a valid license from your own country. Contact the motor vehicle department of each state you will drive in for its requirements.

Wikipedia shows the countries which recognise IDPs which of course is not the same as requirement.

  • 4
    Motoring organizations sell international drivers permits. It makes them strongly biased.
    – ugoren
    Sep 25, 2018 at 14:01

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