Can I drive in California on a valid Indian driving licence? The drivers license is in English and I will be on a temporary visitors visa for about 15 days. I would like to rent a car to drive around. Would I require any more documents in order to rent a car?


2 Answers 2


California does not recognize IDPs. This Calif DMV page says:

The State of California does not recognize an International Driving Permit (IDP) as a valid driver license (DL). California does recognize a valid driver license that is issued by a foreign jurisdiction (country, state, territory) of which the license holder is a resident.

The IDP is only a translation of information contained on a person's foreign driver license and is not required to operate a motor vehicle in California. Citations issued to a person in California who has an IDP, but does not have a California driver license will be placed on the Department of Motor Vehicle database.

Thus, presuming you have a valid driving license from your country of residence, you do not need to obtain an IDP for driving in California as a tourist.


You should get an international drivers permit. Basically it's a document that's internationally recognized. I don't know for India, but in Denmark it's issued by the same authorities who issues regular drivers' license. It takes 10-15 minutes to make and cost me around 4-5USD to get.


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    iDPs are not required in the US (except, weirdly, in Georgia). If your Indian license is in English, that's good enough. Sep 3, 2019 at 9:52

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