Background - I'm a British National currently in Australia on a working holiday visa. In November I'm planning on travelling to Argentina picking up a rental car, crossing the border into Brazil and driving to Rio. After a some time in Rio I will drive back to Buenos Aires.

The UK government states I will require an IDP 1949 for Argentina.

For Brazil it states my UK photocard license can be used however an IDP 1968 is recommended.

Ultimately my issue is I cannot apply for the IDPs from within the UK. My solution is to apply for a Western Australian license, then get IDPs for that license.

My fear is that when crossing the border I'll have an Australian license, IDPs for said license but a British passport.

Could this lead to a problematic time at the border and possibly be denied entry?

Grateful for any assistance provided!

EDIT: I plan to drive back to Argentina.

  • 2
    Note that car rental companies often impose restrictions on crossing borders with their cars, though there is a lot of variability in that (whether it's allowed outright, completely forbidden, or requires an extra option, and it depends on the countries involved). You also need to find someone willing to rent out a car for a cross-border one-way trip, if I understood your intentions correctly.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 29 at 10:34
  • 1
    I've tried a few of the large international brands and none of those I tried allow a rental from Buenos Aires to Rio. There are many locations which don't even allow one-way trips at all. You probably have a bit of work ahead of you to find one which will allow both one-way and cross-border for your trip.
    – jcaron
    Commented May 29 at 11:15
  • To match what jcaron says, it would be really surprising if you find a rental company in Argentina that allows you to cross into Brazil. To add to this, it is very common for rentals in Argentina to have limited kilometers (usually 200km/day or something like that). Commented May 30 at 2:04
  • Thank you for all of your responses. My apologies I didn’t specify I plan to make a return journey to Buenos Aires.
    – benbants
    Commented May 30 at 3:18
  • Will review the responses in depth later. I’ve made an edit to the original question.
    – benbants
    Commented May 30 at 3:19

2 Answers 2


Could this lead to a problematic time at the border and possibly be denied entry?

Absolutely not, possessing a driver's license in a country where you reside, even if different than your nationality, is neither illegal (in some countries it may even be mandatory to have a local driver's license after a period of residence) nor unusual in the slightest

  • 3
    Also I believe it would be unusual for border guards to ask for the driver's license, wouldn't it?
    – jcaron
    Commented May 29 at 10:30
  • @jcaron Indeed, Commented May 29 at 15:01

Passports are about citizenship, and driver's licenses are usually tied to the place you live. So there should not be any issue with that.

Now, about your plan, being able to rent a car in Argentina and drive into Brazil would be unusual. Rentals in Argentina do not commonly allow for border crossings. And rentals also tend to allow limited km, often to the tune of 200km/day. Rentals with unlimited kilometers that allow driving into Brazil exist, but it seems like you would have to get an authorization from the agency several days in advance and pay an additional fee. I doubt you would be able to return the car in Brazil.

The last point is significant, because Buenos Aires-Rio is around 2700km one way, mostly on undivided highway.

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