How to get an international driving license

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One of the most interesting ways to get to know a country on vacation is by car. This allows us to set our own pace when visiting monuments, towns and places, without having to be aware of the departure of the next train or bus that will take us to the next destination on our route.

A road trip abroad will require an international driving license. An apparently simple procedure but somewhat cumbersome if it is not planned in advance and we are informed of the requirements to request it and how to do it. In the next post we talk about what the international driving license is, where to apply for it, its price and many other things.

What is the international driving license?

The international driving license is the document that allows citizens of a country to drive a car abroad temporarily. It has a grayish cover in the form of a triptych and consists of 16 pages in which the data of the holder and the permissions that he has appear in Spanish, English, French, Italian, German, Russian, Portuguese and Arabic. The validity period of the international driving license is one year.

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How to apply for an international driving license?

In Spain it is essential to make a prior appointment with the DGT to go in person to one of its offices and thus obtain the international driving license. Normally they do not take long to make an appointment, maximum two weeks, but you must plan this process in advance.

If you cannot go in person to one of the DGT offices, when you make the appointment online, you just have to fill out a form with your details and those of your representative so that someone else can manage the procedures for you.

Requirements to obtain an international driving license

  • Have a valid Spanish driving license
  • Bring your original valid ID, passport or residence card
  • A photocopy of your valid driving license
  • A current passport photograph of 32 × 26 mm
  • Completed form for the international driving license.

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Price to obtain the international driving license

The price of the procedure is 10,20 euros that can be paid in three ways: paying the fee online on the DGT website, with a card at the Traffic Headquarters itself or at your bank. You cannot pay with cash at the DGT offices.

How long does it take to get the permit?

This is one of the most common doubts of drivers but the truth is that it does not take more than a few minutes. As soon as all the documents are presented and the fees are paid, Traffic will issue the international driving license instantly.

What to do if the international driving license is lost?

If your international driving license is lost or stolen while traveling abroad, You can get a duplicate and even a renewal by going to the Spanish consulate.

When does the international driving license expire?

As I have noted above, the period of validity is one year and to be able to use it abroad it is essential to carry it along with the Spanish card in case the authorities request it.

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When do you need to get an international driving license?

When preparing for a trip, the first thing to do before applying for an international driving license is to make sure that you really need it, because this is not always the case. For example, to drive through the member countries of the European Union or the European Economic Area (Liechtenstein, Iceland or Norway) you do not need any special permission.

Outside of the European continent, we can also count several countries in which an international driving license is not needed and a Spanish license is enough, most of them in Latin America.

Likewise, we have certain countries that are not party to any international driving treaty, such as China, so the international driving license is not valid there as it has its own requirements.

Where is the international driving license not needed?

Germany, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, Colombia, Croatia, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Philippines, Finland, France, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, Ireland , Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Morocco, Nicaragua, Norway, Netherlands, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Romania, Serbia, Sweden , Turkey, Tunisia, Ukraine, Uruguay and Venezuela.

Travel insurance abroad

When planning a trip abroad in which we are going to drive a car, it is convenient to contact our insurance company so that they can inform us exactly what coverage you have. In the case of circulating in the European Union, it will be enough to have the insurance in force without forgetting to bring the policy and the receipt of the insurance payment to justify that it is in force.

If our destination is outside the European Union, in addition to the insurance and proof of payment, the International Insurance Certificate, also called the Green Card, will be necessary. This document must be requested from the insurance company and serves to prove that we have Obligatory Civil Liability insurance. If we do not request it, we will have to take out Border Insurance before reaching the destination country.

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