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Drive in 10 Countries with an Indian License: Rules and Regulations

Drive in 10 Countries with an Indian License

Travelling abroad to a new country is an exhilarating and memorable experience for most people. While public transportation like buses, trains, and taxis allow you to get around and see the sights, some adventurous travelers prefer the freedom of driving a rented car to explore places at their own pace. The good news is that many countries permit Indian citizens to drive using their native Indian driving licenses for a limited period, either for 6 months up to 1 full year after entering the country. This saves the hassle and cost of having to acquire an International Driving Permit or local license immediately.

Driving in the Vast Expanse of the United States

The United States of America generously allows Indian license holders to legally drive on American roads and highways using their Indian licenses for up to 1 year from the date of entry into the country. However, the Indian driving license cannot be in any of the numerous regional languages of India and must be translated into English by approved authorities if it is not already in English. Drivers should also mandatory carry their valid I-94 form, which serves as legitimate proof of their entry into the United States, either in paper or electronic form. Being aware of and following local driving rules is advised since cars in the US have steering wheels on the left side and drive on the right side of the road.

Experiencing Australia’s Outback By Car

The Australian government also permits Indian citizens to drive freely using their Indian licenses for a period of 1 year in the regions of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, and the Australian Capital Territory. However, for Northern Territory in Australia, the Indian license is valid for only 3 months, so carrying an International Driving Permit is highly recommended when venturing into that region of Australia to avoid legal issues. Since Australia was formerly a British colony, cars are driven on the left side of the road, same as in India. In addition, you can also read an article on- How Far Back Do Insurance Companies Check Driving Records?

Cruising Through the Pristine Beauty of Canada

According to Canadian laws, foreigners including Indian citizens can legally drive using their valid Indian driving licenses for up to 60 days throughout Canada. After 60 days, drivers will have to apply for and acquire a separate Canadian local driving permit if they wish to continue driving in Canada beyond the initial 2 months. Like the US, vehicles in Canada have the steering wheel on the left side but drive on the right side of the roads.

Experiencing the Sights and History of United Kingdom By Car

The various countries of the United Kingdom – England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland permit Indian license holders to drive for up to 1 year from the date of entry into UK. However, drivers should be aware that they are restricted to only driving the class of vehicles permitted by their Indian license such as two wheelers, motorcars, etc. Also, the Indian license must mandatorily be in English to be legally valid and drivers must drive on the left side of the road as per UK rules.

Seeing New Zealand’s Natural Wonders By Road

New Zealand’s government allows Indians to use their native driver’s licenses for up to 1 year before requiring acquiring a New Zealand local license or International Driving Permit. The minimum age criteria to drive in New Zealand using Indian license is 21 years. If your Indian driving license is not in English, you can get it officially translated by contacting the New Zealand Transport Agency well in advance of your trip. If you want you can also read- Top Tips for Passing Your Driving Theory Test

Cruising Down Switzerland’s Alpine Roads

Like most countries on this list, Switzerland also permits Indian citizens to legally drive using their Indian licenses for a period of 1 year from date of entry. The license must be mandatorily translated to English if it is not already in English to avoid issues with local authorities. Indian license holders can drive any vehicle class permitted by their license as per Swiss regulations. Switzerland drives on the right side of the road.

Experiencing Germany’s Auto Culture

Germany provides a special case, allowing Indian license holders to drive for 6 months only from date of entry. Your license must be translated to English or German by approved authorities if it is not already in one of those languages. After the initial 6 month period, international visitors require either an International Driving Permit or a Germany driver’s license to continue driving. Germany also drives on the right side of roads.

Driving Through the Beauty of France

The country of France allows Indian citizens to use their native licenses for up to 1 year. However, the Indian license must be translated to French by approved authorities to be legally valid in France. As per French regulations, vehicles drive on the right side of the road, so Indian tourists should take care to acclimatize themselves.

Self-Driving Across Diverse South Africa

South Africa permits Indian license holders to drive for up to 1 year from date of entry before requiring acquiring a local license. The Indian license must be mandatorily in English to be legally valid. Carrying an International Driving Permit and other supplementary identity and address documents is highly recommended for assurance and to avoid potential issues with local authorities.

Cruising Through Scenic Sweden

Sweden allows Indians to drive using their Indian licenses for 1 year after entry into the country. The Indian license must be translated into English or any of the other approved languages in Sweden such as Swedish, German, French, Danish and Norwegian. Carrying additional identification and passport photos when driving is advised.

You May Find Interest: The Evolution of License Plate Recognition Technology

Conclusion

This covers the major countries where an Indian license can legally be used to drive for a limited initial period. Obtaining an IDP expands the list of countries further. Consult your local RTO for getting an International Driving Permit well in advance of your trip. Follow all local driving rules for a safe and memorable experience.


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