DVLA urges Britons driving abroad to check rules after major permit update - 'Don't forget!'

DVLA urges Britons driving abroad to check rules after major permit update - 'Don't forget!'

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Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 15/04/2024

- 14:00

Updated: 15/04/2024

- 15:30

Motorists must have a valid UK or Northern Ireland driving licence to obtain an IDP

Drivers are being urged to check they have the correct permits and licences when travelling abroad this summer or they could risk hefty fines.

The rules for obtaining an International Driving Permit (IDP) changed at the beginning of April with drivers now being able to use PayPoint stores to access documents.

Motorists need IDPs to be able to drive abroad, with different permits available depending on which country they visit and how long they plan to stay for.

Over 140 other countries require IDPs including popular tourist destinations like Australia, Canada Mexico and Turkey.

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International Driving PermitIDPs are recommended in around 140 countries PA

Writing on X, formerly known as Twitter, the DVLA wrote: "Travelling abroad this summer and planning to drive? Don’t forget, how you get an international driving permit has changed!

"Since April 1, 2024, IDPs are exclusively available from participating PayPoint stores across the UK."

There are three types of IDP which require different identification for each country. These include 1926, 1949 and 1968.

If travelling through multiple countries, such as going on a road trip through Europe, drivers may need more than one type of IDP and should always check with the embassy of the country they’re travelling to for the latest updates.

The shift to PayPoint stores from using the Post Office marks a pivotal moment for the UK which has often relied on the postal service for DVLA documents.

A spokesperson from Swansea Motor Group said: “The recent changes announced by the DVLA are more than procedural; they are about ensuring that drivers have easy access to the necessary permits for safe and legal driving abroad.

“While the move to PayPoint outlets for IDP distribution is a significant change, it is also a reminder of the importance of staying informed about driving regulations, both domestically and internationally.

“As drivers adapt to this new system, they should remain vigilant about the requirements and ensure they are fully compliant before travelling.”

Fines for not having a permit vary depending on which country drivers are travelling to, but the DVLA warned that planning ahead and checking the country’s requirements could prevent a later headache.

According to Confused.com, if caught driving without a valid IDP, drivers not only be given a fine, but they could also risk having the car confiscated.

If drivers hire a car for their trip, the rental company is likely to charge for the cost of releasing the car from the police.

Louise Thomas, a motoring expert for the brand, said: "Before you drive abroad, check your car insurance policy documents to make sure you have cover for driving abroad.



Drivers could be fined if they don't have the correct permit


“Many insurers offer up to 30 days' third-party cover to drive in Europe, and you can usually upgrade this at an extra cost.

"If you're driving outside the EU, you may also need a green card as proof of insurance. Check the Foreign, Commonwealth Development Office before you travel."

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