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How do I get an international driver’s license?

When traveling abroad, it is often tempting to rent a vehicle to be completely free of our travels.

In two and a half years of travel, we have rented two or four wheels in many countries: South Africa, Morocco, Turkey, South Korea, New Zealand, Easter Island, Argentina, …

Although you will not always be required to have an international driving license, it is a must for any frequent traveler.

Good news: no need to go to the town hall or the prefecture, everything is done remotely (by mail).

Bad news: the procedure is very slow, taking several months.

What is the international driving license for?

If you are traveling within the European Economic Area (which includes the 28 countries of the European Union as well as Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein), your regular national license is sufficient.

If you travel outside the European Economic Area, it’s a bit of a toss-up. In some countries, your regular driving license will suffice, in others, the international license will be necessary to rent a vehicle or in case of a police check.

The international driving license is a translation of your national license.

It is translated into English, German, Arabic, Russian and Spanish.

Important to know: the international permit is only valid if accompanied by your national permit. It does not replace it.

The format is clearly not practical: large size, made of cardboard that takes water easily, filled by hand, … It might be time to switch to a more modern format..

What is the validity period of the international driving license?

The international driving license is valid for 3 years (only).

How much does an international driver’s license cost?

Good news, it’s free.

You will still need to pay for the envelope to receive the permit.

How do I get an international driver’s license?

The procedure is relatively simple and is done in two steps.

1/ Make a pre-application online

The request must be made on the official website of theANTS (Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés).

You will need to fill out an online form and provide a scan (or photo) of :

  • Proof of identity
  • A proof of address: we are digital nomads and therefore no longer have a fixed address in France. We simply provided the cell phone bill
  • Your driver’s license

2/ Send the file by mail

Once the pre-request has been made, the file must be sent by mail.

In the mail, you must include :

  • Attestation of the pre-application made on the ANTS site
  • A passport photo
  • A self-addressed, pre-stamped, self-addressed envelope with your name, first name and address on it, at the rate of 50 grams. This envelope costs 2,83 € to La Poste.

That’s all 🙂

How long does it take to obtain an International Driving Permit?

Delays have lengthened considerably since everything is centralized in Nantes and the procedure is managed by mail.

It now takes almost 3 months to obtain your international permit!

It is therefore important to anticipate your request well in advance of your departure.

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