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Apply for International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a legal document that endorses your South African driver's licence.

In many countries English is not an official language, so your IDP will provide a translation of your South African driver's licence into several languages as well as the five official UN languages. This allows your licence to be read and understood in many countries. It also provides validation of your South African driver's licence, and an alternative proof of identification when you travel in foreign countries and need to rent a car or obtain insurance. The AA strongly recommends that you obtain an IDP if you intend using a vehicle abroad, as well as reasonable travel insurance cover.

You will need the following information at hand when applying for your IDP:

  South African Identity Document
  A valid South African driver's licence
  AA Membership card (if you are an AA Member)
  Your postal code
  Two (2) glossy passport size photograph per International Driving Permit type. (Photographs can be taken at selected stores. Please confirm with store before collecting your IDP)

Cost per IDP

An IDP will cost you R265.00

APPLY FOR YOUR IDP

  • Validity
  • In accordance with South African legislation, an International Driving Permit (IDP) can only be issued if the applicant has a valid South African driver's licence. Your IDP will be issued for a period not exceeding one year if you are visiting countries requiring the 1949 and/or 1926 convention IDP, or three (3) years for countries requiring the 1968 convention IDP, and not exceeding the validity period of your South African driver's licence, whichever is earlier.

    If the South African driver's licence expires within the next year then the IDP will not be issued for the full period and restrictions on the validity period will apply. As the IDP serves as an endorsement of your South African driver's licence, holders must always carry their valid South African driver's licence as well as their IDP when driving abroad.

    According to the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, a three (3) month grace period is granted for drivers who have applied for renewal of their SA driver's licence prior to the expiry date. This entitles you to drive while awaiting your new licence in South Africa only. This does not however apply to your IDP.

    The United Nations Convention Relative to Road Traffic of 1926 , 1949 and 1968 , signed and agreed to by South Africa, stipulates that an IDP may not be issued or be regarded as valid once the corresponding domestic licence has expired. The AA therefore cannot issue your IDP if your SA driver's licence has already expired as the three (3) month grace period is not then applicable.

    • The AA cannot issue an IDP to citizens of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland who are in the possession of a valid driver's licence issued in that country.
    • The AA can issue an IDP to citizens of Namibia who are in the possession of a valid Namibian driver's licence.
  • Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  • How will I benefit by carrying an International Driving Permit (IDP)?

    The IDP is an official document recognised in over 150 countries. It provides important information to validate your SA driver's licence in many different languages, including English. The document is accepted as an additional source of identification and helps to break down language barriers when travelling in non-English speaking countries.

    Am I required to have an IDP when driving in other countries?

    • Some countries will not recognise your SA driver's licence, but will officially recognise an IDP.
    • Some countries will honour your valid SA driver's licence but will require a local language translation to be supplied by your embassy or consulate.

    Your IDP will satisfy both of these requirements. Also keep in mind, where the local government may not require an IDP for legal driving, car rental companies often request that you produce a valid IDP for rental purposes.

    Furthermore, if you are involved in an accident in a foreign country your SA driver's licence may be disputed. Your IDP will then serve as an official document, constituting proof that you possess a valid SA driver's licence. Your IDP will be invaluable in these situations, so obtaining one before travelling is highly recommended.

    Do I still need to take my South African driver's licence with me when I purchase an IDP?

    Yes, your IDP can only be issued if we are able to validate your SA driver's licence since both documents must be carried and presented to law enforcement officials if you are stopped.

    I am in South Africa but have a Spanish driver's licence. Can I obtain an IDP?

    Your IDP must be issued in the same country that issued your original driver's licence. The AA in South Africa cannot issue an IDP if you are not in possession of a valid SA driver's licence.

    The AA in South Africa can assist applicants in possession of a valid driver's licence issued in the UK and USA by sending your documents back to the issuing authority. They will issue your IDP and returned it directly to you or, if preferred, to the AA in South Africa. Contact your local AA Accredited Sales Agent store for details.

    I am working in South Africa and have a French licence. I obtained my IDP in France and it is now about to expire, can the AA help me to renew it?

    Your IDP must be issued in the same country that issued your original driver's licence. The AA in South Africa cannot issue an IDP if you are not in possession of a valid SA driver's licence.

    I obtained my IDP in South Africa; can I use it to drive in South Africa?

    By law your IDP cannot be used in the country in which it was issued. So, if your IDP was issued in South Africa, you cannot use it when driving in South Africa, and will have to produce your valid SA driver's licence if you are stopped by a law enforcement official.

    Do my photos have to be black and white, or can they be in colour?

    Both colour, and black and white photos are acceptable. You may purchase ID/Passport-size photographs in store, at a cost of R35.00.

    I would like to visit the UK twice this year, but my licence expires in a month's time. Can I apply for an IDP that is valid for one year?

    If your South African driver's licence is due to expire in less than 12 months, your IDP will be issued with the same expiry date. Once you obtain a new valid SA driver's licence, we can issue a new IDP valid for one (1) year.

    I am currently overseas and will be travelling to Austria very soon. I am in possession of an expired IDP issued in South Africa. How can I renew my IDP?

    An IDP cannot be renewed, so you need to apply for a new one.

    These are the documents required when applying an IDP:

    • A Valid South African drivers licence card / certified copy of a valid South African drivers licence card.
    • A South African ID book / certified copy of South African ID book.
    • A clear, certified copy of the front and back of your valid SA driver's licence.
    • 2x identical passport-sized photographs.
    • Certified copies may not be more than two month old
    • The cost of the IDP is R265.00.

    SA IDP Application form (Application form in PDF)

    Please note: Once the permit has been issued you will be notified via email, in order for you to arrange your courier to collect. Scanned, e-mailed or faxed copies of documents or photographs are not acceptable.

    Please airmail your completed documents, along with your proof of payment, to:
    AA Travel Services, PO Box 596, Johannesburg, 2000

    AA South Africa: Bank account details

    Banking Details

    Bank Name: First National Bank
    Account Name: The Automobile Association of South Africa NPC
    Account Type: Business Cheque Account
    Account Number: 6248 5608 031
    Branch Code: 250117
    Reference: Please use your Surname

    I work in South Africa and have a UK licence. I obtained my IDP in the UK and it is now about to expire, can the AA help me to renew it?

    An International Driving Permit (IDP) must be issued in the same country as your regular driver's licence. The AA in South Africa can assist foreign nationals with their applications in certain circumstances however, as a result of your documents having to be sent to and from the issuing country, this process will take 8-12 weeks. Please note the AA may no longer assist foreign nationals who are permanent residents in South Africa however, you may apply in your personal capacity.

  • UK and USA applicants
  • Please provide the following documents to apply for an IDP from the United Kingdom or the United States of America:

    • An original signed and completed application form (see below). Please ensure that the signature on the application form matches that on your regular licence and that you provide an original application.
    • A clear, certified copy of your valid passport.
    • Two passport- size photos.
    • Certified copies may not be more than two month old.
    • Proof of payment. Your application will cost R600.00 plus courier costs, and will take up to 12 weeks to process.

    Please note: Certified copies must be dated and may not be older than two months. Scanned, e-mailed or faxed copies of documents or photographs are not acceptable.

    Please take your completed documents, along with your payment to your closest AA Accredited Sales Agent store.

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