The whole truth about driver's license abroad

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Going on vacation, many advanced tourists and travelers have long used to navigate a foreign state leased vehicles. It is really convenient, not very expensive (sometimes even cheaper of the city) and allows to be completely independent. In this case, the question always arises: is it possible to manage in one country or another car or motorcycle, according to Russian rights, or is it necessary to have an international driving permit? This question has long been overgrown with a tangle of myths and misconceptions. In order to untangle we have tried to understand this problem and offer you the following information.

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What are my rights?

There are only two kinds of rights: national and international law.

  • National law is a document issued by the government authorities and gives the right to drive vehicles in Russia. Thus, all national rights, whether they are in the form of paper, plastic, only in Russian or with the dubbing in English, from the international point of view, essentially the same thing.

    Так выглядят российские национальные права It national WOO, they're ordinary Russian law
  • An international driving permit is only one kind – a book-like format A6. Here's how to determine international driving permit "Vienna Convention on road traffic, 1968" (Rev. 2006).

    1. An international driving permit shall be a booklet in format A6 (148х105 mm - 5,82х4,13 inch). It has a grey cover and white inside pages.

    2. The front and inner side of the first sheet of the cover are identical, respectively, to the attached sample pages # 1 and 2; they are printed in the national language or at least one of the national languages of the state in which the permit is valid. At the end of the internal pages two adjacent pages conforming to model No. 3 and printed in the French language. On the preceding pages repeated in multiple languages, which must include English, Spanish and Russian languages, the first of these two pages.

    Так выглядит международное водительское удостоверение It looks like international driving permit, or IDP
  • There is a misconception that the new plastic rights issued now in Russia is international law. This is not true. Even the "newfangled" plastic rights, and even issued after 2012, ARE NOT INTERNATIONAL. This is a big misconception and a myth that new plastic rights are international. In fact, it's just a national (i.e., Russian) law, which, from the point of view of international law, no different from even the old laminated paper rights, except the fact that they meet the requirements of new international legislation, namely the "Vienna Convention on road traffic" (revised from 2004).

    Real international law (IDP, international driving permit) is issued to further the national rights of the bodies of traffic police of Russia. You will need to provide:

    • receipt of payment of the fee in the amount of 1600 rubles (price, 2018);
    • application-request on issuance of international driving license;
    • national driving permit;
    • medical certificate (no longer required cancelled in 2014);
    • the passport of the Russian Federation;
    • photo 35×45 mm.

    When making an application for obtaining an IDP via the portal of state pay is 1600 rubles, and only 1120 rubles.

    Re-take exams is not necessary, you will issue an IDP on the basis of national. To act it will be 3 years or until the expiration of your national identity. And, by the way, the IDP is valid only in conjunction with the national rights, they should be presented together. You can get it by contacting police traffic or DCP, or place it on the website of public services.Russia, which, incidentally, cost less: total 1120 rubles instead of 1600 with a personal visit.

    However, you have the international driving permit does not mean that you can drive a car around the world. Confused? Read on carefully, and then all will become clear.

    Attention! Some organizations also offer for a certain amount of certified translation into the foreign language of your national rights. But this in no way is a replacement international driving permit and could only operate in certain countries.

    But the rush to escape the traffic police to the international law, because the question is, do you need an international driver's license.

    What are rights and where to go abroad?

    All countries in this context can be divided into three groups:

    • The signatory countries to the Vienna Convention on road traffic, 1968
    • The country signed the Geneva Convention on road traffic of 1949
    • The country is not a signatory neither one nor the other Convention.

    So, with what rights it is possible to operate a vehicle in a particular country, depends on what the Convention was signed by the state.

    Countries that have not signed any of the conventions

    These countries do not recognize any of the two types of rights except their own. Ie your international and national law for them, just a card, and not a document. There are just some exceptions, when the state of their internal normative documents valid law of a state, or international law. It is possible to know in advance before travelling, studying information about a specific country.

    In most cases, driving a car or motorcycle in such countries can only be subject to the appropriate exam and obtaining local rights; or after receiving a special permit from the authorized body presenting a national driving licence; or perhaps the use of national rights, together with a certified translation. There are other options, but it is necessary to find out for each country.

    In General, "to meddle" in such countries on the road to their international or national rights is not necessary until the all clear.

    A signatory to the Vienna Convention on road traffic, 1968

    This is the nicest category of countries. Such countries quite a lot (see list).

    So, these countries, by signing the Convention recognize on its territory any national driving licences that meet certain requirements.

    Article 41 "Driver's license" Vienna Convention on road traffic of 1968:

    2. a) Contracting Parties shall recognize:

    i) any domestic permit conforming to prescriptions of Annex 6 to this Convention;

    ii) any international permit conforming to prescriptions of Annex 7 to this Convention, provided that it is presented together with the corresponding domestic driver's license valid in its territory for the operation of the vehicle corresponding to the category or categories of vehicles for which issued certificates, provided that these identities are valid and that they are issued by another Contracting Party or one of its territorial subdivisions or a Union duly authorized by the Contracting Party;

    It turns out that the national driver's license (ie the usual Russian law), issued on the territory of the Russian Federation, meet these requirements.

    Here you need to make a small clarification: 28.03.2006 year, the format of the national identity, recognized on the territory of other countries, was changed. The main difference is that data (row) on the driver's license now must be numbered in a certain order. Member countries of the Convention was given 5 years (i.e. until 28.03.2011) on the alignment of national identity with the new format. These requirements fully correspond to the new issued national driving licences. Even if you have the old driving license (issued before 28.03.2011 year), where information is not numbered in accordance with the same Convention (article 43 paragraph 1), it should be recognised by the countries-participants of the contract until the expiration of their actions. Once again for those who are confused: even your driving licence is old (paper in the laminate), issued before 28.03.2011 valid in the countries from the list without any translations and international driving permits.

    The Vienna Convention provides for different categories of vehicles. It is "A", "B", "C", etc. Category "A" you have rights gives the right to control the motorcycle. Category B entitles you to drive the vehicle (except "A") with a maximum permissible mass not exceeding 3500 kg. and the number of seats which the driver's seat does not exceed eight. So, it should be noted that you have the rights to open categories "B" or higher in the absence of "A" does not give you the right to operate in another country a motorcycle. It must be clearly understood. Fortunately, in most countries, in order to rent a motorbike, do not need to show any driving licences. The rights you may only require on the road by the police or other relevant road services. And again, fortunately, in many countries the police are not too picky about this issue and are willing to turn a blind eye or turn a blind eye in exchange for a small "fine". Just you should not forget that technically you are wrong and violate the law, so don't allow the situation to serious conflict and "swing right". And yet, in the event of an accident you will be definitely recognized by the perpetrator as legally breaking the law, and of course no insurance will not help.

    If you have all the right paperwork, the insurance covers damage caused to your health and to third parties, property, etc. True, it is necessary to arrange travel insurance with the appropriate options. To select and compare the cost of such insurance can through the following services to search for and compare insurance policies:

    Countries that have signed only the Geneva Convention on road traffic of 1949.

    These countries have agreed that they will recognize in their territory the international driver's license. So, feel free to go to these countries, but do not forget to take with me and the national law, since without them international licence is not valid.

    The fly in the ointment

    All the above written is very nice and convenient for Russian travelers, owners of national rights. But in practice there are discrepancies with this theory. Some countries, despite the fact that he had signed the Vienna Convention, has not ratified it, and continue to stubbornly require the international driving permit, or even recognize only issued on its territory law. These requirements under international law illegal and the court proceedings are doomed to failure, however, such situation still happen, especially in Europe. Sometimes you can solve the problem even on the road or at the police station, proving his innocence by references to international law. But there is another problem. "Rolling" office can deny you a rental car if you do not have international rights, as it is up to them who to give a car, and who does not, and no international laws they do not decree.

    So before you go into the country, even if it signed the Vienna Convention, just in case, read in the Internet about the experience of travellers in this country and if necessary, take the money and get the international law. Don't spoil your mood on holiday showdowns with the police on the road, even if you are 100% right.

    Also read an official source at the UN, explaining the features of the application the separate items of the Convention in individual countries https://treaties.un.organd the Vienna Convention in the Russian language in pdf

    List of signatories to the Vienna Convention on road traffic

    Can be controlled by the national WOO their country

    • Albania
    • Armenia
    • Austria
    • Azerbaijan
    • Bahamas
    • Bahrain
    • Belarus
    • Belgium
    • Bulgaria
    • Bosnia and Herzegovina
    • Brazil
    • The Vatican*
    • UK*
    • Hungary
    • Venezuela*
    • Vietnam
    • Guyana
    • Ghana*
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Holland
    • Georgia
    • Denmark
    • Zaire
    • Zimbabwe
    • Israel
    • Indonesia*
    • Iraq
    • Iran
    • Spain*
    • Italy
    • Kazakhstan
    • Qatar
    • Kenya
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • Costa Rica*
    • Congo
    • Côte d'ivoire
    • Cuba
    • Kuwait
    • Latvia
    • Liberia
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Macedonia
    • Morocco
    • Mexico*
    • Moldova
    • Monaco
    • Mongolia
    • Niger
    • Norway
    • UAE
    • Pakistan
    • Peru
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Republic Of Korea*
    • Russia
    • Romania
    • San Marino
    • Seychelles
    • Senegal
    • Serbia
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Tajikistan
    • Thailand*
    • Tunisia
    • Turkmenistan
    • Turkey
    • Uzbekistan
    • Ukraine
    • Uruguay
    • Philippines
    • Finland
    • France
    • Croatia
    • CAR
    • Montenegro
    • Czech Republic
    • Chile*
    • Switzerland
    • Sweden
    • Ecuador*
    • Estonia
    • South Africa

    * - these countries have signed the Convention but not ratified it an internal document. Driving transport in these countries, national WU, you risk to get in trouble with the police, so it is best to travel to them it is better to issue the IDP.

    The list of countries that signed the Geneva Convention on road traffic

    Can be managed only at the international WOO

    • Australia
    • Albania
    • Algeria
    • Andorra
    • Argentina
    • Bangladesh
    • Belize
    • Benin
    • Botswana
    • The Vatican
    • Haiti
    • Gambia
    • Guatemala
    • Gibraltar
    • Hong Kong
    • Grenada
    • Dominican Republic
    • Egypt
    • Western Samoa
    • India
    • Jordan
    • Ireland
    • Iceland
    • Cambodia
    • Canada
    • Cyprus
    • Kyrgyzstan
    • China
    • Congo
    • Laos
    • Lesotho
    • Lebanon
    • Mauritania
    • Madagascar
    • Malawi
    • Malaysia
    • Mali
    • Malta
    • Namibia
    • Netherlands
    • New Zealand
    • New Caledonia
    • Papua New Guinea
    • Paraguay
    • Peru
    • Rwanda
    • Swaziland
    • Singapore
    • Syria
    • Saint Vincent
    • and the Grenadines
    • San Lucia
    • USA
    • Sierra Leone
    • Taiwan
    • Tanzania
    • That
    • Trinidad and Tobago
    • Tunisia
    • Turkey
    • Uganda
    • Fiji
    • French Polynesia
    • Jamaica
    • Japan
    Comments / recent posts on the topic on the forum
    с9111990 4 July, 2017
    If you want to go abroad for a temporary stay, it is possible to use foreign driving license without any problems. For example in the Schengen area. If You want to go abroad with the purpose to study or work in the long term, then you need to familiarize himself with the law of the country in which You are traveling, for example, concerning the rights to control the vehicle. Everything is black and white and don't have to ask through someone else or by the Ministry. ...
    SteelyGlow 7 August, 2017
    Japan does not accept our international in as it is form not in accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1949. The car to rent there is not real. However, a couple of firms look at it through my fingers, but it is up to the first COP. You can certainly "enable gaijin stupid", they say, do not know what to say - I don't know, but it works rarely, and it is really to go to jail for the "disenfranchised" ride. ...
    nausla 7 August, 2017

    I will reveal to you terrible secret, Russia does not accept international driver's licence. You have to buy an additional liner, in Germany it costs EUR 30. So why are you surprised? All Alaverdi, fair enough. ...
    admin 8 August, 2017

    Not true. The Geneva Convention provides for international have acquired in addition to the national, and issued by Russia international in the fully comply with the Geneva Convention and adopted in many countries which have signed it, no problem. But some countries, such as Japan or Vietnam, for example, according to their domestic laws provide for the management only on local/y. ...
    helga3682 23 August, 2017
    In Egypt, all rights go :)) They are there on the drum)) ...
    nausla 24 August, 2017

    It is the absolute truth.
    But the question is not in the drive and getting a car from the rental office.
    Everything is not so rosy unfortunately. ...
    helga3682 24 August, 2017

    It seems to me that the Egyptians should walk :))) ...
    admin 25 August, 2017
    Not only in Egypt this situation, many travel with such movement. For example in Sri Lanka despite the presence of signs, markings, still the rule: who is right. Or rather: who has the louder horn is right. ...
    Meatball sub 29 August, 2017

    so go not only in Egypt ...
    admin August 30, 2017
    Well, Egypt, you say...
    AFikuztCDSg ...