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How to get international driving license in India?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Chit Chat' started by KuwarPrasad, Jan 20, 2017.

  1. KuwarPrasad

    KuwarPrasad New Member

    I am going to be leaving for Canada next month, and when I arrive there, I would like to get my car or at times borrow my cousins rather than relying on public transport.

    I would like to know how to get an international driving license in India which would be valid in Canada as well?

    I would like to know where I need to go, what documents are required and what the procedure would be?

  2. briannagodess

    briannagodess Well-Known Member

    Hello, welcome to the forum!


    For Indian travellers visiting other countries for long durations, a valid International Driving License (IDL) might be necessary. With this license, you can drive through the roads of any other foreign country, as long as this country recognises the IDL. Fortunately, Canada recognises the IDL, along with around 190 more countries. Obtaining the IDL is also very easy, as long as you have the proper documents and requirements prepared prior to your application. In this guide, we would highlight the necessary documents that you need to apply for the IDL, along with the steps that you need to undertake.

    International Driving License - Eligibility

    To be eligible for applying for the International Driving License, you need to fulfil the criteria below. These criteria are non-negotiable and if you are not able to qualify even for just one of them, then you cannot apply for the IDL.

    1. The applicant must be a citizen of India before he or she can apply for the IDL in the country.

    2. The applicant must hold a valid driving license, as well as an Indian passport.

    3. The address on both driving license and Indian passport must match. Along with this, the Regional Transport Office that the applicant is applying for should fall under the jurisdiction of the address in both the driving license and Indian passport. If not, then the applicant must first change his or her address in the driving license and Indian passport.

    International Driving License - Requirements

    Make sure you prepare these documents beforehand, to make the application process as quick and seamless as possible. Apart from the photographs, these documents need to have self-attested copies, along with their original forms for verification purposes.

    1. Duly completed and signed Form 4A (Application Form)
    • Do keep in mind that you need to download the form from your specific RTO website. For instance, if you're residing in Mumbai, you can download the Form 4A from the Motor Vehicle Department of Maharashtra. This is because there are some parts of the form that differ from one state to another. Further, some RTO branches won't allow downloaded forms too, so you need to check for the nearest RTO to you and see whether they only allow printed forms from their office to be used by applicants.
    2. Duly completed and signed Form 1A by a medical officer (Medical Certificate)
    • Again, this form also varies from state to state and you need to download the form specific to your RTO jurisdiction. Since you reside in Mumbai, you can download the form from here. Also, only state or government-appointed physicians can sign the form so it's best to reach the RTO and have your physical check-up there.
    3. Duly completed and signed Form 1 (Fitness Form)
    • Just like the other two forms, the fitness form also varies by state. For Maharashtra residents, they can download the form from this link.
    4. Valid Driving License
    • The applicant's driving license must be valid for at least a year and beyond. If the driving license is only valid for less than a year, then the applicant must first apply for a new driving license before applying for the IDL.
    5. Valid Indian Passport
    • The applicant's Indian passport must also be valid for at least a year or more. If not, then the applicant must first apply for a new passport before applying for the IDL.
    6. Valid Visa (If applicable only)
    • The applicant can also bring his or her visa to the country he or she is visiting for further proof of travel.
    7. Three Copies of Passport-Sized Photographs
    • Photos must be recently taken, at least six months prior to the applicant's application.
    8. Cover Letter
    • The cover letter must state the reason for the application of the IDL by the applicant.
    9. Address Proofs (At least two)
    • Valid address proofs are rent agreement, passport, bank statement, voter's identification card, landline bill and gas connection. The addresses in the two proofs must match as well.
    10. Required Fee
    • This varies from state to state but minimum is at Rs. 500 per application.
    International Driving License - Procedures (RTO)

    First things first, you need to find out which is the nearest RTO to your address. Basically, you need to apply in an RTO branch that falls under the jurisdiction of your address in your passport or driving license. You won't really need prior appointment because there isn't much queueing at the counters for the application of the IDL. However, you do need to know the timings of the RTO branch because they are not fixed for all branches. It can be a waste of time reaching the RTO branch and then realising that they are closed for that day or time so research well and plan accordingly. Now that we have that covered, follow through the steps below to obtain your IDL.

    1. If you haven't downloaded the forms online, then reach the forms counter of your RTO branch. Ask for the International Driving License forms and the designated official would give you the forms you need, namely, the Form 4A (Application Form), Form 1A (Medical Certificate) and Form 1 (Fitness Declaration Form). Pay the required fees (if any) for the forms and duly complete them, except for the Form 1A which would be completed by the medical practitioner.

    2. For the Form 1A, you can reach the clinic at your designated RTO branch. Here, a medical practitioner would check on you, sign your form and stamp it. If there are any required fees for this service, then you need to pay for that.

    3. Head back to the RTO office and submit all your documents, forms mentioned above, along with the passport, driving license, visa, cover letter and everything else. Don't forget to submit the attested copies as well. Once verified, your original forms would be given back to you and you can now get a token number. Wait for your number to be shown on the screen or called. If you have the documents prepared already, the forms and requirements mentioned above, simply skip the first two steps and submit the documents directly to the counter in the office, plus get your token number.

    4. Once you're number is shown or called, go to the right counter and wait for the instructions of the officer. Usually, he or she would check for the token number first and then, instruct the applicant to have their forms signed by the Administrative Officer and Regional Transport Officer. Once done, you can go back to your designated counter, pay the required fee and then have your biometrics taken. Give the receipt and other forms to the designated officer and you can have your IDL a few hours later. In some branches, you would be asked to return the day after or a few days later to collect your IDL.

    International Driving License - Procedures (WIAA)

    Another option is to have your IDL proceeded by the Western India Automobile Association. This is the only government-approved organisation that can issue IDL for applicants, aside from the local RTO branches. Currently, WIAA has branches in Ahmedabad, Mumbai and Pune only. The process is very simple and the requirements are just the same. However, you need to pay for a membership fee when availing of their service.

    1. Go to the official website of the Western India Automobile Association and register as a member. Ordinary membership costs Rs. 800 while lifetime membership costs Rs. 5,000. You can pay these fees in person at the WIAA office nearest to you. Alternatively, you can also just reach the WIAA office and apply for membership through there.

    2. Bring the required documents mentioned above along with their self-attested copies. You can also just get the forms from the WIAA office itself. However, you would need to have your medical certificate signed by a government-appointmend physician beforehand. Aside from that, just submit all the documents at the designated official in the WIAA office and you're done.

    3. Wait from two to seven days for your IDL to be released. Once your IDL is ready, the WIAA official would contact you and you can then pick it up.

    Important Information You Need to Know

    The International Driving License is valid only up to a year from its release. You also still need to bring your valid driving license from India along with the IDL when driving in foreign territories. Once the one year is up, you need to apply for a new IDL, because it cannot be renewed like a driving license. Further, not all countries recognise the IDL so you need to know which countries allow travellers to use this license. And finally, release of IDL varies from state to state. Some RTO branches release the IDL just a few hours after the application process. On the other hand, some RTO branches release the IDL a few days after the application process so plan accordingly.

    Countries Where IDL is Recognised

    AfghanistanEquatorial GuineaLiberiaSamoa
    AlgeriaEstoniaLibyaSan Marino
    AndorraFijiLiechtensteinSao Tome and Principe
    AngolaFinlandLithuaniaSaudi Arabia
    ArmeniaFrench GuianaMacauSerbia
    ArubaFrench PolynesiaMadagascarSeychelles
    AustraliaFrench Southern and Atlantic LandsMalawiSierra Leone
    BahrainGermanyMauritaniaSouth Africa
    BelarusGibraltarMexicoSri Lanka
    BeninGrenadaMongoliaSvalbard and Jan Mayen
    BulgariaGuinea BissauNetherlandsTajikistan
    Burkina FasoGuyanaNetherlands AntillesTanzania
    BurmaHaitiNew CaledoniaThailand
    CameroonHondurasNew ZealandTogo
    CanadaHong KongNicaraguaTrinidad and Tobago
    Cape VerdeHungaryNigerTunisia
    Cayman IslandsIcelandNorwayTurkey
    Central African RepublicIndiaOmanTurkmenistan
    ColombiaIrelandPapua New GuineaUAE
    ComorosIsle of ManParaguayUK
    Republic of the CongoIsraelPeruUSA
    Democratic Republic of the CongoItalyPhilippinesUS Minor Outlying Islands
    Costa RicaJamaicaPolandUzbekistan
    Ivory CoastJapanPortugalVatican City
    CroatiaJerseyPuerto RicoVenezuela
    CyprusKazakhstan ReunionBritish Virgin Islands
    Czech RepublicKenyaRomaniaUnited States Virgin Islands
    DenmarkKorea (South)RussiaWestern Sahara
    DominicaKyrgyzstanSaint Kitts and NevisZambia
    Dominican RepublicLaosSaint LuciaZimbabwe
    EcuadorLatviaSaint Martin
    EgyptLebanonSaint Pierre and Miquelon
    El SalvadorLesothoSaint Vincent and the Grenadines
    These are all the countries that recognise the IDL. But aside from these, Cambodia, Anguilla, Barbados and some more countries, also recognise the IDL. You would need to pay some required fees though or exchange the IDL from the local authority for a local driving license.


    Travelling in a foreign country? Wondering whether you can drive in their roads? You certainly can especially with the International Driving License at hand. The good news is that it is fairly easy to obtain, as long as you have the proper documents with you. Good luck and I hope this helps!