On your next overseas driving trip, it’s best that you bring along an International Driving Permit (IDP) with you.
An IDP important especially if you’re driving in a country where English isn’t commonly spoken.
What is an International Driving Permit (IDP)?
It’s a little booklet that contains driving terms in different languages.
It helps ease communications with the authorities in that country.
According to Singapore’s Automobile Association, it’s also the only official document sanctioned by the UN Convention on Road Traffic.
That means if you’re stranded or need help, the authorities there will be obliged to help you out as you are carrying an official document.
The IDP is valid for one year from the date of issue and is not renewable.
That means when it expires, you have to apply for another one.
Application for one costs $20 and can be done at any AA office in Singapore.
What are the important things I should note?
You can get one on the spot at any AA office when you apply for one.
Alternatively, you can apply online, but it will take about seven working days for it to get to you.
Depending on the crowd, it should take no longer than an hour at the AA office.
If you forget to bring a passport-size photograph of yourself, the staff there will help you take one at no cost.
You can apply on behalf of someone else, but you must bring a photograph of that person along.
You, as the applicant, should always present both your Singapore driving licence and the IDP together when required.
This is to show that you are indeed a registered driver in your country of origin.
Take note that the IDP becomes void when the IDP holder gives up his or her Singapore Citizenship or Singapore Permanent Residency or does not have a valid Singapore Employment Pass / FIN card.
Which countries recognise an IDP?
There are far too many to list, but you should click here if you want to find out.
Popular destinations like Australia, Philippines, Taiwan and Thailand recognise the IDP.
China, Cambodia, Myanmar and Vietnam do not recognise the IDP.