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Driving Overseas

Driving Overseas

The Australian Government website smartraveller.gov.au encourages Australians to research overseas road rules and conditions before getting behind the wheel. The penalties for drink driving and other traffic infringements can be severe by Australian standards, including hefty on-the-spot fines, immediate confiscation of drivers licence, immediate impounding of vehicle, detention, deportation or imprisonment. The Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT) offers regularly updated Road Reports for approximately 150 countries.

Motorcycle accidents involving Australians are very common in South-East Asia, particularly in resort areas of Bali, Thailand and Vietnam. While sufficient safety equipment may not be provided, Australian travellers should ensure they wear helmets, preferably full-face helmets, and other protective clothing when riding motorcycles, scooters and mopeds overseas in order to minimise the risk of serious injury.

Even if you don’t intend to drive overseas, it is still worth having an International Driving Permit (IDP) as it provides another form of identification alongside your passport in 9 different languages – English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic, Swedish and French.

The IDP is a special permit for tourists, authorised by a United Nations Treaty for the purpose of allowing motorists to drive internationally without further tests or applications. To be valid your IDP must be carried with your Australian Driver’s Licence.

Eligibility:

  • You must be an Australian Citizen, at least 18 years of age
  • Hold a current Australian driver’s licence
  • Provisional licence holders (P plate drivers) are eligible
  • IDPs cannot be issued for learning permits (L plate drivers)

IDPs are issued through State and Territory Motoring Clubs. Download and complete the IDP Application Form and bring it into AANT with your current drivers licence and passport size photo.

Internet IDP Warning

Counterfeit International Driving Permits (IDP) are being offered for sale on the Internet, usually at inflated prices. These forged IDPs are illegal and can get the holder into a great deal of difficulty with the traffic authorities in various countries.

In the Northern Territory, only AANT is authorised to issue IDPs, for information and advice about travelling overseas, call AANT or drop into our Darwin shop.

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