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An International Drivers Licence (IDL) is an accepted document in nearly 200 countries that shows that the holder: -

  1. As an EU driving licence holder, you do not need an IDL within the EU.

  2. Has reached the the requisite standard for certain classes of motor vehicles noted on the licence, by passing the accepted driving test in the holder's country.  This is proved by having a licence, hereafter called the original licence or DL, issued in the holder's home country.

  3. The original licence must be up to date and current when the IDL was issued and is being used.  Recommend that it has at least 3 months to run before expiry on entry to the foreign country for a normal visa visit.

  4. The IDL has translations on pages in the booklet that allows officials in other countries to understand the classes of vehicles that the holder is allowed to drive according to his/her original licence.

  5. The IDL is issued by certain authorities in each country.  It is not legal to use the IDL in the country of issue instead of the original licence.

  6. You are not allowed to own two original licence documents.  An original and an IDL does not break this rule because only one is an original document.

  7. In most cases, you must obtain your IDL in the country where your original licence was issued.  For example, a driver's licence issued in the USA must have an American IDL for it to be legal according to the rules.

  8. If you have a Spanish driving licence or a foreign EU driving licence and you are resident in Spain, you can obtain an IDL issued by Trafico, using form TASA 2.220/T for a cost of 9 (2006).  You will need: -

As a Spanish resident and this includes EU CITIZENS resident in Spain,  you will need (and send the documents listed below "certificado" to Trafico, keeping copies to carry with you in case you are stopped by the GC/policias): -

  • Completed application form, TASA 2.220/T  (TASA means "rate").

  • If you are not already registered with Trafico, original and a photocopy of your residencia or NIF/NIE and a nota de empadronamiento.

  • A photocopy of your driving licence.

  •  Two photos 35 x 25 mm passport size.  Make sure they have a white or very light background, your head fills the frame, and you are not smiling.

  • Chequeo de Giro (postal order) for 9.   4 if over 70 years of age.

  • Stamped Addressed Envelope (SAE) for Trafico to post your docs. and IDL back to you.  Make sure that the stamp is the right cost and the envelope is big enough.

You can download the Trafico forms off the Trafico web site as noted in my in my book, page 99.

 It should be noted that any IDL is not legal on its own.  The holder must carry his/her original driving licence with them.

 The IDL is legal in 186 (most) of the countries in the world, listed here (CLICK)

So you need to carry in Spain (or elsewhere) two documents: -

  • Your original foreign (non-EU) valid driving licence.

  • The IDL.

  • You need an EU "ring of strs" driving licence to drive anywhere in the EU.  You only need the IDL when you drive in many other countries where the language on your DL is a problem.

Update 25 March 2007










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