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Why carry an IDP while driving in Bahamas?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in more than 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information in the 12 most widely spoken languages in the world – it is understandable to most of the local officials and authorities of the countries you visit.

It translates your identification information into 12 languages — so it speaks the language even if you don’t. Bahamas highly recommends an International Driving Permit.

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1. Apply Online

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BAHAMAS

A perfect cast of blues and greens never fails to restore a tired soul. The Bahamas possesses such a kind of authenticity and environmental and cultural diversity that nourishes, inspires, and innovates. Bundled along the west Atlantic column, this 13,878km2 archipelagic nation brings a sound combination of European and West African heritage. With more than 700 islands and 2,000 cays, the country has something in store for every traveler type.

You can enter the Bahamas via air or sea travel. The country has more than 10 international airports distributed in various islands, or you can also ride a boat from Miami, Florida, and travel to Bimini as your port of entry.

For the Bahamas, no distance is ever far. So pack up your international drivers license for the Bahamas region and be ready for the most endearing adventure of a lifetime!

Top Destinations of the Bahamas

Almost all 700 islands in the Bahamas have the potential to be a top destination. Each island offers a unique set of experiences made through preserving its original allure.

Even with the speed of urban and tourism infrastructure expansion in the country, the Bahamas has been strongly advocating for sustainable development. For the most part, this is what you call the country of unspoiled beauty.

The best way to see the country is to drive at your momentum, following your own schedule. To legally do this, one major document to have is an international drivers license. Bahamas district authorities require this. But you don’t have to be troubled as getting an international drivers permit for the Bahamas today is already fast, easy and hassle-free.

Fort Montagu

Fort Montagu is located on the capital island of New Providence. Specifically, it is situated within East Bay Street, Nassau.

When is the best time to go to Fort Montagu?

You can stroll around Fort Montagu by yourself or join guided tours. These tours are operated every day from 8:00 am - 3:00 pm with no admission charge. It would be best to drive to Fort Montagu during the day. You will be able to see the island’s eastern harbor.

When is the worst time to go to Fort Montagu?

Driving to the fort at night will make you see the enchanting lights that line the eastern harbor. However, you won’t be able to tour inside the fort and see the canons, cisterns, and barracks.

What is there to do in Fort Montagu?

Learn about the history of Nassau and the larger Bahamas in this 3-century old Fort. If you are traveling with a loved one, Fort Montagu is also a good avenue for romantic celebrations.

What makes Fort Montagu famous?

Fort Montagu is considered to be the oldest standing port in New Providence. It was built in 1741 out of limestone during the reign of Governor John Tinker (1735-1758).

The fort’s name was taken after the Duke of Montagu, and originally, it was used as a barracks for soldiers and their armories. The fort was built to secure the island from Spanish fleets coming in from the east.

Can you drive to Fort Montagu?

Fort Montagu is just within the New Providence mainland. It is about 20km from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, which will take you about 25 minutes to drive. You will pass by John F. Kennedy Drive, West Bay Street, and finally, East Bay Street from the airport.

Do you need an international driving permit in the Bahamas to drive to Fort Montagu?

You must have an international driving permit to drive to Fort Montagu. If you haven’t obtained your international drivers permit for Bahamas online yet, you can do so, even just hours before you travel to Fort Montagu.

The international drivers license website contains the specific information as to the background of the permit. You can also find an international drivers permit sample on the website or the International Drivers’ Association portal.

Fort Charlotte

Fort Charlotte is a 100-acre acropolis built to guard the western side of New Providence. Within the area, Fort Charlotte stands with two (2) other forts, namely: Fort Stanley and Fort D’Arcy. This is considered the biggest fort in New Providence.

When is the best time to go to Fort Charlotte?

The Fort is open seven (7) days a week during the day time. If you visit in the mornings of Monday and Wednesday, you will be treated to a performance from the Royal Bahamas Defense Force Rangers (RBDFR) and the staff of the Antiquities, Museums, and Monuments Corporation.

What is there to do in Fort Charlotte?

The fort is filled with underground tunnels, dungeons, and one (1) dry moat. You can walk around these areas and get an idea of how accommodations were three (3) centuries ago for the soldiers.

During Mondays and Wednesdays, staff will wear costumes that represent how people dressed during the time. You will also get a chance to witness the RBDFR perform their drills and fire the cannon at noon—all these exciting attractions with a minimal admission price of $1.08.

What makes Fort Charlotte famous?

Fort Charlotte is a colossal structure built from 1787 to 1796. It was named in honor of the wife of King George III and is one of the best day-tour sites when you are in Nassau. Guests flock to the area for sightseeing, picture-taking, and some history learning. It is also the most animated fort in New Providence, with live costume playing and military drills.

Can you drive to Fort Charlotte?

You can drive to Fort Charlotte anywhere you are in Nassau. If you come from the Lynden Pindling International Airport, it will take you about 17 minutes to reach the fort. You will only need to drive through John F. Kennedy Drive and make a right turn to West Bay Street.

International driving permits allow tourists to drive legally in the country like Bahamian drivers. If you want to know about how to get an international drivers permit in the Bahamas, contact numbers are provided on the International Drivers’ Association website. You don't have to go to the traffic department to get an IDP because it can be done online with the IDA. Although international driving permits issued by the IDA are not authorized translation (meaning can't be solely used as a valid ID), it's still widely recognized in over 150 countries.

Cable Beach

Cable Beach is where the luxury resorts and casinos are located. This 4km stretch of white sand hosts multiple beach activities and watersports during the day and sometimes parties during the night. Suppose you’re up for a sprightly beach day, head on over to Cable Beach.

When is the best time to go to Cable Beach?

The best time to go to Cable Beach is any time. This area is bustling 24 hours, 7 days a week; if you have plans to swim in Cable Beach, it is best to schedule it during the day probably.

When is the worst time to go to Cable Beach?

There is no worst time to visit Cable Beach. It is nestled in an area where the waters are calm, and the sea breeze is at its most relaxing, even with its busy location. Season-wise, beaches are always preferred during the dry months, from January to May in the Bahamas.

What is there to do in Cable Beach?

Cable Beach is probably the busiest beach in Nassau. There are over 40 culinary stations around the area if you want to try exotic Bahamian cuisines. You can also snorkel, kayak, play beach volleyball, or just lounge on the sand under the warm and magical Bahamian sun.

After a day at the beach, you can visit the casinos and shops lining West Bay Street or have a glass of fine wine along the shore to cap the night off.

What makes Cable Beach famous?

Cable Beach is not only famous for its festive vibe and collection of prime real estate. It is also the site of the first submarine cable link between the Bahamas and Florida.

Can you drive to Cable Beach?

Cable beach is about a 12-minute drive from Central Nassau. It can be accessed via the Tonique Williams Highway, John F. Kennedy Drive, Baja Mar Boulevard, and finally, West Bay Street.

The beach is located within a busy district of the country where rules are stringent and constantly evolving. It would be best to check for any international drivers permit Bahamas update before driving out in Nassau.

Lucayan National Park

Lucayan National Park is one of three (3) national parks within Grand Bahama. For a quick fun fact, the Island of Grand Bahama was a filming location for the Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and James Bond: Never Say Never Again.

When is the best time to go to the Lucayan National Park?

The park is open from 8:30 am to 4:30 seven (7) days a week. With the various types of attractions and adventures around the park, there will always be a spot that you can visit all year round.

When is the worst time to go to the Lucayan National Park?

If you want to visit the caves, it is recommended not to visit them during rainy days. Hiking trails can be slippery, and going up and down the caves might be risky.

What is there to do in the Lucayan National Park?

The park is filled with trails and boardwalks that visitors can stroll through. You can learn about the Lucayan Indians and the astonishing natural biodiversity that calls the park home.

Some interesting spots around the Lucayan National Park include:

  • Gold Rock Beach
  • The Lucayan Caverns
  • The Burial Mound Cave
  • Ben’s Cave
What makes the Lucayan National Park famous?

Apart from the many ecosystems and habitats that visitors get to see and appreciate, this 40-acre expanse also supports one of the world’s longest underwater cave systems.

How do you drive to the Lucayan National Park?

The national park is about 32 kilometers from Freeport and 25 minutes from the Grand Bahama Airport. If you drive directly from the airport, you only need to follow the Grand Bahama Highway for about 31 kilometers.

If you rent a car from the airport, car rental companies will require you to present an IDP. If you haven’t decided yet if you’ll get an international drivers license for the Bahamas, online application is readily available 24 hours, 7 days of the week. You can even apply for one when you land at the airport as the IDA offers an express application system where you can get an IDP in less than 30 minutes!

Island of Andros

Secluded, pristine white beaches and deep blue holes are just some of the features that define the Island of Andros. It is the largest island of the Bahamas and is situated southwest of New Providence.

When is the best time to go to Andros?

Like other islands, the best time to go to Andros is during the dry season. Locals call it the winter season. It runs from January to May, with December and June as the transition months.

When is the worst time to go to Andros?

The months of June to November covers the Atlantic Hurricane Season. Travel schedules to the island either via airplane or boat might be sparse.

What is there to do in Andros?

There are so many activities that you can do in Andros. You can go on a food trip, climb up the Andros lighthouse, visit the native colony ruins, attend the Coconut Festival at Pleasant Bay Beach, visit Henry Morgan’s Cave, or rent a boat to visit the blue holes. These are just a few of the activities that can fill up your itinerary.

What makes the Island of Andros famous?

If you want to explore a more archaic side of the Bahamas, Andros is the place for you. It is the biggest island in the country, yet the least developed.

But what is Andros most famous for? It is the blue hole capital of the world and the Land of Crabs for locals.

How do you drive to and around Andros?

Since Andros is an entirely different island, you can only reach it via air travel or boat from Grand Bahama or New Providence.

Once you land, you can rent a car either in Andros Town or Nichols Town. These are the only two (2) semi-populated towns on the island and where most businesses are located.

Do you need an international driver's permit in the Bahamas to drive around Andros?

For the international drivers license, no Bahamas district is exempted from this. Thus, you will have to secure an international drivers permit for the Bahamas online if ever you still don’t have one. You can secure a digital copy of your international drivers license. Your email address will be the only information required for its shipping.

If you have questions regarding the international drivers permit, contact numbers are available at the International Drivers’ Association website. Likewise, you can email the Bahamas Road Traffic Authority. The agency also issues international drivers permit updates on their website, if there are any.

Bimini

Bimini is the nearest island of the Bahamas to Miami, Florida. You can travel by boat from Port Lauderdale and arrive in Bimini in less than an hour.

When is the best time and worst time to go to Bimini?

The best time to go to Bimini is during the dry, winter months. This is because crossing the sea or air during the wet season might be a bit risky considering that the area is situated within the hurricane belt. Plus, you might not get to enjoy the beach so much if the winds are crazy and the waves are rough.

What is there to do in Bimini?

If you’ve ever heard of the Fountain of Youth, Bimini is the place to find it. The famed Fountain of Youth is a deep well where tourists can go near. Does the well have water? What does water from the Fountain of Youth do? How is it used now? Drive to South Bimini to find out!

The island also boasts of sought-after culinary fronts, beaches, and other historical structures like a lighthouse. If you only have a day to visit the Bahamas, Bimini is already a magical, memorable place to be.

How do you get around Bimini?

The entire Bimini is a cluster of islands and cays in itself. You can only reach other islands and cays by boat. If you are within South Bimini, there are a lot of local car and motorcycle rental shops around. You can ask locals where to get the cheapest deals.

Do you need an international driving permit in the Bahamas to drive in Bimini?

All foreign passport holders need to secure an IDP to drive in Bimini. Be careful where you apply for an IDP. To make sure, legitimate international drivers’ permit samples are available on the International Drivers’ Association website for your reference. If you want your IDP to be an authorized translation of your driver's license, you have to visit your road traffic department to get one.

Most car rental companies will also request your IDP. Details, including your international drivers’ license address and international drivers’ license contact number might be verified before you will be allowed to rent a car. If ever you come across a local car rental that does not require you to present an IDP, don’t remain complacent. You should still secure an international drivers’ permit in this Bahamas district.

Most Important Driving Rules

Road rules are essential for safety whether or not you are traveling in a hazard-free rural area or a scurrying urban area. Bahamian drivers strictly observe these rules, so you should too.

In the Bahamas, road rules are most stringent within populous districts like Nassau, Grand Bahama, and Freeport. Nonetheless, visitors are welcome to tour the entire country at their most desired schedule and place.

Getting an International Driving Permit in the Bahamas

The International Drivers’ Permit is an extension or translation of your native driver’s license. Without a valid native driver’s license, your IDP will not be considered valid as well. If it’s your first time to read or hear about the IDP, don’t you worry! Getting one is just a cinch! Below are some of the basic facts about the International Drivers’ Permit.

Can you use your native driver’s license instead of an IDP?

If you hold a native driving license from the U.S. or the U.K., you can use your native driver’s license as long your stay in the Bahamas does not exceed 90 days. If it does, you need to have an international drivers’ license in Bahamas. The IDA issues international driving permits through online applications so you don't have to go to a road traffic department. This also applies to non-residents of the U.S. and U.K.

It will only take you two (2) hours to receive confirmation and have your IDP in less than a week. IDA also offers worldwide express shipping wherein you can receive confirmation in just 20 minutes and have your hardcopy and a digital copy sent to you on the same day.

Where can you obtain an International Drivers’ Permit for the Bahamas Region?

You can get an international drivers’ permit for the Bahamas region anywhere you are in the world. You can apply for it online through the International Drivers’ Association, or, if you are not keen on the digital application, there are physical offices within the Bahamas. All you need to do is to search online using keywords like “international drivers’ license Bahamas near me” to see where they are located.

When getting an International Drivers’ Permit, which Bahamas address should you ship it to?

This is a common question, especially for travelers who are just temporarily staying in the country. If you have no permanent address in the Bahamas, it would be better to stay at one (1) accommodation the entire time. Avoid transferring addresses if you can.

It would also be good to remember that when applying for an international drivers’ license in the Bahamas, zip codes are not available. Hence, it is highly encouraged that you obtain a digital copy of your IDP. It’s always better to have an option B just in case, for any unfortunate reason, your hardcopy gets lost in the mail.

How should you use your International Driving Permit in the Bahamas?

You should carry your IDP with you when you drive at all times, together with your native drivers’ license. If ever you are interviewed by an authority of the law for your details, make sure that it matches exactly with your:

  • International Drivers’ License name
  • International Drivers’ License contact number
  • International Driver’s License validity
  • International Drivers’ License address
  • International Drivers’ License email address (if applicable)
Are there any penalties for driving without an International Drivers’ Permit in all Bahamas Districts?

Driving without an international drivers’ permit within the Bahamas zip code is considered illegal. If you drive without an IDP, you are liable to a certain fine.

Nevertheless, this should not be a problem. Getting an international drivers’ permit for the Bahamas today is already more straightforward than in previous years.

Where can you inquire about the International Drivers’ License for the Bahamas Region?

For more real-time information on getting an international driver’s license in the Bahamas, updates are provided on the IDA website. You can also check for any international drivers’ permit Bahamas website under the Road Traffic Department.

Observe the correct driving side at all times

Bahamian drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road. If you are a driver who is used to driving on the right-hand side of the road, you might want to have a little practice within driving ranges or enroll at a driving school in the Bahamas.

This helps you develop your defensive driving reflexes on the other side (very useful, especially when driving on main highways or busy districts).

Do not go over the speed limits

Speed limits in the Bahamas vary depending on where you will be driving. If you drive in the quieter, less bustling countryside, you can drive up to 45mph. But if you will drive around city centers, best to maintain your speed below 25mph. A lot of roads in the countryside are also unpaved, so you have to regulate your speed. You might see some Bahamian drivers speeding, but this does not mean you should do it, too.

Do not drink and drive in the Bahamas

Too much drinking and driving are not tolerated in the Bahamas. The urge of alcohol and relaxation in a tropical island getaway can be a temptation that's difficult to resist. However, if you are caught driving with more than 30micrograms in 100milliliters of breath, or 80milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood/urine, you will have to pay a fine.

To know more about all the other destinations in this archipelagic jewel and how to obtain an International Drivers’ Permit in the Bahamas zip code, contact the International Drivers’ Association or any international drivers’ license authority near you.

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