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International Driver's License in Bahrain: Drive Like a Local

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IDP is essential when driving abroad

driving abroad with idp

International Driving Permit (IDP), regulated by the United Nations, certifies that you are the holder of a valid driver's license in your country of origin.

documents needed for international driving permit

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.

How to get your IDP


Fill in the forms

Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy


Verify your ID

Upload pictures of your driver's license


Get approved

Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

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Driving Rules in Bahrain

The Kingdom of Bahrain is waiting for you. Discover world heritage sites and beautiful modern architecture. Travel around Bahrain using your own car to maximize the experience. Be sure to prepare yourself by understanding the Bahrain driving rules and some of the traffic laws in this country.   

Important Reminders:

  • Bahrain is a right-hand drive country.
  • The minimum driving and rental age is 18 years old.
  • Seat belt is a must.
  • Child-restraint is a must.
  • Hands-free is a must.  
  • Drinking is not tolerated in Bahrain.
  • The speed limit is 60 km/h in urban areas, 80 km in rural roads and 120 km/h on most expressways.
  • No eating, drinking and smoking inside the car. You will be fined!
  • Give way on inside cars in a roundabout.

Driving in the Winter

There is no snow in Bahrain. You may experience rain and fog so be sure to prepare yourself. Keep emergency kits in your car at all times. Dipped headlights and use fog lights when fog is present. You should be good as long as you have these things in order.

Enjoy your stay and have a safe travel.

While exploring the Middle East, don't miss out on Bahrain's dynamic mix of tradition and modernity. This archipelago, consisting of natural and artificial islands, is celebrated for its art and architecture, rich culture, diverse wildlife, and bustling shopping centers.

The most efficient way to discover Bahrain's major attractions is by driving through the country, allowing you to enjoy each site at your leisure.

International Driving Permit FAQs

Can I Use My Home Country’s Driver’s License in Bahrain?

Obtaining an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) is strongly advised when traveling to Bahrain. This United Nations-regulated document enhances safety and convenience for tourists considering driving in Bahrain. It can also help avoid legal complications with local authorities.

Yes, your home country’s driver’s license is valid in Bahrain as long as it hasn't expired. It’s essential to carry your native driver’s license, IDP, and other vital documents while driving in Bahrain to prevent any legal issues. Most car rental companies in Bahrain also require your native driver’s license.

If you have an International Driving License and your stay in Bahrain is under one year, there’s no need for a Bahraini driving license. However, for stays extending beyond a year, your native license becomes invalid.

Is Acquiring an IDP Necessary in Bahrain?

While not legally mandatory, obtaining an IDP is highly advised, particularly for drivers whose licenses are not in Arabic or English. Car rental companies in Bahrain typically require an IDP and your native license.

The IDP, recognized in over 150 countries, is a translation of your native license into 12 major world languages, making it a valuable document in Bahrain.

How Do I Get an International Driving License?

Securing an IDP doesn't require a driving test if applied for through the International Drivers Association. The process involves filling out an online application and uploading the necessary photos. Once approved, a digital copy of the IDP is sent quickly, and physical licenses can be shipped globally within 30 days.

The International Drivers Association also provides a free replacement service for lost IDPs. To obtain a new IDP, contact customer service with your IDP number and name; you will shoulder only the shipping costs.

Key Driving Regulations in Bahrain

Start your journey through Bahrain's heritage and modern marvels with the convenience of your vehicle. To ensure a smooth experience, familiarize yourself with Bahrain's driving rules and traffic laws:

  • Drive on the Right: Bahrain follows right-hand driving, similar to the United States. This is crucial to remember, especially for visitors from left-hand driving countries.
  • Legal Driving Age: You must be 18 years old to drive and rent a car in Bahrain.
  • Mandatory Seat Belts and Child Restraints: Seat belts are compulsory for all passengers, and child safety seats are required for young children.
  • Hands-Free Rule: Mobile phone use is permitted only with hands-free devices.
  • Zero Tolerance for Alcohol: Drinking and driving is strictly prohibited in Bahrain.
  • Speed Limits: Adhere to the speed limit of 60 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on expressways.
  • No Eating, Drinking, or Smoking While Driving: Engaging in these activities while driving can result in fines.
  • Roundabout Etiquette: Yield to cars inside the roundabout.

Winter Driving Tips

While Bahrain doesn't experience snow, rain, and fog are common in winter. Keep emergency kits in your vehicle and use dipped headlights and fog lights when necessary. Precaution and preparation are key to safe driving in these conditions.

Bahrain's Must-Visit Attractions

An archipelago in the Persian Gulf, Bahrain offers a fascinating blend of ancient and modern attractions. Here are some of the top destinations to visit in Bahrain:


The capital city, Manama, is a bustling metropolis and the cultural heart of Bahrain. The city is known for its diverse culture, vibrant markets (souqs), and modern skyline. The Bahrain National Museum showcases the country's history and the iconic Bahrain World Trade Center.

Bahrain Fort (Qal'at al-Bahrain)

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Bahrain Fort is a historical site with layers of human occupation dating back to the Dilmun period. The fort's impressive structure and archaeological findings glimpse Bahrain's rich history.

Al Fateh Grand Mosque

This is one of the largest mosques in the world and a stunning example of Islamic architecture. The mosque is open to visitors, offering insight into Islamic culture and religion.

Bahrain International Circuit

Home to the Formula One Bahrain Grand Prix, the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir is a must-visit for motorsports enthusiasts. The facility also offers track days and driving experiences for visitors.

Tree of Life

A natural wonder, the Tree of Life stands alone in the desert. Estimated to be over 400 years old, it symbolizes survival in harsh conditions and is a popular spot for tourists and locals.

Amwaj Islands

These artificial islands offer luxury resorts, fine dining, and various water sports activities. It’s a perfect spot for relaxation and enjoying the beach life.

Discover Bahrain with an IDP

Beyond its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Bahrain brims with diverse attractions, encompassing picturesque beaches, bustling shopping malls, and thrilling events such as Formula 1 Racing. Secure an International Driving Permit to experience the full spectrum of Bahrain's rich cultural legacy, natural wonders, and modern advancements.

Ready to check if an IDP is accepted in your destination?

Use the form and find out in seconds whether you need an international permit. Documents vary, based on the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic.

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