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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

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Most Important Driving Rules in Belgium

There is more to driving than just having fun, especially in countries that have strict rules like the United Kingdom, Italy, and in this case Belgium. To make your Belgian getaway the best and most enjoyable, it is impeccable that you follow the driving rules. It's also beneficial to have a Belgian driver's license and an id card but if you are from a non-EU country like New Zealand, you could use public transport if you don't have an IDP.

Trouble causes delays and hassle so it’s best to abide by the road laws to stay out of harm’s way, especially in a foreign land. Here are just some of the important road rules in Belgium that you need to be mindful of. Here are just some of the important road rules in Belgium a Belgian Driver would most likely warn you about. You won't need an international driving permit if you have a U.S. driver's license. If you don't have a valid license, there's no practical driving test that you can do and get one, you won't be able to get an IDP if you don't have a license from your home country even if you are from a neighboring Luxembourg.

Carry Important Documents at All Times

In Belgium, only drivers bearing an EU license are permitted to drive within Belgian territory. Most countries with an exchange agreement with Belgium can use their foreign license for a certain period. For foreigners, especially those whose licenses aren’t in English or do not have an exchange agreement with Belgium, an International Driver’s License in Belgium will be required, especially by certain car rental companies.

If an agreement isn’t present between your country and Belgium, you might have to take a Belgian driving test, and foreign drivers would need an International Driving License in Belgium. Along with these provisions, tourists are also advised to bring valuable documents, such as passports, vehicle insurance, and certificates as means of identification. Though not strictly required, a safety kit is an extra measure that is required just in case of accidents.

Comply With Speed Limits

Whether you carry a Belgian driving licence or any other type of international driving licence, it's a given that abiding by the speed limits is a must to ensure safety. To avoid any run-ins with the authorities, remember to drive only within the speed limit. In Belgium, the speed limit is at 50 km/h in the city, 70-90 km/h in the country, and 120 km/h on the highway. Spot on fines, depending on where you were caught speeding, will be given. A foreign driver can be fined up to 866 euros.

Don’t Drink and Drive

As a safety precaution, avoid driving while intoxicated, and this one's a given whether you're out for international driving or not. In Belgium, the blood alcohol limit is at 0.5 mg and 0.2 mg for burs and truck drivers, as well as car drivers with passengers, such as taxis, limousines and ambulances. The penalty for driving intoxicated would be 125 euros on the spot. You may also have to surrender your non European driving licence for three hours.

Belgium is a fantastic country that offers a lot of tourist attractions you should never miss out. Before traveling to Belgium, make sure you plan everything thoroughly to avoid unfortunate situations and delays. You don't have to apply for a Belgian driving license to enjoy international driving! With your International Driving Licence, your Belgian trip will surely run smoothly. Get an IDP from the International Driver’s Association ahead of time and drive confidently abroad!

Top Destinations in Belgium

Nature lovers far and wide will love the view at the Ardennes. From its luscious green forests that house flora and fauna to the Han-Sur-Lesse caves. This natural spectacle is located in the southeast of Belgium. It houses a picturesque traditional village rich with culture and folklore. It's a very popular place in Europe to visit and you can find people from most European countries living there. It's a part of the European Union so you will probably need an identity card if you are not from member states.

Ardennes

If you’re on the adventurous side you can go cycling, kayaking, canoeing, and climbing. This will get your adrenaline rushing on while marveling at the wonders of the Ardennes. If you're planning to unwind, enjoy a calm walk or bike along the mountainside, or try horseback riding. The best time to visit Ardennes is in December. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy winter activities like skiing and snow scooter racing.

Ghent

Ghent is in the Flemish Region of Belgium and is the third-largest city in Belgium. It was once a place noted for its wealth, especially in the Middle Ages. Churches, residences, and castles are the most noteworthy sights to see in Ghent. They prove the architectural prowess of Belgians. Ghent is best enjoyed during the fall season since tourism is busy in October, where tourists can enjoy cold weather. It is least visited during April or spring because of the higher chances of rain.

If you’re looking for a historical trip, then Ghent is the place for you. Scenic spots such as the Gravensteen castle and the Graslei harbor will make you feel like you’re going back in time. In Ghent, you can find the UNESCO World Heritage site called the Ghent Belfry. It stands at 91 mm tall, which you can climb to get a wider view of the city. If you’re looking for a bit of a gastronomic adventure and some souvenirs you can bring home, then the Patershol center is exactly the place for you. In medieval Ghent, every step feels like a fairy tale!

Antwerp

Antwerp boasts Gothic architecture such as the Antwerp Central Station, a train station with a splendid exterior that functions and persists perfectly in the modern age. Belgian art has also made quite an impact in Antwerp, and tourists from far and wide visit museums. One of them is Museum Plantin-Moretus, a UNESCO heritage site that is a former printing press and houses a library and a collection of artwork and the house of Belgian painter Pieter Paul Rubens.

If you’re in the mood for food, then Antwerp’s got it for you! Tourists from across the globe flock to taste the authentic French Fries which Belgians have put on the map, along with the Antwerp Brewery, where the famous De Konnick beer was brewed. The best time to savor and indulge in all these sights is May to September, where the spring weather makes for pleasant travels. The rainy season is often a warning for tourists to pack in extra gear.

Meuse Valley

Meuse Valley, coming from the French word Mosa which means "river," is located in the south of Brussels, It serves as the home to a 575-mile long river decorated with scenic countryside made up of small houses and forests. If you take a driving tour around the vicinity with your international driving licence, Liege, a town along the Meuse Valley, is known to be the birthplace of Emperor Charlemagne.

This river, which courses through France and the Netherlands, is located in Dinant, just a few kilometers away from Brussels’ capital. Taxis, buses, and train stations to the capital's airport make this place convenient for tourists. The best time to visit is in spring during March-May, where the weather is cool to warm, and the scenery is idyllic and perfect.

Bruges

A Belgian driver would most likely suggest you take the time to visit Bruges, which is renowned for its medieval architecture, townhouses, and Gothic marvels that are right out of a European storybook! The Grote Markt that bears gargoyle sculptures along with the Basilica of the Holy Blood are churches that will surely make you feel like you've gone back in time.

If you're feeling a little modern and would like to explore the delicious wonders of Bruges, the merchants in the country market have got just what you need, from Belgian fries to Irish Pubs. Couples can also go for a romantic gondola ride down the canals. The perfect time for tourists to visit Bruges is from June to August due to the fair weather that enhances the natural surroundings. The rain comes unpredictably in Belgium, so always prepare rain gear.

De Haan

De Haan is a village located in the northern part of Belgium renowned for its beach that extends up to 11 km decorated with white sand. This place is quite popular amongst couples and honeymooners as well as tourists who are fond of beaches. There is never a shortage of things you can do on De Haan beach be it long beach walks, cycling, going to bars or cafes, or relaxing in a resort overlooking the seaside.

The residential area that is near it is known as the Belle Epoque. Since DeHaan is popular amongst beachgoers, the best time considered for visiting or touring this place is during April, May, and September when the weather is the driest. Snow occurs in DeHaan in October, so this is the least recommended time to visit.

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