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International Driver's License In Brazil: Drive Locally Like A Pro

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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 Brazil

Looking for a place to have a party and connect with nature at the same time? If so, then Brazil is for you! Visit the amazing scenery that is Sugar Loaf and Christ The Redeemer then join the party on Carnival. Hop on a car and discover Brazil.  Take note of the few important reminders.  

Important Reminders:

  • Bring your valid driver’s license and passport along with your International Drivers Permit (IDP). 
  • Drive on right side of the road.
  • Seat belt is a must.
  • Hands-free is a must. Keep your phones away unless they are hands-free.
  • The minimum age to drive and rent a car in Brazil is at 18 years old.
  • Drink responsibly in parties! Permitted alcohol level for driving in Brazil is 60 mg per 100 ml of blood.
  • Speed limits in Brazil are 30-50 km/h in urban areas, 60 km/h in rural areas and 120 km/h in highways.
  • Keep your tank filled up! You will be fined if you run out of gas.
  • Driving in flip-flops is not allowed.

Are you seeking a holiday destination that combines vibrant nightlife with natural beauty? Look no further than Brazil!

This destination promises stunning sights, from the iconic Sugarloaf Mountain to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Revel in the beauty of unspoiled beaches and diverse wildlife. Don't miss out on the Carnival festivities and a refreshing beer while swaying to the rhythm of samba!

With an International Driving Permit, you can easily hop in a car and embark on a journey to uncover the wonders of Brazil.

International Driving Permit FAQs

Can a Foreigner Drive in Brazil?

To drive in Brazil, foreigners renting vehicles from local car rental companies need an International Driving Permit (IDP) and a valid driver's license. This is only necessary if the stay in Brazil is less than 90 days.

What Are the Requirements for Renting a Car in Brazil?

The prerequisites include:

1. A valid driver's license with a minimum validity of two years.

2. The renter must be at least 21 years old. If accompanied by a minor aged at least 16,
the renter's and the minor's licenses are required.

3. The renter should be free from any financial obligations to the rental company and
any other entity that has unsettled debts with the rental company.

4. The driver's license should not have been suspended or revoked in the last three years.

Can I Drive in Brazil With My Foreign Driver's License?

Yes, you can drive in Brazil with a foreign driver's license for up to three months, provided you also carry an IDP. The IDP serves as a translation of your license. However, for stays exceeding three months, you must apply for a Brazilian driver's license, which involves enrolling in a driving school and passing a driving test.

Do I Need an IDP in Brazil?

You need an IDP in Brazil if you plan to drive and your local driver's license is not in Portuguese. An IDP translates your license into multiple languages, including Portuguese, Brazil's official language. This makes it easier for local authorities to understand your credentials.

Is an IDP Recognized in Brazil?

Yes, an IDP is recognized in Brazil. Brazil is a signatory to international treaties that acknowledge the validity of the International Driving Permit. When presented along with your valid local driver's license, it allows you to drive in Brazil legally.

Is the IDP a Substitute for My Local Driver's License?

No, the IDP is not a substitute for your local driver's license. Instead, it acts as a supplement to your existing license. When driving in Brazil, you must carry your local driver's license and the IDP. The IDP alone is insufficient to prove your ability to drive; it merely translates the information from your original license.

How Do I Apply for an International Driving Permit in Brazil?

To obtain an IDP for Brazil via the International Drivers Association, you can follow these steps:

1. Complete the application form.

2. Provide a copy of your valid driver's license.

3. Submit a passport-size photo.

4. Provide credit card details for the payment of the application fee.

Key Driving Guidelines in Brazil

Opting to drive in Brazil offers an experience as varied as the country's landscapes. The country's road network is extensive, from congested urban freeways to rugged rural roads. Navigating these requires a sharp grasp of the local driving regulations.

Following these driving guidelines will not only ensure a safer and smoother journey but also help you steer clear of potential fines.

Driving Requirements

To drive legally, both a valid driver's license and an International Driving Permit are required. When applying for an IDP, ensure you provide contact and payment details for convenience.

Speed Limits

Typically, speed limits are 30 km/h on rural highways, 60 km/h on urban roads, and 80-110 km/h on major highways. Watch out for speed bumps, often indicated by colorful stripes.

Understanding Road Signs

Road signs are in Portuguese. Familiarize yourself with basic car-related terms and pay attention to signs like "Pare" (stop).

Alcohol and Distracted Driving Regulations

There's a zero-tolerance policy for drunk driving with a BAC limit of 0.02%. Also, to avoid distractions while on the road, using a mobile phone without a hands-free unit is illegal.

Parking Challenges

Parking can be tricky. Consider using valet services in parking lots. In public areas, be aware of parking fees.

If parking on the street, it's common for someone to offer to watch your car for a small tip (1-2 reais) for added security.

Road Conditions

Road quality varies, from well-maintained toll roads to challenging rural paths. Plan your route and be prepared for varying conditions. Toll fees vary based on vehicle type and can be a worthwhile expense for smoother travel.

Driving Guidelines Overview

In a nutshell, the following are the general driving guidelines to remember when driving in Brazil:

1. Always carry your valid driver's license, passport, and International Driving Permit (IDP).

2. Remember to drive on the right side of the road.

3. Wearing seat belts is mandatory.

4. Use only hands-free devices for mobile phones while driving.

5. The minimum legal age for driving and car rental is 18 years.

6. Be mindful of alcohol consumption; the legal blood alcohol limit is 60 mg per 100 ml
of blood.

7. Observe speed limits: 30-50 km/h in urban areas, 60 km/h in rural areas, and up to 120
km/h on highways.

8. Keep your fuel tank full to avoid fines for running out of gas.

9. Driving in flip-flops is prohibited.

Brazil's Premier Travel Destinations

Brazil, one of the world's largest and most culturally diverse countries, is a treasure trove of history, culture, religion, sports, and natural wonders. This destination boasts of the Amazon Forest, rich biodiversity in plant species, and other ecotourism hotspots. Here's a guide to some of Brazil's must-visit locations:


Manaus is not just a vital commercial hub for manufacturing industries; it's also the gateway to the Amazon rainforest and river excursions. Key attractions include the rare pied tamarin monkey, the stunning Love Cascade, and the Paricatuba Waterfall.

Rio de Janeiro

Famed for hosting the world's most extravagant Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is a hub of street parties, fireworks, music, dance, and colorful parades. This southeastern Brazilian city is surrounded by natural wonders like the Corcovado and Sugarloaf mountains, and iconic beaches such as Ipanema and Copacabana. It's also home to Tijuca National Park, one of the largest urban forests, rich in native wildlife and greenery.

Foz do Iguacu

Iguazu Falls, a breathtaking natural wonder straddling the Argentine-Brazilian border, rivals the likes of Victoria and Niagara Falls. The extensive cascade stretches nearly three kilometers, forming the world's largest waterfall system. Visitors can hike in the lush rainforest or take a boat ride through the falls.


On the Bay of All Saints' coast, Salvador boasts stunning beaches ideal for surfing, swimming, and sunbathing. Key spots include Stella Maris, Flamengo, and Porto De Barra. Salvador's historic old town, vibrant culture, and one of the world's largest Carnival celebrations make it a top destination.

As the third-largest city in Brazil and one of the oldest in the Americas, its Carnival is a spectacular fusion of music, dance, parades, costumes, and street parties.


Florianopolis is the capital of Santa Catarina and is split between the mainland and a picturesque island. It features lush forests, stunning waterfalls, impressive dunes, and a large lagoon, making it ideal for cycling, camping, paragliding, and water sports. Florianopolis' 60 beautiful beaches are the highlight, earning it the nickname 'Magic Island.'

Get an IDP to Explore Brazil

Brazil, one of the largest nations in both South America and globally, offers a rich experience best explored by car. Getting behind the wheel allows you to journey at your leisure, from the vibrant street parties in Rio de Janeiro to the breathtaking beaches and ecological marvels scattered throughout the country.

Make sure to apply for an International Driving Permit to fully embrace these wonders and seamlessly immerse yourself in Brazil's diverse landscapes and cultural treasures!

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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