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Why carry an IDP while driving in French Polynesia?

Your IDP is a valid form of identification in 150 countries worldwide and contains your name, photo and driver information.

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

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Driving Rules in French Polynesia

Looking for a perfect swim? Tired of your usual beach destinations? Visit French Polynesia for a change. This island country has clear beaches and beautiful coastlines. Drive your own car to explore the rest of the country. Familiarize yourself with a few traffic rules before planning your visit.   

Important Reminders:

  • You drive on the right side of the road.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years old.
  • Seat belt is a must for ALL passengers.
  • Hands-free is a must. Keep your phones away while driving.
  • Avoid drinking if you are driving.
  • The speed limit is 40 km/h in urban areas and 80 km in rural roads.
  • Give right of way to cars driving on main roads.
  • Roads are narrow and winding. Some country roads are not cemented and asphalted so drive carefully.

Driving in the Winter

The islands of French Polynesia is scattered around in the South Pacific. There is no winter in the country. However, avoid travelling during the rainy season from November to April. Thunderstorms and strong waves are not the ideal travel weather you want to experience. Plan your trip accordingly!

Be safe and have fun!

How to get your IDP

We’ve streamlined the application process down by creating a platform that guides you so you know exactly what you’ll need to successfully complete your application

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1. Apply Online

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2. Upload Photos

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3. Get approved

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Top Destinations in French Polynesia

French Polynesia is an archipelago country with 67 inhabited atolls and 118 islands scattered throughout the southern Pacific Ocean. It’s an overseas collectivity of France with five main archipelagos called the Society Islands, Marquesas Islands, Tubuai Islands, Tuamotu Archipelago, and Tubuai Islands. French Polynesia boasts some of the best beaches in the world, one being Bora Bora which is dubbed as one of the most beautiful places on the planet.

This heart-shaped country is small, but the heart of welcoming locals is big and warm, which makes it an even more wonderful honeymoon spot perfect for couples and families who want to have a memorable vacation. To fully enjoy your Pacific island excursion in the country, you may reach the top spots at your own pace by driving a car and an international driving permit in French Polynesia. But for now, discover the top destinations in the country everyone swears by.

Bora Bora

This should be at the top of your French Polynesian destination. Bora Bora is the most beautiful and magical place on earth, it’s almost unreal to see the place in real life. It’s where you’ll see the clearest and bluest waters your eyes will ever see, and they change in color depending on how shallow or deep the waters are. A visit to Bora Bora on a sunny day is perfect. You can stay in a luxurious bungalow or villa over the waters for a more relaxing blue water view.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, head southwest.
  • Drive from Boulevard de la Reine Pōmare IV to Papeete.
  • Continue straight.
  • Take the ferry.

Bora Bora is reachable through a ferry, but many top destinations on the main islands can be driven by car, so an international driving permit in French Polynesia (IDP) is required. An IDP from the International Drivers Association (IDA) translates your native driver’s license into twelve widely-spoken languages that are commonly understood by local authorities of the countries you’re visiting. To apply for an international driver’s permit in French Polynesia, the website of the IDA is up to assist you with the process.

Tahiti’s Arahoho Blowhole

Arahoho Blowhole is a volcanic feature that sits on the northern coastline of Tahiti island. The blowhole is sitting through a huge volcanic rock. The reason it's a blowhole is because of the high pressure created by the ocean waves squeezing into the direction of the rock. When it pushes its water through the water at a great force, it escapes through the rock’s hole, creating the blowing effect. It’s fantastic to see the effect in action, in real life.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, continue to Hitiaa O Te Ra.
  • Turn left.
  • Destination will be on the right.

Always carry your native driver’s license and international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. Requirements for an IDP application include a valid driver’s license and a passport-sized photo of yourself. For international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, fees are payable through major credit cards. To order your international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, the website page of the IDA is up to help you process your IDP.

Bora Bora Lagoonarium

Bora Bora’s Lagoonarium is an impressive, natural aquarium within a lagoon, hence, the name. It’s a private-owned attraction on the island, and is naturally crafted by nature itself, and is not man-made. Snorkeling with wildlife creatures like sharks and different species of rays and fish is a fantastic activity. Thanks to the Bora Bora’s crystal-clear Pacific Ocean water, it makes seeing underwater life easy and fun.

Driving Directions:

  • FromFa'a'ā International Airport, head southwest.
  • Drive from Boulevard de la Reine Pōmare IV to Papeete.
  • Continue straight.
  • Take the ferry.
  • Turn left.
  • Destination will be on the left.

With an international driver’s license for French Polynesia, hiring a rental car becomes easy. When you hit the road, always carry your passport and native driver’s license along with your international driver’s license in French Polynesia. Online processing for IDP takes only two hours with the IDA. To process your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, the website page is up for you to sign up, and complete the IDP online form.

Matira Beach

Situated in Bora Bora on Tahiti island, Matira Beach is a public beach that is popular among tourists. Bright white sand, coconut trees, and lapping waves are the beaches’ main ingredients. You can go on snorkeling in its shallow lagoon openings, and as obvious as it is, the water is blue and crystal clear, just like most of Bora Bora’s. You’ll see colorful corals, and a variety of tropical fish here, something you don’t get to see every day.

Matira Beach isn’t easily reachable by car, but many of the top attractions in the islands are. To get around the country legally, you must carry your passport, native driver’s license, and international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. Requirements you need to provide are your driver’s license and a passport-sized photo of yourself. For queries regarding international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, contact numbers of the IDA are available on our customer service page.

Faarumi Waterfalls

The Faarumi Waterfalls is located in Tahiti, and it's the most accessible, making it the most popular waterfall among tourists. The cascading water running through the rugged rocks, down to the cold pool is a perfect in-nature refreshment. Bathe in this natural beauty, or dip your tired toes. There’s a parking spot here near the jungles, then you can walk your way to the waterfalls. You can bring snacks, and bottled drinks you can drown in the cold pool.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, continue to Hitiaa O Te Ra.
  • Turn right.

To reach Faarumi Waterfalls, driving a rental car is the way to do it. With an international driver’s license for French Polynesia, hiring a vehicle becomes a swift process. The IDA does worldwide shipping so even if you’re already at your destination, you’d still get your IDP. When you checkout your order for an international driver’s permit in French Polynesia, the zip code of your current location in the country must be provided to avoid delays in the shipping process.

Coral Gardens

The fascinating Coral Gardens is, you guessed it, a coral haven. Its shallow depth makes it a great snorkeling spot for tourists who love seeing diverse and colorful coral reefs. And of course, where there are corals, you’d expect fish to thrive there. Some of the fish varieties you’ll find here are the Picasso triggerfish, butterflyfish, pufferfish, tang, parrotfish, goatfish, trumpet fish, zebra unicorn fish, grouper, and wrasse or Japanese moray eels.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, head southwest.
  • Drive from Boulevard de la Reine Pōmare IV to Papeete.
  • Continue straight.
  • Take the ferry.
  • Turn left.
  • Turn right.
  • Destination will be on the right.

Reaching Coral Gardens is an easy drive. To get there successfully, always have your passport, native driver’s license, and international driver’s license in French Polynesia. Download your form for an international driver’s license in French Polynesia online by signing up on our website. For queries regarding international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, the office of the IDA does not exist; all forms of application should be done online.

Magic Mountain

Moorea's Magic Mountain is the island’s highest point. It sits along the exterior of the Moorea islands and offers a great 360-degree view of the island and the clear, blue lagoon that surrounds it. The way up the mountain offers a scenic view of valleys, fruit trees, villages, and pineapple plantations. The spot is not accessible with a regular car, so a 4WD vehicle is a good way to reach it, but you could arrange a guided tour that includes a trip up the Magic Mountain.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, head southwest.
  • Drive from Boulevard de la Reine Pōmare IV to Papeete.
  • Continue straight.
  • Take the ferry.
  • Turn left.
  • Turn right.
  • Drive to your destination in Îles du Vent.

To safely drive your 4WD up the mountain, always carry your passport, native driver’s license, and international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. The office of the IDA does not exist, but you can always process your IDP online. With IDA’s international drivers permit for French Polynesia, an entrance exam or any type of exam isn’t necessary. Your application will be evaluated, and your IDP approval depends on the completion of documents asked by the IDA.

Belvedere Lookout

Here’s another awesome spot if you want to get a stunning sight of Cook's Bay, Opunohu Bay, Mount Rotui, and the Opunohu Valley’s peaks and slopes, featuring the pineapple plantation. Seeing the great views requires you to hike up the hill, though you can reach the lookout with your vehicle as there’s a road leading the way to the top. Sunset is the best here with reds, pink, oranges, yellow, and purple hues painting the skies.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, head southwest.
  • Drive from Boulevard de la Reine Pōmare IV to Papeete.
  • Continue straight.
  • Take the ferry.
  • Turn left.
  • Turn right.
  • Drive to Route du Belvédère.

If you drive your rental vehicle to the lookout, ensure you have your passport and native driver’s license in hand, as well as your international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. Districts and major towns have police patrolling checkpoints, so make sure you carry these documents with you wherever you go. To process your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, download your form obtainable from our website.

Marche de Papeete

Situated in the beautiful, lively, and laid-back city of Papeete, this market is sought to be the oldest surviving institution on the island. You can pick up traditional handicrafts such as baskets, hats, sarongs, garments, and other woven goodies. When buying these crafts, make sure to look around for a better price as some stalls may sell them at a higher price than others. Tasty treats are also everywhere; tropical fruits and veggies are widely available here.

Driving Directions:

  • From Fa'a'ā International Airport, drive.
  • Continue to Papeete.
  • Continue on Rue du 22 Septembre 1914 to your destination.

The proximity of Papeete to the international airport makes driving to the market easy. Ensure you have your passport and native driver’s license in hand, as well as your international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. Address to your car supplier that you have all the needed documents as IDP is a requirement. For your queries regarding the international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, branches of the IDA aren't open for a visit but you can always message our live chat support.

Most Important Road Rules

As a foreign driver on French Polynesian roads, you must adhere to road rules as pay of respect to the country’s traffic laws and regulations on road safety. If you’ve driven in France and other French territories before, French Polynesia meets similar driving standards in those countries, so there’s no excuse for you to not follow important road rules, even the most basic ones like the drunk-driving rule.

Of course, again, as a foreign driver, you must adhere to the legalities that come with using a foreign land’s roadways, so an international driving permit in French Polynesia is essential. Aside from your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, requirements including your passport and native driver’s license are just as important. To know more about international driver’s license in French Polynesia, information on how and where to get it is found below.

Always carry your driving documents.

As mentioned, carry your passport, native driver’s license, and international driver’s permit for French Polynesia. Districts and towns here require you an IDP to get around lawfully. An IDP from the IDA offers express shipping to 150 countries, so even if you’re in a remote area in French Polynesia, you’d still get it. Upon checking out your order for an international driver’s permit in French Polynesia, the zip code of your location must be provided to avoid shipping delays.

With IDA’s international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, fees are reasonable for different validity durations. For pricing concerns on the international driver’s license for French Polynesia, there's a website page for our FAQs. To process your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, requirements must be submitted through our website. For queries on international drivers permit in French Polynesia, branches of the IDA aren’t open for visit, but you can always enquire for an international driver’s license in French Polynesia information online.

An IDP for EU and EEA nationals is essential.

Driver’s license holders from EU and EEA issuers aren’t required to drive with an international driver’s permit in French Polynesia. Address this with your car supplier, but most of them ask for your international driver’s license for French Polynesia. English and French are exempted from driving without IDP, but it’s still a necessity when it comes to renting a car. With an international driver’s license for French Polynesia, English and French drivers can get around worry-free.

For an international driver’s permit for French Polynesia, entrance exams or driver’s tests aren’t required, as long as you have a valid driver’s license, you can apply for an IDP. To know more about needed documents for your international driver’s license in French Polynesia, the contact number of IDA’s customer service are found on our contact page. For pricing queries on international driver’s license for French Polynesia, fee details are found on our pricing page.

Secure your IDP from an accredited source.

It’s important that you do good research on finding a reliable IDP provider. An IDP from the International Drivers Association (IDA) meets the criteria set by the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which makes our IDP recognizable in 150 countries worldwide. With IDA, your international driver’s license for French Polynesia fee is the most affordable price you could ever pay for an IDP that lasts one to five years.

The IDA’s worldwide express shipping makes satisfied foreign drivers get around foreign lands at ease. No matter where you are in the world, your IDP will still get to you. Upon checking out your order for your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, the zip code of your location must be provided. To track your international driver’s license for French Polynesia, contact the number of our customer service on our contact page.

Don’t drink and drive.

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offense in French Polynesia. Distracted driving causes accidents on the road, which sometimes results in horrible consequences. When you know you’re about to drive, don’t consume at all. But when you do, observe a blood alcohol level of 0.05 percent; failure to adhere will result in a fine and imprisonment.

Use a hands-free device.

Here’s another type of distracted driving that leads driver’s and passenger's lives into danger. If you must use your mobile phone, you must invest in a hands-free device. Answer phone calls in a way that you’re not deducting your focus on the road. When you’re speaking to somebody with hands-free equipment while driving, always keep the conversation short. Failure to follow this safety regulation can result in regrettable demise.

Always fasten your seat belt.

Drivers and all passengers in a moving car are required to fasten their seat belts. Neglecting the seat belt laws means putting yourself in danger. If you still want to come back home to your family safe and sound, don't underestimate the life-saving power of wearing your seatbelt. French Polynesian traffic officers keep an eye for stubborn drivers who refuse to save their life. Failure to adhere to this regulation could result in a fine or penalty.

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