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International Driver's License In Guatemala: Travel And Rent A Car

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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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Do I need an international drivers license in Guatemala?

Please be informed that there is no such thing as an international driver’s license. However, the document that is highly recommended for tourists that plan on driving in a foreign country is called an International Driving Permit (IDP). It is used to translate all the information on your valid driver’s license to local road authorities during checkpoints, when you accidentally violate the speed limit, or if they doubt your eligibility as a foreign tourist while driving in another country.

Can i drive in Guatemala with US license

Yes, you can drive in Guatemala with a U.S. driver’s license. You only need an IDP along with your valid license. However, if you didn’t bring your U.S. driver’s license with you, your IDP will be considered invalid.

Do note that this is only accepted for those who intend to drive in the country for three months or less. If you go beyond that, you will be required to get a Guatemala driver’s license instead.

Does an International Driver’s Permit cover all countries?

Not all countries is covered by an IDP. However, our IDP is recognized in 165+ countries worldwide, including the following:

  • Antigua
  • Canada
  • Honduras
  • Ukraine
  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Belize
  • Brazil
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Costa Rica
  • Cote D’Ivoire
  • Croatia
  • El Salvador
  • Indonesia
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kuwait
  • Liechtenstein
  • Macao
  • Malaysia
  • Moldova
  • Myanmar
  • Netherlands
  • Panama
  • Philippines
  • Romania
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom

Top Road Trip Destinations in Guatemala

Guatemala has a centuries-old culture that reverberates even up to this day. Mountainscapes and tropical forests await active souls to hike and trek its uneven walkways. Turquoise beaches of the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea shape disparate waves that give travelers joy who long for a calming dip as the sea breeze brushes their cheeks. Whatever your trip is, this country has something great in store for you.

Mayan Ruins of Tikal

The Mayan Ruins are one of the archaeological sites found in Central America. It was occupied from 600 AD to 900 AD and exhibits more than 3,000 structures. The area has temples, pyramids, and old plazas. Tikal National Park can be explored, where you will see arachnids and monkeys. But if you don’t, you will hear their noise echoing in the lush forest.

Lake Atitlán (Lago de Atitlán)

Lake Atitlán is known for its immense beauty. Travelers around the world visit this lake and come back to explore it more. It sits in a volcanic crater 1,538 meters above sea level and is surrounded by hills and volcanoes nearby. Some foreign drivers visit the lake for relaxation, unwinding, and a few yoga sessions while looking at the scenic views.

In the Mayan language, Atitlán means “the place where the rainbow gets its colors. You can enjoy different activities in the area like go handicraft shopping in the BoulevardChichi market, hike the Indian Nose, kayaking, and you can also take a dip in its calm waters.

Livingston, Caribbean Coast

Livingston can only be accessed by lancha from Rio Dulce or Puerto Barrios, only if you’re coming from Guatemala City. The place is a little corner in Guatemala and was first populated by the escaped slaves, mostly from Garufina. Their white beaches captivate travelers where you can go fishing and snorkeling in its pristine waters.

This hidden gem on the Caribbean coast has crystal-like waters that sparkle whenever the sun hits it. The best to visit Livingston is from January 1st to 28th, perfect for foreign drivers who love to get tanned skin. The place is also excellent for history lovers and travelers who need to unwind and relax.

Antigua Guatemala

Antigua Guatemala, also known as Antigua, is the former capital of Guatemala and is one of Central America’s most beautiful cities. If you’re planning to rest for a bit, then this is the perfect place for you. The town offers accommodations at justifiable rates, where they also have excellent food and spots to visit. If you stroll along, you can find old convents and museums open for tourists and travelers.

Most Important Rules of Driving in Guatemala

When navigating the streets of Guatemala, it's essential to be aware of both pedestrians and other drivers. Familiarity with Guatemala driving rules is a must for a hassle-free experience on the road. These rules are not only important for your safety, but also for those around you.

Some of these regulations may be similar to the ones in your home country, but always ensure to understand and follow Guatemala driving rules closely. Not only will this respect the local customs and standards, but it will also guarantee a smoother, more comfortable driving journey. By strictly adhering to these rules, you'll be better equipped to handle unexpected situations, and contribute to the overall safety and orderliness of Guatemala's streets.

Drunk driving Is Prohibited in Guatemala

Drunk driving in any country is prohibited by all means, and Guatemala is no exception. The government has set the maximum blood alcohol level, which is 0.08% or 80 mg per 100mL of blood. Drunk driving has been one reason why casualties on the roads are increasing, and Guatemala is not considerate when it comes to this inexcusable behavior. You will be arrested and jailed because of drunk driving. And on top of that is a huge fine will be paid once you’re caught.

Follow the Parking Rule in Guatemala

Parking along the roadside is standard in Guatemala, but chances are your vehicle is not secured from any unwanted danger if you just park it there. Foreign drivers who rent cars choose metered parking or attended parking garages. It’s common in Guatemala to let a local kid look after your car while you’re gone and pay him for the service he has done.

Regulate Your Speed Limit

Most local drivers and motorists casually observe speed limits in Guatemala, but it is not an excuse for you to imitate what they’re doing. The urban speed limit is 50 kph. The rural speed limit is 80 kph, while the highway speed limit is 110 kph.

Even though the Guatemalan government hasn’t installed any speed cameras at the side of the roads, you have to follow the designated speed limits as the police can issue you a ticket if you’re caught. You can overtake the vehicle in front of you as long as you’re mindful of the oncoming cars on the other side of the road. Always take the right side of the road at all times and watch out for road signages as you approach the secondary or rural roads of the area.

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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