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International Driver's License In Ireland: Hassle-Free Car Renting

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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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Exploring Ireland on foot or by bike is recommended, especially considering the efficient public transport system. However, driving could be the more suitable option if you're eager to discover the country's pristine green hills, coasts, and hidden treasures.

International Driving Permit FAQs

Is a USA Driver's License Valid in Ireland?

A USA driver's license is valid in Ireland for up to 12 months for American or Canadian tourists. If you plan to stay in Ireland for over 12 months, you must convert your U.S. or Canadian driver's license into a full Irish driving license.

For more information, refer to the Automobile Association (AAA) website. Despite this, obtaining an IDP is recommended for ease of travel across Ireland's landscapes.

How do I obtain an International Driving Permit for Ireland?

Securing an International Driving Permit (IDP) for Ireland is a process that can be completed online.

  • Visit our website, click "Start my application," and complete the online application form.
  • You must upload two photos for your Irish driving permit and pay the application fee using a credit/debit card or PayPal.
  • Applications are typically processed within two hours.

No written or driving test is required to obtain this permit. The IDP is available to European Union/European Economic Area citizens and non-EU/EEA license holders. The permit is valid for 1 to 3 years from the issue date, and you can reapply once it expires.

An international driver's license is essential for those planning to travel to Ireland. It serves as an additional document alongside your native driving license.

How do I convert my National Driver's License in Ireland?

If you plan a long-term stay in Ireland, converting your national driver's license to a full Irish driving license is necessary. Applicants must be at least 17 years old.

Attending driving school and passing a driving exam are mandatory steps in this process. You can acquire a learner's permit before obtaining a full Irish driving license, even before passing the driving test.

Driving Regulations in Ireland

Driving in Ireland offers an incredible experience of scenic ocean views, tranquil roads, and lush landscapes. To make the most of your Irish adventure, it's important to familiarize yourself with Ireland's driving rules.

Essential Driving Rules:

Navigating Ireland's roads comes with essential rules to ensure safety and compliance.

  • Traffic moves on the left-hand side of the road in Ireland.
  • The legal driving age is 17.
  • Seatbelts are mandatory for all vehicle occupants.
  • Alcohol limits are strictly enforced; driving under the influence results in excessive fines.
  • Using devices that detect safety cameras is prohibited and punishable by fines.
  • Speed limits are set at 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on local roads, 100 km/h on national roads, and 120 km/h on motorways.
  • Possessing third-party insurance is a legal requirement.

Road Orientation

In Ireland, drivers must stay on the left side of the road, and the driver's seat is on the right-hand side. This can be a point of confusion for tourists from countries like the US. Cyclists should also stick to the left, and pedestrians are advised to walk on the right side of the road.

Seatbelt Usage

Seatbelts are compulsory for all passengers. Children under 4'11" (150 cm) weighing less than 36 pounds must be in a booster seat.

Interpreting Traffic Signs

Sign colors indicate the type of road: blue for motorways, green for national roads, and white for local roads. In the Republic of Ireland, signs are in Irish and English, displaying distances in kilometers, while in Northern Ireland, signs are in English with distances in miles.

Right of Way

At unmarked crossings or roundabouts, vehicles from the right have the right of way. Yellow signs with black patterns in the Republic indicate the right of way at crossings.

Drivers must be at least 17 years old and have passed a driving theory test. Car rental companies typically require drivers to be at least 21, with additional charges for drivers under 25 or over 70. Some areas in Ireland allow drivers up to 75 years old.

Overtaking Rules

Per the Road Traffic General Bye-laws of 1964, overtaking should be done on the right side and only when it is clear and safe.

Winter Driving in Ireland

Winter driving can be challenging. Equip your vehicle with winter tires and use snow chains in snow-covered areas. Always keep your headlights on and check your vehicle's coolant to prevent freezing.

Ireland's Must-Visit Destinations

Ireland is well-known for its cultural richness and natural wonders and is also referred to by many affectionate nicknames. It's a perfect destination for scenic road trips, literature lovers, and those who enjoy vibrant celebrations.


Dublin, Ireland's capital, is an enchanting city that magnetizes tourists with its charming atmosphere and famously friendly locals. With over a thousand pubs, vibrant streets, and the distinction of being one of UNESCO's Cities of Literature, Dublin is a treasure trove of exploration.

Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way, a spectacular road trip along Ireland's west coast, is a journey through awe-inspiring landscapes. The route features high cliffs, lively towns, and picturesque bays and beaches. Galway, nestled in the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way, stands out as a city buzzing with artistic creativity and diverse festivals.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher, standing 214 meters high and stretching 8 km along the west coast, offer a breathtaking coastal view. Featured in popular films like 'Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,' these cliffs, over 320 million years old, are a must-see natural wonder.

The Causeway Coast

The Causeway Coast, a top road trip destination, is steeped in myths, history, and breathtaking landscapes. The area, famous for being a 'Game of Thrones' filming location and a UNESCO Heritage center, offers exceptional sightseeing opportunities.

Get an IDP to Explore Ireland

Set off on a memorable adventure across the Emerald Isle, exploring its castles and relishing its natural splendor by car. Secure an International Driving Permit to turn this dream trip into a reality!

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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