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International Driver's License In Italy: 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


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Upload pictures of your driver's license


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Italy, with its historic architecture, quaint coffee shops, serene countryside, and stunning beaches, is a canvas of passion and romance. Journey through these enchanting destinations, feeling like a star in a Hollywood movie—made possible with an International Driving Permit (IDP).

International Driving Permit FAQs

Do I Need an International Driving Permit in Italy?

Yes, an International Driving Permit is legally required in Italy, especially for tourists planning to drive a rented or personal vehicle from rental agencies.

Can I Drive in Italy with a US Driver's License?

No, you cannot drive in Italy alone with a US driver's license. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is essential alongside your US license for renting a car and driving in Italy.

Is My Local Driver's License Valid in Italy?

Local driver's licenses are valid for up to six months if accompanied by a visa. EU-issued licenses are accepted in Italy without needing an IDP, but non-EU licenses require one for official translation purposes, especially if not in Italian or English.

What Are the Requirements for Foreign Drivers in Italy?

When driving in Italy, it's essential for foreign visitors to have both an International Driving Permit (IDP) and their original driver's license. This is especially important for US drivers to prevent any potential misunderstandings.

Does an International Driving Permit Replace My Native License?

An IDP serves as a multilingual translation of your native license but does not replace it. It's a vital tool for communication with local authorities.

How Can I Obtain an International Driving Permit?

Apply for an IDP through the International Driver's Association website. Kindly provide the following:

  • Passport-sized photos
  • A valid driver's license
  • A credit card for payment

A digital copy is usually available within 2 hours.

Can I Drive My Car in Italy?

Yes, you can drive your car in Italy, provided you have the necessary safety equipment, like a warning triangle and reflective vest. UK-registered cars need a GB sticker. For stays over six months, you must register your car in Italy and pass a roadworthiness test. Additionally, car ownership documents, another form of identification, and an Italian residency permit are required for vehicle registration.

Key Driving Regulations in Italy

Before embarking on your Italian journey, it's crucial to understand Italy's driving regulations to ensure a hassle-free and lawful trip. Avoid the inconvenience of traffic violations by familiarizing yourself with the following essential driving laws in Italy.

Mandatory Documentation

Always carry your valid driver's license, passport, and an International Driver's Permit (IDP) while driving in Italy. An IDP, necessary for driving in Italy, complements but does not replace your native driver's license.

Note that an IDP is valid for only six months; if you plan to stay longer, you'll need an Italian driver's permit. In case of loss, you can request a replacement IDP by providing the necessary details to the issuing authority. Learner's permit holders cannot obtain an IDP.

Traffic Rules

The following are the essential traffic rules in Italy:

  • Drive on the Right Side: In Italy, like most countries, driving is on the right side of the road. This may be familiar to drivers from the United States, but it can take a bit of adjustment for others.
    • Legal Driving Age: The minimum age for driving cars is 18, while those 14 years and older can operate scooters and mini-cars. A learner's license is available for young drivers at their local Provincial Office of Motor Vehicles.
  • Speed Limits: Speed limits are strictly enforced in Italy, with fines ranging from €40 to €4,000 based on the extent of the speed limit violation. Fines are 30% higher for offenses committed between 10 PM and 7 AM. Speed cameras are prevalent on highways and minor roads.
  • Alcohol Limit: The blood alcohol limit in Italy is 0.5 mg, stricter than many other European countries. The limit is zero for professional drivers and those with less than three years of driving experience. Penalties for drunk driving are severe and can include fines, vehicle confiscation, or imprisonment.
  • Daytime Headlights: Headlights are mandatory during the day for better visibility, which can reduce daytime accidents by 11%. Newer cars usually have automatic Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), but headlights must be turned on manually in other vehicles.

Driving Preparation

Be road-ready and safe by ensuring your vehicle is equipped with the essentials. A warning triangle and a reflective vest are a must. Additionally, during winter, don't forget to carry snow chains, as indicated by road signs, to navigate the chilly conditions with ease.

License Conversion

Navigating the rules for license conversion in Italy? If you're an EU resident, the process is relatively straightforward – you can exchange your driver's license for an Italian one without undergoing additional tests.

However, if you hold a non-EU license, be prepared to tackle both theory and practical exams. Fortunately, driving schools are available to provide practice and preparation to help you ace these tests.

Italy's Must-See Destinations

Italy, known for its iconic architecture and stunning coastal views, is a treasure trove of attractions. Here are some top sites to include in your travel plans:

Colosseum in Rome

Begin your Italian adventure at the Colosseum, an ancient Roman architectural marvel symbolizing the empire's grandeur. Opt for a guided tour to explore its rich history and access restricted areas. Early mornings and late afternoons are the best times to visit.


Marvel at the Pantheon's architectural precision and historical significance. Housing the tombs of notable Italians, including Raphael, this ancient Roman temple is best visited on weekdays between 9 and 11 AM for a quieter experience.

Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence

In Florence, the birthplace of Leonardo da Vinci, the Duomo stands out with its impressive Brunelleschi dome. Explore its art-filled interior and climb 463 steps for a breathtaking Tuscan view. Mornings and late afternoons are ideal visiting times.

Art lovers will find a haven in the Uffizi Gallery, showcasing Renaissance masterpieces collected by the Medici family. Early mornings are recommended to avoid long queues.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

The Leaning Tower of Pisa offers a unique architectural sight and a panoramic city view from its top. Visit in the morning or late afternoon to beat the crowds.

Cinque Terre

Experience the serene beauty of Cinque Terre's coastal villages. Each town offers unique activities, from beach relaxation to picturesque walks. September and October are the best months to visit.

Amalfi Coast

Drive along the stunning Amalfi Coast for breathtaking views and charming towns. This UNESCO World Heritage site is best experienced between April and October.


For a tropical retreat, head to Capri to explore the Blue Grotto and enjoy vibrant nightlife. The island is most enjoyable from early April to mid-June.


Discover the ancient city of Pompeii, preserved under volcanic ash from Mount Vesuvius. Spring or fall is the ideal time for this historical exploration.

Venice Canals

A gondola ride through Venice's canals is a quintessentially romantic experience. Mid-spring offers the perfect weather for enjoying this picturesque city.

Get an IDP to Explore Italy

Don't limit yourself to experiencing Italy's beauty through movies and TV shows! With an International Driving Permit, you can drive across Italy and personally explore its stunning architecture, landscapes, coastlines, and culinary delights.

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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