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Drive Legally in Mauritania: International Driver's Permit Guide

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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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Which countries require an international driver's permit?

The requirements for an International Driving Permit (IDP) vary by country. Some countries do not require an IDP, while others require it for all foreign drivers. Here are some examples of countries that require an IDP:








Bosnia and Herzegovina







Burkina Faso





Cape Verde



Costa Rica




El Salvador
















South Korea

South Africa












United Arab Emirates




It's important to note that even if a country does not officially require an IDP, it may be recommended as a helpful document to have, especially if you plan to rent a car or drive frequently during your visit. It is always best to check with the local embassy or consulate of the country you plan to visit to verify whether an IDP is required or recommended.

Top Destinations in Mauritania

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania is located on the Atlantic coast of Africa, with Nouachkott as its capital. Also known as “The Land of Winds and Ghosts,” Mauritania is full of sweeping desert dunes and sparkling coastal waters. With several UNESCO World Heritage sites, it’s considered one of the cradles of humanity. Truly a place to visit for anyone seeking an adventure unlike any other.


A former trading post in 777AD, Chinguetti is an ancient city of major importance. Though the desert has reclaimed the city in its sands, the important structures remain until today as a testimonial to the stone city’s amazing architecture. The walls of Chinguetti that still clearly define the ancient streets today were all painstakingly built by hand, one stone at a time.

Driving to Chinguetti is relatively easy with your International Driver’s Permit for Mauritania. The website for UNESCO has declared Chinguetti as a world heritage site. Mauritania is trying to preserve Chinguetti. However, the landowners are afraid that conservation efforts result in the loss or destruction of the artifacts. So efforts are being put in place to increase awareness and tourism. Hoping that this will generate enough revenue to fuel local conservation efforts.

Richat Structure or The Eye of Africa

A naturally formed world wonder, the Richat Structure also known as the “Eye of the Sahara'' or “Eye of Africa,” is a crater almost 50 km wide. It is formed by the rising of lava through the earth’s crust but failing to break through the surface. The structure then collapsed in on itself, forming the Eye as it is known today. To this day, geologists come to the Eye to study its composition, while tourists take all sorts of tours to see the Eye.

Some people prefer to take a camel tour to the Eye and slowly go around the Richat. There are also balloon tours available, so you can appreciate the Eye from the air and see just how massive it truly is. But the most popular way to visit the Eye is by taking a 4x4 and driving to and around the Eye.

Banc d'Arguin National Park

The Banc d’Arguin (Bay of Arguin) is undoubtedly one of the world’s unique places. A unique meeting of desert and ocean, the bay naturally formed a special region of biodiversity and beauty. You will find over 300 species of migrating birds that stop at the Banc to feed and rest on its sands. Beneath its waters, you will find sea turtles and dolphins playing in the naturally cool waters of the Atlantic.

Nature and humanity have found such a unique balance in Banc d’Arguin, living in harmonious mutualism. The fishermen of the Imraguen tribe, who are the only people allowed by the Mauritanian government to live on the Banc, work in coordination with dolphins to drive fish into the fishermen’s nets. This ensures a good haul by the fishermen, and the dolphins don’t need to expel so much energy hunting the fish.

Most Important Driving Rules in Mauritania

In Mauritania, driving rules include stopping at police checkpoints, which are common. If the police ask you to stop, show them both your local and international driver's licenses for Mauritania. Be polite and calm with the police, and they'll be the same with you. Always follow what the police say, especially if they warn you about a road. Mauritania has its own driving challenges.

If you have an accident and you're using your international driver’s license for Mauritania, it's easy to call for help. All emergency numbers start with 222. Add 17, 18, or 19 at the end, depending on who you need to call.

Alcohol will get you in Trouble

Mauritania is considered a “dry country”, meaning alcohol is forbidden. However, there are still people and establishments that carry alcohol for the consumption of tourists and locals. If you do consume alcohol, make sure to never drive, even if you only had a little.

The penalties in Mauritania for drunk driving are severe. For first-time offenders, it’s a hefty fine if you were cordial while being given a violation ticket. If you are belligerent, a night in jail will accompany that citation. A second offense could cause the revocation of your local license and/or your international driver’s permit for Mauritania. Address the police respectfully, and they may let you off with another citation rather than spend the night in jail.

Seatbelts for Everyone at All Times

Seatbelts are required as you drive around with your international driver’s permit for Mauritania. This requirement applies to all passengers of a vehicle, not just the front seats. There are only a few rules while driving in this country, and the police enforce the seatbelt law at all times. In a country where people tend to disregard traffic lights and signs, this isn’t a bad idea.

In case of an emergency. make sure you present to responders your international driver’s permit for Mauritania. The contact numbers for emergency services are 22217 for police, and 22218 for the fire department, and 22219 for traffic-related issues. For light altercations, present your international driver’s permit to the office of the Gendarmerie Nationale (National Police) and make a statement.

Hands-free Only

Being distracted by a phone call is always bad while driving. But being distracted while driving in a fast-paced driving culture like Mauritania is disastrous. The government recognizes this and has implemented laws against the use of mobile phones while driving. If you really need to make that call, always use a hands-free device to keep your hands on the wheel.

Always stay alert while driving with your international driver’s license for Mauritania. The price for being distracted as you traverse the roads of a foreign country could be a steep one. Make sure to either use the speakerphone option or hands free-device, but don’t let the call distract you. If you have to, pull over and finish your conversation before driving again.

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.

Question 1 of 3

Where was your license issued?

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