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Driving in New Zealand

Secure Your International Driver's Permit First

Apply for IDP
Get your printed IDP + digital copy for $49
Digital IDP is sent in max. 2 hours
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Instant Approval
Fast & Easy Process
Valid from 1 to 3 years
Drive Legally Overseas
Translated in 12 Languages
Recognized in over 150 countries
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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!

Apply now
how to get international driving permit
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Exploring New Zealand for New Memories

As you traverse this island nation, you'll encounter majestic mountains, pristine lakes, and charming towns, creating a new thread of memories that define the essence of travel in this South Pacific gem.

Learn more about driving on the roads of New Zealand, unraveling the beauty of both the journey and the destination.

International Driving Permit FAQs

What is an International Driver’s License?

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a document that translates your home country's driver's license into multiple languages, aiding communication and understanding in foreign nations. Given that English and Te Reo Māori are predominant in New Zealand, an IDP in print and digital formats is recommended for navigating the country's roads.

Do You Need An International Driving Permit for New Zealand?

While an IDP primarily serves as a multilingual translation of your home driver's license, its necessity varies. Australian drivers may not need an IDP but might find it helpful when renting vehicles.

An IDP is strongly recommended for visitors from non-English-speaking countries to facilitate clear communication with local authorities.

How Do I Obtain an IDP for New Zealand Online?

To obtain an IDP, complete the application on the International Drivers Association website:

1. Fill out the application form with accurate personal details, including name, birthdate, address, and zip code.

2. Choose the desired duration for your IDP (1, 2, or 3 years).

3. Attach a copy of your home country's driver's license.

4. Decide if you need printed and digital copies or just the digital version.

5. For expedited digital delivery (within 20 minutes), add $30 to your total cost.

6. Expect the printed copy to be shipped within 24 hours for U.S. addresses or up to 30
days for international destinations.

Do U.S. Citizens Need an IDP in New Zealand?

U.S. citizens can drive in New Zealand without an IDP, but having one may be beneficial, especially when encountering officials not fluent in English.

If planning to stay and drive for more than three months, acquiring a New Zealand driver's license becomes necessary, as U.S. licenses may no longer be valid for extended stays.

Most Important Rules of Driving in New Zealand

Understanding and following New Zealand's driving regulations is crucial for a safe and enjoyable journey across its North and South Islands.

For a more comprehensive read, check out our New Zealand Driving Guide.

Drive on the Left Side of the Road

In New Zealand, vehicles operate on the left-hand side of the road, and drivers are seated on the right. This can be initially challenging for those accustomed to right-hand driving but becomes more manageable with practice.

Adhere to Speed Limits

Speeding is a significant safety hazard, particularly on New Zealand's diverse terrain. Urban areas typically have a 50 KpH limit, while open roads allow up to 100 KpH. It's vital to obey these limits, clearly marked with red-bordered signs, to prevent accidents and avoid fines or license suspension.

Zero Tolerance for Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is severely penalized in New Zealand. The legal alcohol limit is 50 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood for drivers over 20 years old, while younger drivers must maintain a zero alcohol level. Police conduct breathalyzer tests at checkpoints, and violations result in license suspension, fines, and criminal records.

Mandatory Seatbelt Use

Using seat belts is crucial for your safety on New Zealand's roads. Seat belts provide vital support during crashes or sudden stops. When driving in New Zealand, always wear your seatbelt, whether you're in the front or rear seats of a modern vehicle. If you have children under seven, make sure they are in an approved car seat. For kids aged seven to fourteen, they should be in the back seat wearing seat belts.

It's a legal requirement to wear seat belts in New Zealand, and there's a fine of $150 per person for non-compliance. If passengers under 15 are caught without a seatbelt, the driver pays the penalty. For passengers 15 and older, they are responsible for paying their fines.

By following these guidelines, you not only ensure your safety but also comply with New Zealand's road rules, contributing to overall road safety.

New Zealand's Top Destinations

New Zealand, a top destination in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is an island nation known for its breathtaking landscapes that photos can hardly capture. Here, driving feels like embarking on a journey through a fantastical storybook.

Aoraki Mount Cook National Park

Dominating the landscape with the highest mountains and longest glaciers, Aoraki Mount Cook National Park is a paradise for climbers and skiers. The park offers serene mountain walks and glacier views for the less daring.

Fox Glacier and Franz Josef Glacier

These glaciers are unique for their accessibility, flowing near sea level in a temperate climate. Explore the glaciers' footpaths or venture onto the ice with expert guides. Named after significant figures in New Zealand’s history, these glaciers are best visited in the cooler months from December to February.


This coastal gem, nestled between the Seaward Kaikoura Range and the Pacific Ocean, is renowned for its marine life and delectable crayfish. A short drive from Christchurch, Kaikoura offers whale watching, coastal strolls, and a chance to connect with the Maori culture in one of their early settlements.

Lake Tekapo

Part of the UNESCO Dark Sky Reserve, Lake Tekapo is an astronomer’s dream. The lake's turquoise waters under the southern lights create an ethereal atmosphere, enhanced by the iconic Church of Good Shepherd on its shores. Visit in spring for the best stargazing opportunities and to see the lupins blooming.

Waitomo Caves

This subterranean wonderland of caves, sinkholes, and rivers offers thrilling Black Water Rafting and more serene walking or boat tours. Home to mesmerizing glowworms, the caves are best experienced in summer for a warmer, more comfortable adventure.

Get an IDP to Explore New Zealand

Experience the stunning beauty of New Zealand's landscapes, from the towering Aoraki Mount Cook to the peaceful shores of Lake Tekapo. So, gear up, see our International Driving License pricing, and unlock the untamed beauty of New Zealand!

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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