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Driving in South Africa

Secure Your International Driver's Permit First

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Valid from 1 to 3 years
Drive Legally Overseas
Translated in 12 Languages
Recognized in over 150 countries
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Get your printed IDP + digital copy for $49
Digital IDP is sent in max. 2 hours
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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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Explore South Africa with a Rental Car

Bright Sunny Day at the Beach Boardwalk
Source: Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash

South Africa is a traveler's dream with its stunning landscapes and varied wildlife. The country's open roads guide you through beautiful vineyards, striking mountains, and sun-kissed beaches. Renting a car allows you to explore vibrant cities, peaceful coastlines, and rustic countryside.

With your vehicle, exploring South Africa's fascinating culture, bustling food scene, and up-close wildlife encounters is easy. But for a legal, stress-free journey, getting an IDP is crucial. This globally recognized permit complements your home driving license, legally enabling you to drive across South Africa.

Getting an IDP in South Africa

Imagine yourself driving overseas without the stress of language or legal issues. It is possible in South Africa thanks to the International Driver's Permit. Obtaining this permit is accessible and tailored to meet your needs.

  • Instant approval: No more weeks of waiting. You'll know immediately if you're approved, making your travel planning much more straightforward.
  • Fast and easy process: Fill out an application online without the hassle of dealing with paperwork and long queues at the office.
  • Valid from 1 to 3 years: You can choose the validity of your IDP depending on your travel period, ranging from one up to three years.
  • Drive legally overseas: With an IDP, you can drive in foreign countries with a local driving license.
  • Translated in 12 languages: This multilingual translation of your original driver's license simplifies communication with foreign authorities.
  • Recognized in over 150 countries: South Africa's IDP is widely accepted, meaning more places to drive freely.
  • Worldwide express shipping: Your IDP can be shipped instantly, regardless of where you are.

Getting an IDP in South Africa is a streamlined process designed conveniently and quickly. It's meant to give you the freedom to explore the world on your terms, confidently and legally.


Do you need an International Driving License in South Africa?

An International Driver's License in South Africa is an essential document you need to have before you can drive freely and explore the spectacular country of South Africa.

Your International Driver's License in South Africa translates your license to any other language to help traffic officers or authorities understand your documents.

How Do I Get an International Driver's License in South Africa?

There are 11 official languages in South Africa, including Afrikaans and English. Regardless of whether your driver's license is in English or in a different language that the locals of this foreign country do not recognize, you will need to get an IDP for the country. It serves as a legal document translating your National Driver's License.

To get it, you only need to do the following:

  • A completed IDP application form with the foreign driver's accurate details.
  • Your valid home country or foreign driving license with an expiry date of at least six months.
  • Passport-size photo.
  • Credit card for payment details.

How Much Does an International Driver's License Cost in South Africa?

Navigating South Africa alone does not require a local driver's license; an IDP will suffice if your stay is within three months.

On average, this permit costs approximately $100, but ours is affordable at $69. Just ensure your US driver's license is valid, and follow the detailed steps above.

Most Important Rules of Driving in South Africa

If you plan on cruising along South Africa's beautiful roads, it's essential to follow South Africa driving rules strictly. These regulations mostly mirror those from various countries, easing your understanding. Here are the key South Africa driving rules that will ensure a smooth journey to the country's top locations.

Carry your driver's license and International Driver's Permit

Ready for a road trip to South Africa? Remember to bring essential documents like your passport, national driver's license, and IDP. You might be wondering, "Do I need an IDP in South Africa?" Yes, you do!

It could spell trouble if you're caught driving without an IDP in South Africa. South Africa requires you to have this license for driving on its roads.

Beyond this legal requirement, car rental companies often insist on an IDP before they allow you to rent a vehicle. So, get your international driver's license for a smooth and hassle-free South African road adventure.

Drunk driving is against the law

In South Africa, as in many places worldwide, driving while intoxicated is a serious offense. Authorities there may require you to undergo a breathalyzer or blood test to check for intoxication. Should you be found guilty, the consequences are severe.

Drunk drivers can face fines up to ZAR 120,000 (around 8,000 USD) and a possible six-year prison sentence.

Avoid driving at night

Driving at night in South Africa is generally discouraged due to limited street lighting and the risk of accidents. Keeping your car doors and windows closed can lower your chances of falling victim to the prevalent carjackings and robberies, particularly in remote areas and at nighttime.

Unexpected encounters with nighttime animals on the roads can also increase the risk of accidents. Therefore, try to avoid non-essential driving after dark whenever possible.

Follow the speed limit

In South Africa, speed limits can vary based on your location and the type of road. In cities, the limit is usually 60 kilometers per hour (about 37 miles per hour), while on secondary roads, it's around 100kph (or 62 mph).

You'll typically find a limit of 120 kph (75 mph) on highways. Staying aware of these limits can prevent you from unintentionally breaking the law.

Caught speeding? Expect to be penalized with a violation charge and a corresponding fine. The cost of fines can depend on the area where you're caught, and you'll have the option to pay in full and dispute the violation later if necessary.

Top Destinations in South Africa

Every adventure in South Africa is complete with hitting the road and exploring some of this country's incredibly breathtaking destinations. Here are a few must-visit places when you're in the country:

Cape Town

Without a doubt, Cape Town is a top spot in South Africa. The city offers a unique mix of natural scenery and vibrant city life. Take advantage of Table Mountain for a breathtaking view of the city and coast. Take a scenic drive along Chapman's Peak Drive to enjoy amazing sea and mountain views.

Also, visit the Cape Winelands for an unmatched wine-tasting experience and historical Robben Island, Nelson Mandela's former prison. Remember, wherever your travel takes you, keep your International Driver's Permit handy and follow the local driving rules for a hassle-free trip.

The Garden Route

If you enjoy the great outdoors or stunning views, don't miss The Garden Route in South Africa. This beautiful coastal stretch offers sandy beaches, dense forests, calm lagoons, and culturally vibrant towns.

For adventurers, there's bungee jumping, zip-lining, and wildlife safaris. If you prefer tranquility, enjoy beach walks or forest hikes. With its unique plants and animals, The Garden Route provides a captivating driving experience.

Kruger National Park

Planning a road trip? Consider Kruger National Park, one of Africa's largest game reserves. You'll see wildlife from your car, like lions, elephants, rhinos, and various birds.

Just remember, this isn't a zoo, so respect the animals. For a more exciting experience, think about staying overnight at a lodge within the park.


Exploring the lively city of Johannesburg with your International Driver's License is truly a rewarding experience. This city, fondly known as the City of Gold, is South Africa's largest urban hub, boasting a rich culture and history.

You'll discover everything from the Apartheid Museum that reflects South Africa's historic journey to the lively Maboneng neighborhood adorned with street art and brimming with artisanal eateries and coffee houses.

And remember, navigating the city's dynamic roads requires solid driving skills so your experience remains safe and enjoyable.

Blyde River Canyon

Planning to explore South Africa with your international driver's license? Be sure to include Blyde River Canyon on your list. It's one of the largest canyons with awe-striking cliff edges, lush greenery, and flowing rivers.

Stop at famous viewpoints like God's Window and the Three Rondavels when driving the Panorama Route. Here, you'll witness the raw, natural beauty of South Africa, guaranteed to make your trip unforgettable.

Get an IDP Today to Roam South Africa Without Worry

You're all set to get your International Driver's Permit in South Africa. With this permit, the stunning landscapes and cultural richness of South Africa are all yours to discover. Enjoy your drive, knowing you're complying with all international driving regulations.

Your South African adventure is just an application away. See our International Driving License Packages now and start your journey with confidence.

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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