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Obtain your international driving permit for Spain

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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

01

Fill in the forms

Have your driver’s license and delivery address handy

02

Verify your ID

Upload pictures of your driver's license

03

Get approved

Wait for confirmation and you’re ready to go!

Apply now
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Do you need an international drivers license for Spain?

You need to acquire an IDP, especially when you’re coming in from an English-speaking country. Although many tourists have visited the country and many Spanish citizens already know the language, it’s not a given that law officers know it.

To avoid any trouble, get yourself the international driver’s license, so there is no language barrier between you and the law officials at border checkpoints. Also, if you want to rent a car, the most rental agencies will ask you for it.

How to get an international driving license for Spain?

Getting the International Drivers Permit for Spain from this website online is easy. All you need is to fill up the application form and upload your photos.

The printed copy can be shipped to you in 24 hours in the USA and within 30 days internationally. If you want your digital copy, it can arrive in 2 hours or even 20 minutes!

Can I apply for an international drivers license online?

You can get your IDP online. Just visit the IDP application page to get one, and you can select the package that suits your needs. After you pick an IDP bundle of your preference, put your driver’s details and shipping information, pay for the fee, verify your identity, and wait for your confirmation email. Once you get the IDA approval, you can get the digital issuance (copy) of your IDP after a few hours.

If you are up for a business venture, securing an IDP is a good idea since having a personal car can save you through the hassles commonly experienced when riding a public vehicle.

Can I use my American driver's license in Spain?

If you're from the USA, driving with a U.S. driver’s license is permitted as long you have an IDP.

Do I need to take the written test for an International Drivers License?

You don't have to get yourself a Spanish driving license nor undergo a Spanish driving test or written test.

international driving permit for Spain

Most Important Driving Rules in Spain

Driving in Spain requires you to be more familiar and attentive to the traffic road signs and rules. As a tourist, there are a lot of things that are different from your home country that you may find odd and confusing.

Tourists who are caught driving without a driving license or an international driver’s permit can be penalized with a €100 up to €1000 fine. 

Here are some of the most important driving tips and rules:

  1. Using one hand in driving or waving the arm outside of the car can lead to a fine of €100. As indicated in the Article 18 of the General Traffic Law, any driver and passenger must maintain a sensible position inside the vehicle to avoid any movements that may cause difficulty or distraction.
  2. Driving without wearing appropriate attire (ex. not wearing a shirt or driving using the barefoot) may result in a fine of €200. As specified in the Law, driving without proper clothing or footwear could affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle, which also may result in accidents and injury.
  3. For tourists, driving without an international driving permit could lead to a warning or a fine.
  4. Be careful whenever you are parking your vehicle. Parking in areas under environmental protection could lead to a fine of up to €6,000.
  5. Being stationary at a red light and being caught red handed with any objects in your dominant hand could lead to a fine of €200 plus a demerit of two points off your license.
  6. Using loud music while driving is strictly prohibited and may result in a fine of €80–100. If you have happened to be near a residential lot, homeowners could sue you which could result in an additional of €2,400.
  7. Using the horn inappropriately or in the absence of emergency could lead to a fine of €80.What you need to know while driving is that inappropriate honking is seen as an infraction to the road rules.
  8. Driving in the left-hand lane or taking a significant portion of the middle lane even if the right-hand lane is free could lead to a fine of €200 as indicated in the articles 28 and 31 of the Spanish Driving Law.
  9. Be mindful of the speed limits. For most of the open roads, the speed limit is 90km/h (56 miles per hour).
  10. Any gestures which may be seen to cause distraction, such as not paying attention to the road or having an argument, will result in a fine of €80.
  11. Be mindful of motorists and other traffic participants.

Driving Without a License

To be able to drive, you should always bring your valid driver’s license. This document signifies that you have passed the written and practical examination. This also serves as a supporting legal document in any case where you might be needed to present any other qualifications. If you are a tourist, an IDP is needed alongside your national license. These two documents are needed to be able to drive and also for car rental.

Speed Limits

If you are coming from a foreign country, you should know that there are certain speed limits within specific areas. The most serious offenses would generally amount to a fine of €600 for speed exceeding 110km/hr.

Speed limits are 90kph on single carriage roads, 100kph on roads with more than one lane in each direction and dual carriageways, and 120kph on highway

Driving Under the Influence

If you are caught under the influence of drugs or are inebriated while driving, you could be imprisoned from six to twelve months and a succeeding loss of six points off your driving licence. Similarly, if your BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) exceeds 0.25mg/Liter, then you could have a deduction of 4 points of your license and a fine of €500. If the BAC is 0.5 mg/liter, then you are given €1,000 and a deduction of 6 points of your license.

Parking restrictions

Parking restrictions are usually indicated with an large ‘E’ with a diagonal line. Parking bans are also indicated by yellow, white and red road marking.

When you see these signs, it is best to avoid parking your vehicle even for just a few minutes. Some of the major centers and cities are very strict when it comes to this law. You should also know more about the road signs and the tolls for each of the main ways that you are about to take.


Top Destinations

Spain has been widely regarded to have gravely influenced the majority of the countries across the globe, not just in terms of its culture, but also through its enchanting beauty. With its pristine cultural heritage sites and stunning natural landmarks, it is no wonder why this country has been included as one of the most visited places in Europe and the world.

The alluring beaches, the ravishing mountain ranges, and the aesthetically pleasing architectural designs of its villages have all made a significant contribution to the rise of its tourism.

Besides being the home to some of the best tourist destinations in Europe, a land trip is also considerably less expensive and more enjoyable. That is why most tourists would opt to drive through the different regions by renting a car.

drive in Spain with international license

Tenerife Sea

Popular for its captivating landscapes and volcanic peaks, this scenic location offers a variety of activities for tourists to enjoy. It has been famous for its unique geological gems and has also been visited for its Santa Cruz de Tenerife Carnival. It is considered the second largest carnival in the world after Rio. Visitors and tourists from around the world cross its path to take a scenic view of its mountain ranges. One of the most remarkable of these is Mount Teide National Park, which is also recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites.

The best time to go to Tenerife is during the Spring and Fall season. March and October are also preferred since this is the time where the weather gets really hot and beach activities would be an ideal getaway plan. Additionally, traveling by car is the most recommended way to see the island because it would only take about 3-4 hours to be able to get there.

Barcelona

Barcelona is the second city, most visited for its Mediterranean location and unique ambiance. Its buildings' infrastructural designs emphasize the rich Gaudian Architecture and encourage the visitors to take a peek at its most defined features. It is also famous for Mount Tibidabo, which gives the tourist a chance to look at the captivating view of the seas.

It's recommended to visit this place by a land trip and to only visit during sunny days. It's best to avoid going there when harsh weather conditions are expected because of its uneven terrain.

Grenada

Granada is a haven for wandering travelers. With its rich historical background and fascinating landscapes, the place is something tourists would surely want to visit. It is also famous for its windy cobbled streets and vibrantly painted houses that display its diverse cultural influences.

The place is also packed with impressive murals vividly created by the famous Grenadian muralist, El Niño de las Pinturas. If you are planning to visit this place, it's recommended to go there during the hot summer season to make the best out of the trip.

If you want to appreciate the beauty of Granada, you should visit the place via car.

Seville

If you are looking for a different adventure and you would want to experience something new, then you should visit Seville. Famous for its bullfighting events and elegantly designed courtyards in Royal Alcázar Palace, this place offers a variety of fun-filled activities that can be explored by foreigners in their free time. Correspondingly, the capital also offers a fascinating exhibit of different art forms that have originated from complex social influences.

If you are planning to visit this place, then you should do it via a land trip so as to give you a picturesque view of its entirety. Cruising through the narrow alleys and the towering building will give you a euphoric feeling. Ultimately, it is also best advised to visit this place during the summer months, so that the captivating sunset of the Las Setas can be appreciated.

Madrid

The Capital of Madrid has been the center of various attraction over the years. With its seemingly majestic exterior, the location has been frequented by arriving tourists from around the world. On top of this, its internal design has also been teeming with beautifully crafted frescoes that inherently expresses Spain’s admiration of aesthetics.

One of the highlights of this place is Sabatini Gardens, which has witnessed hundreds of years of cultural heritage. If you are planning to visit this place via a car trip, then the best time to do it is during daytime or any time during summer where the place is in its most supreme condition.

Aragonese Pyrenees

The Pyrenees is located near the border of France and has been widely recognized for its verdant valleys and a surfeit of attractive villages. It is filled with old stone houses that are strategically surrounded by jagged mountain peaks. If you would like to trek some of the most uneven terrains and would like to take a moment to walk through the overlooking pathways, then you should visit this place.

It takes approximately 2-3 hours from Huesca to the Pyrenees. It is recommended to visit the place during the summer months to be able to appreciate the foothills and meadows.

Ibiza

Ibiza is mostly visited by foreigners and celebrities due to its spectacular partying ways. People from across the globe visit the place once a year to party and to experience its incredible beaches and thriving art scene. If you also intend to visit the Caribbean Island of the Mediterranean Sea, also commonly known as the Formentera, then you can visit the place which is only 9 kilometers away from Ibiza.

The sandy beaches that complement the beautiful crystalline waters along the shoreline of Las Salinas in Playa d’en Bossa is also one of the best highlights in Ibiza.

If you have finally decided to include this in your trip, then it is ideal to visit this place during the summer, where the sun reflects its heat to the clear waters of Ibiza.

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