Spike in Demand for International Driving Permit; Students, Overseas Visitors Jump on TrendHot Buzz

July 10, 2019 12:29
Spike in Demand for International Driving Permit; Students, Overseas Visitors Jump on Trend

India, in recent years, has witnessed a high rise in demand for International Driving Permits (IDPs), which allows the permit holder to drive a private vehicle in any country or jurisdiction which recognizes IDP.  

The high demand for IDPs is the result of technicalities involved in getting an international driving license for an Indian national who dream Driving a private vehicle in a foreign country. An overwhelming number of Indians going abroad depend on taxis and other services to move around owing to a dearth of driving permit.

According to the Motor Vehicles Department (MVD), demand for IDP has witnessed a spike, especially in the last five years.

While earlier, celebrities and businessmen were its main takers, students and overseas travelers have now started queuing up before the Regional Transport Officer concerned, the issuing authority for IDP.

Around 3,000 driving license holders had applied for the International Driving Permit in the last four years, MVD data show.

“Yes, the IDP is now a big hit among license holders embarking on visits abroad. After celebrities and businessmen earlier, IDP’s takers now include students and tourists as well. On average, we get nearly 100 applications each month for the IDP and the demand seems to be going up all the time,” Jojy P Jose, Kerala’s Ernakulam RTO was quoted saying by the New India Express.

“Under the Ernakulam RTO itself, 685 license holders applied for IDP in 2016. It was 670 in  2017 and 795 in 2018. This year (up to June 30) the department has already issued 552 IDPs,” he said.

The demand for IDP soared after the Centre inked a pact with the Gulf countries. “Earlier the IDP was not recognized in West Asia. But the IDPs got legal validity in the Gulf region following the agreement signed between India and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. Since there are several thousand Malayalees visiting the GCC countries, demand for IDPs increased. Moreover, some countries are giving extra preference to the IDP holders while issuing their respective license. This too contributed to the soaring demand,” B J Antony, former Ernakulam RTO was quoted by New India Express.

How to Get an IDP?

To get an IDP, which has a one-year validity, an application on Form 4A should be submitted to the RTO concerned along with driving license, three passport-size photographs, two passport copies, visa and air ticket and the receipt for payment of Rs 1,200 fees, which includes a service charge of Rs 200.  

“If we have an IDP there is no need to spend a fortune on taxi services in foreign countries. We can use motorcycle and cars, available at cheap rates in foreign countries if we have IDP,” said Aluva-based fitness trainer Raphael Nirmal Gilbert, who used IDP while on a visit to the Indonesian island of Bali in June.

Requirements to Get an IDP

  • Valid driving license held by the applicant and copies thereof.
  • Copies of passport, visa (where applicable) and air ticket for verification.
  • Fees as prescribed along with user charges.

Advantages of International Driving Permit

  • It certifies you to drive in a foreign country as certain countries will not allow you to rent a car unless you have the IDP.
  • No additional driving tests.
  • The IDP is accepted in more than 150 countries which are signatories to the agreement.

By Sowmya Sangam

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