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Do I need an international license to drive in Italy?

Driving in Italy is a wonderful experience, but there are some important things to know before considering rent a car in Italian lands!

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Do I need an international license to drive in Italy?

The answer is YES, you need an International driving license (*) to drive in Italy. First of all, remember that if there is something that works VERY WELL in Italy, it is LAWS, both for foreigners and Italians. So do not think that if you are stopped by the police and do not have all the documents in order, you will escape because you are a tourist: you won’t! Stay with us and learn how to travel safe! Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”  Read also: Examples of Itineraries in Italy!

(*) European citizen (or foreigner resident) who has a driver’s license issued in an European Union countries and / or member countries of the Schengen Treaty do not need international permission, since the document is valid in Italy.

Our Recommendation

The first recommendation is to carry the International Driving Permit (IDP) and, together with it, your passport and your license from your home country. Today we are going to talk about what documents are needed to drive in Italy and how to get the IDP. To be able to drive in Italy without any worries, we have two possibilities. Which are they? See below!

1) Do I need an international license to drive in Italy? IDP ISSUE

Citizens who are not resident in Italy, that is, tourists, must apply in their own country for the IDP, which is issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles (*). To obtain the IDP, the driver must first be up to date with the license and then enter the website of the State Traffic Department*. Some countries allow you to request it online; some other requires that you go there in person. Search the steps you need to complete to get your IDP issued.

(*) Or the responsible organ in your country; There are SEVERAL websites that issue the document as well. I suggest you to find a reliable website and check the prices, the documents requested by them and timings. The cost depends on the country you live in.

Important to know

  • For those who will opt to DRIVE MOTORCICLES in Italy: apply for a category A authorization at the time of requesting the IDP. Authorization for those traveling in Italy on two wheels is also mandatory, ok?!
  • The application is valid for a period of ONE year after the date of issuance, so you can travel any time within this period and have a valid international license.
  • It is required by law that you have an international driver’s permit in Italy. If you are stopped while driving within Italian borders, you will be asked to present the document and, if you don’t have it, there could be serious consequences.
  • Plus, many rental car agencies require that you present your IDP while you’re renting a car. What could be worse than arriving in Italy without your license and being unable to rental car? Don’t risk it!

Learn more…

  • To know the Italy’s main rules on driving, you can access this website, where they present you official information.
  • For U.S. Citizens. If you are an American Citizen, you can use your license in some countries without the need to issue an international permit. To check all the countries where you are allowed to use your North American license, click here!

Additional information

  • The IDP must be issued in the same jurisdiction where the original license was issued;
  • The IDP is valid in 130 countries;
  • The IDP is nothing more than the license translated into seven languages: German, Arabic, Spanish, French, English, Portuguese and Russian.

What can happen if I get caught driving without a IDP?

You can get a fine ranging from 400 to 1.800 Euros and the seizure of the vehicle. Read here our special posts on Driving in Italy


  • As you could see, the Italian language does NOT appear on the list, so we suggest you to request your IDP in ENGLISH. If possible, get an official sworn translation with the IDP in Italian (not obligatory).

2) Do I need an international license to drive in Italy? TRANSLATED LICENSE

The second possibility would be to use your license translated, but you must follow, in Italy, a sworn translation of your license. The license must be valid and be presented with an official translation. To obtain the permission, the driver must have a valid license within the period of the IDP, the category of the license and the medical restrictions specified in the document; it must be included in the respective international license.

Honestly? Get an IDP issued! It’s much better, you won’t have to worry to carry a lot of documents with you and you can drive in any country that accepts the IDP for a year!


  • Often, the cheap is expensive, so if you intend to drive in Italy, be sure to have your IDP. Don’t take risks, invest a little more and travel safely, comfortably and without worries or risks of ruining your long-awaited trip! If you are really driving in Italy, be sure to reed ours posts in the section Driving in Italy  and travel prepared!


Do I need an international license to drive in Italy? Travel safe, have ALL your documents in order; it is not worth having to spend a few hours at the police station to clear up misunderstandings because of missing or wrong documents.

If you feel insecure, have no time to plan, or need help to organize your trip, don’t hesitate to contact me! I will love to help you make your dream trip to Italy come true. And how can I do that? Keep reading this post until the end and you will understand how I can make your life and your trip much easier 🙂

Did my post help you? If so, be sure to post your comment below, but if you still have questions just send me a message and I will reply as soon as possible!

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