Explore Europe on Two Wheels: How to Get Your International Driver’s License

The path to Fiesole

Traveling around Europe on a bike is an incredible way to experience the continent’s vibrant cities, while a car allows you to explore the diverse landscapes and charming countryside. Whether you’re planning to join one of our guided bike tours or venture out on your own, having an international driver’s license can make your travels smoother and more enjoyable.

In partnership with ITA, we’re excited to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to obtain your international driver’s license. This document is essential for those planning to rent vehicles or drive in foreign countries, and it’s particularly useful for our customers who want the flexibility to explore beyond the guided bike tours.

What is an International Driver’s License?

An international driver’s license, also known as an International Driving Permit (IDP), is a document that translates your driver’s license into multiple languages. It allows you to legally drive a vehicle in over 150 countries worldwide. For those embarking on a European adventure, having an IDP ensures that you can rent a car or motorcycle in most countries with ease.

Why Do You Need an International Driver’s License?

  1. Legal Requirement: Many countries in Europe require an IDP in addition to your regular driver’s license.
  2. Ease of Vehicle Rental: Most car and motorcycle rental companies prefer or require an IDP.
  3. Peace of Mind: It serves as an extra form of identification and can be very helpful if you need to interact with local authorities.

How to Get Your International Driver’s License

Obtaining your international driver’s license is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

  1. Check Eligibility: Ensure you have a valid driver’s license from your home country. Most applicants need to be at least 18 years old.
  2. Prepare Required Documents:
    • A copy of your valid driver’s license
    • A passport-sized photo
    • A completed application form
  3. Apply Online: Visit the International Drivers Association’s website at e-ita.org. Here, you can fill out the application form, upload your documents, and pay the processing fee.
  4. Processing Time: Applications are typically processed within 24 hours, and you can choose between digital and printed versions of your IDP. The digital version can be delivered instantly to your email, while the printed version will be mailed to your address.
  5. Receive Your IDP: Once approved, you’ll receive your international driver’s license, which is valid for one year from the date of issue.

Tips for Driving in Europe

  1. Know the Rules: Driving regulations vary from country to country. Make sure you’re familiar with local traffic laws.
  2. Stay on the Right Side: Most European countries drive on the right side of the road, but there are exceptions like the UK and Ireland.
  3. Have the Essentials: Always carry your IDP, regular driver’s license, passport, and insurance documents when driving.
  4. Be Mindful of Speed Limits: Speed limits can change frequently, especially in urban areas. Pay close attention to road signs.
  5. Plan Your Route: Use GPS or a reliable map to navigate, and consider potential toll roads and fuel stops along the way.


Getting an international driver’s license is a small step that can significantly enhance your European biking adventure. With the freedom to rent vehicles and explore new destinations, you’ll have more flexibility and opportunities to create unforgettable memories. Visit e-ita.org today to get started on obtaining your IDP, and prepare for the journey of a lifetime with our bike tours around Europe!

Happy travels and safe driving!

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A family by the eiffel tower.