Does anyone know if South African drivers licences are accepted in Italy or do we need international drivers licences ? Thanks in advance
An International Driving Permit is required for everyone who does not hold a driving licence issued by an EU country so, yes, you need one.
Note that International Drivers Licences sold over the Internet are all scams, offering worthless pieces of paper. You need an IDP from your national motoring organisation.
Thank you Sydneynick :-) I appreciate your reply. Regards
I was interested in your reply regarding IDP's in Italy. When I was in Portugal my friend and I hired scooters for a day trip and we only needed to show our Australian drivers licenses. I would have thought if a IDP is required in Italy then it would be required in Portugal as well - do you think the scooter hirer was just being slack and wanted the business? As we are staying a couple of kms out of Siena we were hoping to hire scooters for a couple of days. I presume its pretty easy to get an IDP? Do you know if they are overly costly? Thanks.
Sometimes a rental place may not ask to see the IDP, but if you are stopped by the police and don't have it, you will be fined.
When I first came to Italy, most rental agencies didn't ask to see an IDP before renting a car. It was not their problem if you didn't have one when you got stopped for a routine document check. In those days, some policemen didn't even know that the law required you to have an IDP. Now most rental agencies ask to see one, and the police are also better informed.
You have to carry both your normal license AND the IDP. The IDP by itself is not valid.
You get your IDP from the RACV. Even if you are not a member, just go into an RACV office with your driving license. I don't know how much RACV charges: I think NRMA charged me around $25 last year.
IDP is not required in all EU countries. However, since it doesn't cost a whole lot, it's always good to have one in my opinion.
Thanks Nick and co - will get one from the RACV.
The actual Italian requirement is for an 'official' translation of your home country license. Fines for not having an IDP are as rare as hen's teeth. I've gone through at least 10 Carabinieri checks without one. I would recommend you get one since they're cheap, and also recommend you don't lose any sleep over it if you don't.