International Motorcycle License How to

By: On: September 13th, 20120 Comments »Updated: July 6, 2013

If you are planning a motorcycle trip within a foreign country, did you know that renting a motorcycle there could require that you have an International Motorcycle License?

Some motorcycle rental companies, and many countries, require you to present an International Motorcycle License or known internationally as  a International Drivers Permit (IDP) with a motorcycle endorsement on it.  Getting one of these is easier than you might think, but you’ll need a valid motorcycle license or motorcycle endorsement to begin with.

If you are an American, then AAA (yes, as in Automobile) is the place to go.  For a $15 fee, they can provide you with an International Driving Permit that is good for one year.  You have to be 18 years or older and have a US (or US Territory) license already.  What you’ll need is two original passport photos, your current USA or USA Territory driver’s license showing the motorcycle endorsement.  It is not valid in every country in the world, but is valid in approximately 150 different countries and territories.

Austra mountains on motorcycle with international motorcycle licenseSome countries may honor your normal motorcycle license; however, they may require that it be translated into the local language.  An International Driving Permit will take care of that, but be aware the International Motorcycle License (same as IDP) has to be issued in the country that you are from, not the country that you are visiting.  If you are already overseas and need this, then you can usually get it done via mail if you have time to do all that.

If you are a Canadian citizen, then the place for you to get yours from is the CAA.  They are the only licensed agency in Canada that can provide your IDP.  This permit is also for motorcycles and scooters if you have a full Canadian provincial license for that (not learner’s) and you are 18 years old or older.  The CAA charges $25 Canadian.  For more info contact the CAA.

Licensed Australian citizens can go to the motoring club in their state or territory to get their IDP that can include their international motorcycle license.  These can be obtained at the following authorized Australian motoring services: NRMA, Queensland RAC, Victoria RAC, South RAA, Western RAC, Tasmania RAC, and at AANT in Northern Territory.


About John Clay

John Clay is the author of MotorcycleInfo.Org. He and his family reside in North Carolina in the United States. A graduate of the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's Experienced Rider Course, he enjoys riding his Moto Guzzi in charity rides and serves as a volunteer motorcycle marshal for an annual bicycle charity event in the Carolinas.

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