Step-by-Step Guide for Applying for an International Driving License in Hong Kong

International Driving Permit

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a legal documentation that goes hand in hand with your Hong Kong driver’s license for driving in a foreign country. If you already have a Hong Kong driving license, then you are eligible to apply for an IDP for driving abroad. Before applying you should check the IDP requirements in your destination country. 

Applying itself is not difficult but to help you in the process, Kwiksure’s article will help provide a step-by-step guide for applying for IDP in Hong Kong.

Applying for an IPD in Hong Kong

In Hong Kong, obtaining this special permit allows drivers from Hong Kong to drive in at least 150 countries around the world, including those from Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and America. 

See below the simple steps to getting your international driving permit.

Step 1

Download an application for International Driving Permit TD51 from the transport department, or go to a licensing office to obtain a hard copy to complete. 

Step 2

You can do either of the following:

  • Book an appointment online through the transport department's appointment booking service online by logging on to www.gov.hk/idpabs.
  • Call the hotline at 3763 8080 to arrange an appointment at the designated counter of the stated licensing office.

Licensing offices are located in Hong Kong, Kowloon, and the New Territories.

  • Mail the completed TD51 form via registered mail to the Kwun Tong Licensing Office - P. O. Box 68115, Kowloon East Post Office, Kowloon. Once processed, all documents and IDP will be sent back to applicants by registered mail within 10 working days from the date the application was received.

Step 3

Bring the completed application form to the Licensing Office, along with the following:

  • Two copies of a recent photo, with a plain background, size 40 mm X 50 mm, taken full face without headwear. 
  • Hong Kong identity card,
  • Hong Kong driver's license,
  • Original or photocopy of proof of present address (residential address and correspondence address). 

Step 4

Submit a fee in cash, as an electronic payment or with a cashier's check made out to "The Government of HKSAR". 

Step 5

For those that choose to submit in person, you can pick up your approved IDP on the same day.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can I drive abroad with just my IDP?

Your IDP is not a stand-alone document or a substitute for a valid driving license. You must have both together at all times when driving in a foreign country

  • How old do I have to be to obtain an IDP?

You must be at least 18 years of age.

  • What if I am stopped by law enforcement authorities where an IDP is required and I cannot produce one?

Failure to present an IDP with your license may constitute a criminal or civil offense resulting in a fine or mandatory court appearance. Driving without a valid IDP may trigger exclusion under your travel insurance policy if reimbursing for loss of damage while driving abroad.

  • How long an IDP is valid for?

The International Driving Permit is valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance. Before expiration, a new one can be applied for each year. However, if you are a resident abroad in your destination country then you may need to apply for a local license.

  • What are the benefits of carrying an IDP abroad?

The documentation is an official translation of your Hong Kong driver’s license in several different languages - English, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Italian, German, Arabic and French, among others. IDP also serves as a recognizable form of identification which helps to communicate with foreign authorities. 

IDP to drive in Hong Kong?

For travelers visiting Hong Kong, it is a requirement that you also have valid International Driving Permits to drive legally on Hong Kong’s roads. If travelers such as expatriates intend to stay longer then it may be better to obtain a local driver’s license. 

Like the rest of the HKSAR population, you are required to have at least third party motor insurance before you will truly be considered road legal. It is imperative whether as a local or an expatriate to get car insurance as it will cover any financial liabilities in the event you have a motor accident.

If you want more information on the different types of car insurance plans, you can read more of our articles on our blog page.

If you have any concerns surrounding driving abroad or in Hong Kong, International Driving Permits, car insurance in the HKSAR or anything else related, contact the knowledgeable experts at Kwiksure!

Our award-winning team is ready to support and answer your questions. Once contacted, they will be able to provide free plan comparisons and price quotes on quality motor insurance.

Kwiksure Blog
Get a free motor quote