To drive in India, you must either be a legal resident with an Indian driver's license or have an international driver's permit (IDP). Unfortunately, the Indian government and the automobile associations it authorizes do not issue IDPs to drivers who are not already Indian citizens, since an Indian IDP is intended for use in other countries. Instead, American travelers in India who want to drive there must apply for an IDP back in the United States through the mail.

Establish a mail-drop if you do not have a fixed address in India. If there are no friends or businesses where you could arrange to send the return envelope with your IDP, there are other options. American Express cardholders (and sometimes non-cardholders as well) are able to use American Express offices as mail-drops.

Print out the IDP application form from, the website of the American Automobile Association (AAA). Fill out the form with the relevant information.

Draw up a U.S. bank check or money order, payable to AAA. The base amount for the IDP is $15, but add however much money is necessary to cover the return postage. For basic international rates, consult

Put the payment and application form together with two passport photos and a photocopy of the front and back of your current driver's license. Seal these items into an envelope, address that envelope to AAA/IDP; 1000 AAA Drive; Heathrow, FL 32746; Attn: Mailstop #28 and mail it.


Allow 4 to 6 weeks for delivery of your IDP. You may expedite the process by paying for better postage and indicating your wishes to AAA in your application.