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International Driving Permit and Licence for Bali

Lady on SKUTE in Bali

International Driving Permit and Licence for Bali

Last updated SEPTEMBER 2023

Can I drive in Bali with my Driver’s Licence?

For anyone wanting to drive in Bali (whether this be by car, motorbike, or scooter), you are going to need an International Driving Permit (IDP) this is sometimes know as an International Drivers Licence (IDL). These permits need to be obtained in your home country and is basically a translation of your current driver’s licence into a number of different languages.

You then need to have BOTH this International Driving Permit (IDP) on you, PLUS your regular drivers licence, at all times when driving or riding on Balinese roads.

Under Indonesian traffic law, driving without a license is an offense punishable by up to four months in prison or a fine of IDR1 million (US$67.84).

If you want to drive around on a scooter or car in Bali, know that after living in Bali for 3 months, you should then go ahead and get a local driver’s license. One of the main prerequisites of obtaining a local driver’s license in Indonesia is having a valid international driver’s license. 

How to Obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Getting your hands on an International Driving Permit (IDP) before you leave for Bali is straight forward. For Australians, you can get it done through companies like RACQ and RACV and NRMA. For example at NMRA, you fill out the required form online and wait 5 days for it to be processed, and your permit is then posted out to you.

You can also check out the International Driving Permit website and search for your country. Here you’ll receive specific instructions based on your country of origin for how to go about getting your IDP. For example click here if you are from America and would like to get an International Drivers Licence. Residents from the United States can also simply visit your nearest AAA branch, complete the necessary paperwork, provide your US driver’s license, and submit a payment of $25. Your International Driving Permit (IDP) will be issued immediately and will remain valid for one year. If you reside in Canada, get in touch with the Canadian Automobile Association to request an application form for the Canadian International Driving Permit. For residents of the United Kingdom, head to your nearest Post Office (verify on the Royal Mail website if they offer IDP services). Bring along your UK driver’s license, a passport-sized photo, and make a payment of £5.50. Your IDP will be issued on the spot and will be valid for a period of one year.

Ensure you have your usual driver’s licence from your country of origin and your International Driving Permit with you once you touch down and you’ll be covered for driving legally in Bali.

However, this is not the same as being covered for an International Motorbike licence. Car and Motorbikes are different licences. This is mentioned becuase many Health insurance providers will ask for a copy of your registered motorbike licence should you have an accident and wish to claim. 

lady on electric scooter in Bali

How to Drive in Bali Safely and what are the road rules?

Traffic police in Bali pull over people to check that they have an international driving permit, as well as making sure everyone (including the passenger) is wearing a helmet when driving a scooter or motorbike. There is a regulation in Indonesia that requires all people riding motorcycles to wear a helmet. If you are caught without one, the official fine is Rp 250,000. This also means driving with a shirt on and not under the influence of alcohol. It is also recommended that you also wear closed in shoes while driving a scooter.

When it comes to understanding the road rules – well that is another story!  You drive on the left hand side of the road (like in Australia) with the driver sitting on the right side. Bali is known for its traffic jams but even driving in the chaos there still is a rhythm and for example the tooting of your horn is used as a courtesy to let drivers know what is going on. Don’t take anything to personal, motorbike cutting in and out of traffic is normal in Bali. Make sure to give yourself plenty of extra time when driving in Bali. Google maps will not always be accurate and to be on the safe side you could add in an extra 20+ minutes to account for unpredictable traffic. There is a lot going on and negoitation is required – whether it be other bikes, cars, dogs, pedestrians, potholes, ceremonies, wet weather and much more. 

Speed limits vary depending on the road and location, but generally the maximum speed limit for a scooter is 60 km/h on city roads and 80km/h on highways. Riders must use their headlights at all time, even during the day. 

You are about to familiarize yourself with a well-known phrase in Bahasa Indonesia that emphasizes the importance of safe driving: ‘Hati Hati.’ which in n English translates to ‘be cautious/safe driving.’

You may find seat belt availability a bit hit-and-miss. Car seats and booster seats are not typically carried by taxis for example. Often expats bring their own, eventually buy them (selected Baby stores or from Facebook Marketplace etc) or hire them. 

Can I get scooter lessons?

For those who wish to learn how to ride a scooter and understand the Bali road rules it is reccomended that you take some scooter lessons. Places like Bali Safe Rider in Sanur (set up with a classroom for theory  followed by practical) and Canggu Scooter Lessons can help with that.

Bali Safe Rider Sanur

Can I rent an electric scooter in Bali?

Yes you can! The island is perfect for electric mobility. The distances are not too far and there are cafés everywhere to charge if needed. Balinese people are really curious about electric vehicles and love the fact of ‘tidak pollusi (no pollution). Imagine enjoying a rice field palm tree road in complete silence. Electric is the way to go!  

SKUTE is the first and only 100% electric scooter rental company in Bali. SKUTE rents out the best electric bikes from world leader NIU. Going green in Bali is simple and cost-effective.

How much does it cost to charge and electric scooter?

With the current high rising petrol prices, driving electrically will save you a lot of money. You will pay around Rp. 2,430 for 60 electric kms, while for petrol you will pay 7x more, at Rp. 17,000 for polluting petrol kms. Better for the environment, better for your wallet: what are you waiting for? 

How do I charge an electric scooter?

That’s easy! In any normal electricity socket you can charge your electric scooter (powered by NIU). This means you can charge your bike basically anywhere. Most models of NIU can be charged either directly plugged into the bike or remove the battery and take it inside to charge.

Do I need a drivers licence to drive an electric scooter?

Yes, like everywhere, you need a license to drive on a number-plated vehicle. Your license should clearly state that you are permitted to ride a motorbike. In Bali all foreigners are also required to have an international license (IDP) on them while driving around. You can get this in your home country or you may also get an issued license from the police here in Bali.

If you need any help with processing/obtaining your documents to purchase and drive a bike, don’t hesitate to contact SKUTE. They will assist anyone that wants to make life electric!

Can I buy an electric scooter in Bali?

Yes you can! If you stay one year or more, financially it’s worth it to buy a scooter instead of renting. You need a kitas to register the scooter under your name. Or find a local friend you trust completely. Want to make it easy: renting is the way to go. SKUTE offers special deals for yearly rental.

How do I reserve an electric scooter?

For ‘OuryearinBali’ SKUTE have a special ‘TRY BEFORE YOU BUY’ deal! Start by renting for one month. If you like it: buy it, with the one month rental price deducted from the retail price. Reserve your SKUTE now and they deliver it to your villa. Reserve Your SKUTE and Enjoy a Touring Ride in Bali (skutebali.com) 

how do you rent a car?

There are larger car rental companies like Avis, otherwise there are smaller business like Drive in Bali, Bali Care Hire, Echo Bali Care Hire, and Bali Car Matic Car Rental. Then you can find even smaller ways with locals that rent their cars and scooters to expats, typically on Facebook. Trevo (a car sharing app) is another great option to start with, epecially when looking at short term rentals. If you plan in living longer than a year in Bali it becomes more economical to purchase a car or scooter. 

What insurance do I need when driving a car or riding a scooter?

When you opt for car or scooter rentals, the rental company typically provides insurance coverage for theft or damages. However, it’s important to note that this coverage is distinct from any potential personal injury resulting from an accident. To safeguard yourself against personal injury claims, it is crucial to have Travel and Health insurance in place. If you find yourself involved in a motorbike accident, for instance, possessing both licenses becomes necessary. It is advisable to consult your insurance provider regarding the specific requirements for claims, particularly for vehicles with an engine capacity exceeding 50cc (as most scooters typically surpass 110cc).

Would you like to live in Bali for 3 months or more?

Our Year in Bali is a worldwide consulting service that gives you everything you need to know when relocating to Bali. They cover a great range of topics including understanding the true cost of living, getting the right visa issued, leasing a home, insurance, medical, choosing the best school, best areas to live and that is just the start!

Click here if you want to read how to live your best expat life and how the service works.

Click here to book a free 30 min discovery call on how how to live in Bali



  • Sue Hunt
    22 March 2023

    Please tell me how simple (or not), it is to get an Indonsian Driving licence, on the back of my Zimbabwean licence? And once that Indonesian licence is obtained, how do I apply for an IDP, WHILST I am here in Bali, on the back of my new Indonesian driving licence?

  • 30 April 2016

    Learn some basic Indonesian words, including ‘Maaf ya Pak’ (i”m sorry Sir) and you can get a way with a $2-$5 ‘handshake’ money.


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