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International Driving Permit and Licence for Bali

International Driving Permit and Licence for Bali

Last updated April 2023

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

For anyone wanting to drive and get on the roads in Bali (whether this be by car, motorbike, or scooter), you are going to need an International Driving Permit (IDP).

These permits need to be obtained in your home country and are basically a translation of your current driver’s licence into a number of different languages. You then need to have this International Driving Permit (IDP) on you along with your regular drivers licence at all times when driving or riding on Balinese roads. Technically if you want to drive around on a scooter in Bali, know that having a local driver’s license is mandatory and one of the main prerequisites of obtaining a 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) 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.

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.

How to Drive in Bali Safely (Hati-Hati in Bahasa Indonesia)

Traffic police in Bali pull over people to check they have an international driving permit, as well as making sure everyone 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.

When it comes to understanding the road rules – well that is another story! Let’s start by saying there are very few traffic lights! 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 so in some areas like Canggu you may wish to ditch the car and drive a scooter or get a Grab or GoJek. 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. 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 even add in an extra 20+ minutes to account for unpredictable traffic. Don’t take anything to personal, motorbike cutting in and out of traffic is normal in Bali. 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. 

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 plus practical) and Canggu Scooter Lessons can help with that.

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.

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

If you rent a car or scooter/motorbike, the company should usually include insurance but that is seperate to a personal accident. The insurance they would include is to damages to the car/scooter and theft, but not if you are injured in an accident. That is where you have to ensure you have Travel and Health insurance. To claim in a motorbike accident for example, you must have both licenses in case of an accident.


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  • Sue Hunt

    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?

  • 04/30/2016

    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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