- see

Will I Need an International Driving Permit to Rent a Car in New Zealand?

International Driving Permit

If you are planning to rent a car in New Zealand, your driver licence will need to be printed in English. If your licence is in another language, you’ll also need to present an International Driving Permit, an official translation of your foreign licence. Both documents will need to be shown before the keys can be released to you.

If you have an International Driving Permit, there are still some important things you need to know before you pick up your car:

  • Restrictions will apply if you have a provisional or probationary licence. Many rental providers in New Zealand will only accept full, unrestricted licences
  • You must meet the age requirements of your selected rental provider
  • The translation of your overseas licence must be issued by either:
    • A New Zealand Transport Agency authorised translation service
    • A diplomatic representative at a high commission, embassy, or consulate
    • The authority that issued your original licence

What Will Happen if I Get Caught Driving Without an IDP?

If a police officer catches you without a legal English translation of your licence, you may be prosecuted for driving without a valid licence. You may also have to pay an infringement fee.

The New Zealand police have the right to restrict you from driving until you acquire the required legal documents. If you drive again after being fined, your rental vehicle could be impounded, and you won’t be covered by your insurance if you’re involved in a crash.

Can I Use a NAATI Translation Instead of an International Driving Permit?

You can use an accredited translation service approved by the New Zealand Transport Agency. For rental car in New Zealand, the driver licence translation will only be accepted if it is performed and approved by a National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) and signed by the translator.

Your chosen rental provider may also have their own exceptions, so it’s a good idea to contact them ahead of time to check if your driver licence or translation will be accepted in New Zealand.

Check out our page on licence requirements to learn more.


Presenting Your International Driving Permit

If your driver licence is not printed in English, you’ll need to present an International Driving Permit upon collection of your rental car. The International Driving Permit must be shown alongside your original licence in order for your booking to proceed.