Using IDP (International Driving Permit) In Indonesia

dannyboy

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Hello all,

Just wondering whether International Driving Permit (IDP) issued in Australia is legally recognized for driving in Indonesia? If yes, does anyone have any experience using it?

In the long run, I'd want to apply for the local license, but for the first few months, I just thought it might be quite handy to be able to drive in an emergency situation since I already got the IDP.

Thanks!
 

Jamu

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Yes, an IDP from your home country works just fine, and in fact is required (along with your home license) if you wish to drive in Indonesia. Note that if you intend to ride a motorbike in Indonesia, both your home license and the IDP must be endorsed accordingly.
 

dannyboy

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Yes, an IDP from your home country works just fine, and in fact is required (along with your home license) if you wish to drive in Indonesia. Note that if you intend to ride a motorbike in Indonesia, both your home license and the IDP must be endorsed accordingly.
That's great. Thanks for the info. Is there any restriction regarding the type of visa you are on? I.e. is this valid only for tourist visa holder or kitas/kitap holder too.
 
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You might find, though, that if stopped by a policeman, he would still fine you for not having an Indonesian licence. If your Indonesian is good enough to explain to him what an IDP is and the legal basis for it to be used, then he might be willing to drop the fine (unlikely, but possible).
 

harryopal

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In two years I have had only twice to show my international driving permit and it has been accepted each time without fuss and without having to show my current Australian driving licence. If you are using a car make sure you have the Surat Izin Mengemudi for the car with you.
 

ekspat

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You might find, though, that if stopped by a policeman, he would still fine you for not having an Indonesian licence. If your Indonesian is good enough to explain to him what an IDP is and the legal basis for it to be used, then he might be willing to drop the fine (unlikely, but possible).
Is it OK if you are KITAP/KITAS holder and drive by using IDP?
 

harryopal

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I have driven with both Kitas and Kitap and never been asked but it may be that officially there are rules regarding this A disconcerting element with the Indon driving licence computer test is that some of the scenarios presented do not even make sense to an Indonesian language speaker, You can do the test with a translater to help.
 

Jamu

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Is it OK if you are KITAP/KITAS holder and drive by using IDP?
Probably ok, though there is likely a time limit under Indonesian law as most countries do not allow residents to drive on foreign licenses indefinitely. Practically, this issue would probably never come up from the Indonesian side, but it could be difficult to renew your IDP from your home country unless you still have a residential address there, and in the case of an accident claim an insurance company might investigate the matter.

A disconcerting element with the Indon driving licence computer test is that some of the scenarios presented do not even make sense to an Indonesian language speaker, You can do the test with a translater to help.
I have done the official practice test online many times (catching virtually all the questions in the database), and did not find any scenarios that did not eventually make sense, either to me or to someone more fluent in Indonesian. It is correct that you can do a test with a translator, but in my case only I got the headphones with the audio and in any event had only 5-8 seconds to answer the question after the scenario played, so no time for translation, unlike the online practice test that gives you 30 seconds to respond. I made a post on my experience of getting my Indonesian driving licenses the official way (SIM A&C) at https://www.expatindo.org/community/threads/indonesian-driving-licence.3301/page-4
 
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El_Goretto

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If you are using a car make sure you have the Surat Izin Mengemudi for the car with you.
I'm not sure I follow you.

A Surat Izin Mengemudi (SIM) is an Indonesian Driver's license. If you have one then you don't need an international driver's license to drive here.
 

Minuteman

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I'm not sure I follow you.

A Surat Izin Mengemudi (SIM) is an Indonesian Driver's license. If you have one then you don't need an international driver's license to drive here.
Probably meant STNK, registration.
 

harryopal

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Oops! My Indonesian wife suggested Surat Izin Mengemudi and now says, "yes" she made a mistake.
 

Wisnu

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STNK = Setengah Tuwo Ning Kenceng
If your indonesian wife is Javanese, ask her what's mean.
 

dannyboy

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Thanks all, very helpful. I guess to summarise:
IDP is technically valid, though again it depends on the individual police stopping you. If your indonesian is fluent enough, you might be able to convince the police that this is indeed allowed.
Since It is not clear how long the validity is (esp with KITAP holder) it is best to get a local licence as soon as possible if you are able to.
 
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If you have a KITAP, get the 5 year SIM. Doesn't cost too much (depending on which mode of payment you choose🤫). It just makes life a lot easier. Plus I found I can use it in my home country, eg for car rentals.
 

jstar

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Is it OK if you are KITAP/KITAS holder and drive by using IDP?
No, if you have a residence permit, you’re not allowed to use a foreign driving license.

Btw, this is the same for most other countries (as US and EU), if you ‘live somewhere’ instead of just visiting, you need their driving license. Often within 6 months or so (and if you stay 185 days or more). Obviously this is practically never checked.

Not to pee on anyone’s parade, but there are some misconceptions here:

An international driving license is nothing more than a translation of your foreign driving license. In itself it is worth nothing, it can only be used together with the original license.

What’s even more absurd is that Indonesia never officially ratified the international agreement on mutual recognition. So they should not acknowledge and accept a person driving here with a foreign license. The exception is licenses from other ASEAN countries.

Of course nobody of the countries’ finest (wants to) know(s) this. And they turn a blind eye, esp. on Bali.

Don’t forget there is a possibility to obtain a short term driving license (for tourists).
 

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