How to get an International Driving Permit in Egypt

What is it like to live in Egypt? Share your experiences of Egypt’s culture.

Moderators: DJKeefy, 4u Network

User avatar
Glyphdoctor
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 7 times

How to get an International Driving Permit in Egypt

Post by Glyphdoctor »

I just did this and thought I would share the information as I haven't seen it anywhere.

If you live in Egypt and have an Egyptian driver's license and want to use it to drive in another country, you need an International Driver's Permit issued in Egypt.

First of all, you need to get the Egyptian driver's license. I'm not giving any advice on that matter, but will just assume you have passed that hurdle already. Everything else should be easy sailing from here.

To get the IDP, your Egyptian driver's license must still be good for at least a year. You have to take this license (no matter in what governorate it was issued) and your passport (doesn't matter what country the passport is from, dual citizens can use their foreign passport) to the traffic office next to Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque in Medinet Nasr in Cairo.

At this office, you need to ask for the "letter for the international license." There is one room at this office where there are two guys whose sole job is to issue these letters. Give them your license and your passport and they will record its info in a book and give you a small slip of paper (the "letter") and tell you to take it down the hall to another office to have it sealed. All this is done free of charge and will take about 10-15 minutes.

Now you need to go to the office of the Egyptian Automobile and Touring Club. This is in downtown Cairo on Sharia Qasr al-Nil. It's about halfway between Midan Tahrir and Midan Talaat Harb, across the street from HSBC. You will see an archway leading into a courtyard. Go through the archway and enter the entrance on the left side of the courtyard and go to the second or third floor (depending on how you count!) and turn right (you will see a sign in English). The office is at the end of this hall.

They accept applications between 9:30 and 12:30. You will need to give them the letter, 2 personal photos, a photocopy of your driver's license, the original driver's license, your passport, and 40LE. They will give you an application to fill out in English and Arabic. If you are a dual citizen, you can put your foreign name on the English part so that what appears on the IDP matches your foreign identification rather than the official Egyptian name. I put the Egyptian name on the Arabic part and the American name on the English part.

They will hold on to your license while they process the paperwork, give you a receipt, and will tell you that it will be ready at 2pm. You will get back an IDP that is good for one year and they will have stapled (!?) your Egyptian license to the IDP.

If you time things properly, you could easily finish all this in less than 4 hours in a single day.


User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

Glyph are you sure that the US or any other country with proper driving tests will accept an Egyptian International Licences?

Secondly, do you think it's wise driving in another country,considering all you have to get the Egyptian licence is drive between 6 cones.

Is that really enough preparation for driving in the EU or USA do you think ?

I'd be advising anyone of driving abroad with only an Egyptian licence and Egyptian test to have lessons abroad before they go out on the road alone, because for sure you 'd be picked up in about an hour for reckless driving according to other countries standards. Well the UK for sure. Maybe not Italy.

One Egyptian who'd not long arrived in Canada was arrested after reversing the wrong way up a highway as he'd missed his junction, and the officers realising he wasn't high on drugs or drunk had him admitted for psychiatric testing by the police station doctors till they realised that was the 'norm' in Egypt. They promptly removed his licence and he had to take lessons and then sit the Canadian test.

If all you need is to sit an Egyptian test to get a licence to drive in the USA then a loophole needs closing.

Yesterday I was in Alex and on a microbus with a load of 'vegetables' all sitting there whilst he was driving like he was out of his mind on drugs

:?
Hubby asked him to slow down, the vegetables told him not to listen because they were late, one female was more interested in covering her mouth with a tissue ( swine flu?) than getting rammed into the back of a truck :? so we had him stop and got off. We watched as he carried on driving the corniche like something 'insane'. You had to see it to believe it!
Absolute insanity!
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by Horus »

I made a few posts some time back with regards to expats renewing their UK licence if it was the photo ID type and 10 years old. During my research I came to the conclusion that an international licence of the type that Glyph referrers to is acceptable for a visitor from Egypt :urm: Like Ebikatsu I am appalled that this could be the case, there is no way that the average Egyptian from say Luxor would last 30 minutes without being involved in a serious accident, the thought of one of them on a UK motorway fills me with dread.
What must be made very plain is this: The UK police will expect that as you have a licence, you are a capable driver. They will not be sympathetic in any way should you break our driving laws and should you be involved in an accident resulting in injury, you would be arrested and prosecuted for your bad driving and could even be held in custody. This is not an attempt to say that one set of drivers are better than another, but just to say that in the same way that I would not want to drive in Cairo, someone from Cairo would have the same problem here. We have very complicated road systems, speed restrictions, driving etiquette and a myriad of rules and regulations that are enforced with a vengeance. Anyone who had only learned to drive in Egypt and had only recently passed an Egyptian driving test would not last the day out in a busy UK city, it is a frightening thought.
Image
User avatar
Glyphdoctor
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Post by Glyphdoctor »

I understand your concerns, and the reason I got the license is to practice in California when I travel there. I have not driven a car in 20 years, but that was driving done in California. I cannot take driving lessons in Cairo on an automatic (they aren't available, only on manuals) and I never plan to drive a manual. However, my other option was to take the written test in California (very easy to pass), which would entitle me to a learner's permit there, which would have allowed me to do exactly what I plan to do with my Egyptian license, and that is practice driving in my mother's car with her sitting next to me because a learner's permit allows you to drive with any licensed driver over the age of 25. Even if I want to take professional lessons there I would either have to have a learner's permit or a valid license from somewhere.

The reason I chose to get the Egyptian license rather than the California learner's permit is because we already have all our US mail sent to my parents' address in California, and getting a permit in California could be seen as a further step toward establishing California residency (we last resided in another state in the US so we are not considered California residents now) as normally getting a license in a state in the US is one of the first things you do when you become a resident. If the California authorities decided that they believed I had established California residency, we could be liable to pay California state income taxes. California is one of only a handful of states that requires its residents to pay state income taxes when living overseas (our former state of residence doesn't), and so this simple act could cost thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands of dollars for the rest of my life if we were never to move back to another state and that is not a mistake I want to make.

I don't have any plans to drive in the UK, so don't worry, I won't run you over when I am there.
User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

That's another thing!

All Automatic cars should be banned here in Egypt, they are just so dangerous.

No horns should be installed or allowed to be bought as accessories.

Car ignition will only work when all the lights and safety features are in operation, functioning and being used.

Cars should automatically have a light device that makes the engine cut out if the ambient light is dim.

Cars should not start if everyone in the car is not wearing the seat belt.

Speed regulators and computerized sensors installed in every vehicle which cut off the gas if there is swerving, or erratic driving. Like in the Lotus ranges etc.

A copmputerized weight distribution system so that overloads cut out the engine.

I won't even start on the driving or the roads



:mrgreen:
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by Horus »

Glyph wrote:
I don't have any plans to drive in the UK, so don't worry, I won't run you over when I am there.
:lol: :lol: :lol: well that's a relief :lol:
but on a serious note I can understand the reasons behind what you intend to do in the States regarding using it as a provisional licence only and that makes good sense, but anyone thinking that they could drive elsewhere in the world with Egyptian standards would have to be crazy. I also agree with Ebikatsu that our own laws should be tightened up with regards who may drive here on a foreign licence. There is absolutely no comparison between say an American, a German, or a Spaniard who drives here on an international licence, as they all would have passed a similar driving test (or should have) to the UK. The international licences are accepted here on the basis that the issuing authority is competent to give that guarantee of competence, as it is only a translation of your local driving licence so that it may be understood by another countries authorities. Unfortunately some countries cannot be relied upon to make that decision wisely and just issue them as a matter of course.
Image
User avatar
Glyphdoctor
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 263
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Has thanked: 11 times
Been thanked: 7 times

Post by Glyphdoctor »

Most taxi drivers in the US are fresh off the plane from countries where driving standards are probably well below the US. And they have to pass a local driving test to be able to get a license to drive a taxi and my experience is they are good drivers. It is a courtesy to allow people from other countries to drive on your roads for a limited period of time on a foreign license until they are able to pass the local test and get a license there. I think you guys are exaggerating the danger of Egyptian drivers in other countries. They will learn soon enough. New licensed drivers are accident magnets in any country. That's why my husband and I have agreed the first car we get will be used, so we can destroy it before investing in a new one.
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by Horus »

Glyph wrote:
I think you guys are exaggerating the danger of Egyptian drivers in other countries
That's why my husband and I have agreed the first car we get will be used, so we can destroy it before investing in a new one.
Sorry to be selective with my quotes but it really does emphasize the differences :) there is absolutely no way would any driver in the UK be buying a car new or second hand with the intention that it will be damaged as part of their learning. We have a completely different mind set to our driving and the thought that your car would be damaged in a learning curve would just not even come into the equation, such an outlook would be considered a sign of a very bad driver. We also have people from outside of the UK who pass their test and drive taxis, but rest assured that they have to be competent to pass, it is not just driving around a few cones. As you say it is a common courtesy to allow a foreigner to drive on your roads but............. that driver must be competent, pleasantries do not come into it. It is my life and my families lives that are at risk here, I want to know that the other person behind the wheel is a qualified driver and not some clown who has only driven on a dirt road. Like many others on here I have passed my driving test in many other countries as a matter of formality and to be honest most of them are a joke. If you were capable of letting the clutch out without stalling the vehicle you would pass. The point I am making is that driving in the UK and elsewhere in Europe is vastly different from Egypt.
Image
User avatar
Hurghadapat
Member
Member
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Mar 04, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Hurghada now UK
Has thanked: 38 times
Been thanked: 45 times
United Kingdom

Post by Hurghadapat »

God forbid that anyone who learnt to drive in Egypt should be let loose on our roads never mind the motorways.Have never ever seen such an appalling lack of road sense as i have seen in Egypt.Highway Code.... :roll: non-existant.
User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

When I was l learner and a new driver the thought of buying a used car with the thought of it probably getting roughed up never entered my mind. Having the odd bang here or there etc just never came into it.
I watched as Britney Spears was doing her driving test and it was in comparison to the UK test a joke.
She already had a Louisiana licence and was applying for a California one I think it was, and assuming she had been driving for years, she couldn't reverse at all and the examiner after a few attempts just 'moved on' with the rest of the test??!!
She passed her
:?
So maybe the US is not like our system at all.
If a driver can't do a simple reverse they are no way going to pass a test in the UK.

I wonder which country has the most difficult driving test?
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by Horus »

I think that most people would recognise that the UK driving test is amongst the most difficult in the world to pass. It contains many more elements than just driving the vehicle, in addition some countries such as the UK have to deal with weather conditions that would never be encountered in hotter climates, for example fog, heavy rain, snow, and black ice.

Have a look at this driving test for India, then consider that he could obtain an international licence. Note the position of his hands on the wheel, that itself would have given him an automatic failure in a UK driving test.

Edit: I have just passed the California Class C Written Test online with all answers correct. :lol:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value=" name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object> :lol:
Image
User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

Bit like Egypt then :mrgreen:
drive up the middle of the road! LOL

Crossing hands an instant fail :)


Mabrook Horus on passing :) so are you allowed to drive in California then :P
User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

OMG!!
I was just reading the news!!

Watch the little boy in orange tee shirt at the top of the stairs in the video clip !!! :?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_depth/8116024.stm

[/GVideo]
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Post by Horus »

Looks like it :) once I pass the practical :lol:
Image
User avatar
Michaelrazor
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:30 pm
Location: Egypt

Post by Michaelrazor »

i learned to drive when i was 14 with my dad and first thing i drove was a farm truck lol
then an old car like the one Silvester Stallone used it in cobra something like that... and i loved it, cause i bumped into many trees and fences and teh car was solid not one single bump aside from slight scratches... then in army i learned the rest from Tanks to jeeps and Vans and big double load trucks
but now i don't drive since petrol prices have risen so i use public transport

i drove once in Egypt last year and i was so worried i am going to make accident because cars are coming from every where...
and when you stop in a traffic, you hear the taxi driver next to you is spitting outta teh window, and the car on your right got a couple who are arguing about somthing and fighting.....

a weird police officer standing by the traffic only waving his arms like berserk not sure if he knows what is he doing.... fumes and oh... once i stopped suddenly because there where a herd of sick sheep i mean it.......sick thin skinny sheeps passing by from the other side across the street... what a view.....
or suddenly one guy decides to drive backwards and so on
noooooooooooooo, egypt driving is a war zone
User avatar
Ebikatsu
Top Member
Top Member
Posts: 902
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 11:48 am
Location: Cairo Egypt

Post by Ebikatsu »

:lol: yep

My husband says it's like the Abbaseya Mental Hospital has released all the patients, and put them all in cars, or his other favourite is 'It's like driving with all the children on the dodgems in Dreampark' :mrgreen:

Razor where do you come from in Austria?
I used to go with friends to their relatives chalet skiing and 'rodelling' NOT yodelling!! :lol: in a place called Shroons or Schrunes?? can't remember the spelling. Loved it there :)
User avatar
Michaelrazor
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:30 pm
Location: Egypt

Post by Michaelrazor »

I am from Tirol and my mom is italian from genova
User avatar
Melissa87
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 41
Joined: Mon Nov 23, 2009 5:24 pm
Location: Ireland

Post by Melissa87 »

I dont think il ever be able to drive in egypt. everytime im in cairon on holiday i freak out at how close everyone drives to eachother, or how there arent any traffic lights, well iv never seen any!! anyone that can drive there i would definately say deserves some sort of medal :p
User avatar
LovelyLadyLux
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 11596
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 9:12 pm
Location: Canada
Has thanked: 427 times
Been thanked: 2732 times
Canada

Re: How to get an International Driving Permit in Egypt

Post by LovelyLadyLux »

Two things - is this info still valid? And how come this particular thread is on the top of my "Living in Egypt" list? Not that this isn't important info to have - just curious how it manages to find it's way to the top of everything in this category.......

And - I guess one more point - Has anybody seen Glyphdoctor lately? Is she still alive, kicking and lurking somewhere?
User avatar
Horus
Egypt4u God
Egypt4u God
Posts: 12363
Joined: Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:15 am
Location: UK
Has thanked: 1661 times
Been thanked: 2228 times
Gender:
United Kingdom

Re: How to get an International Driving Permit in Egypt

Post by Horus »

I saw one post the other day over on the Blue side, but she was only dropping in to contact someone via a PM. Since the revolution she seems to have dropped off the radar, maybe she has just lost intereset over there or has better things to do.
Image
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post
  • Driving in Egypt
    by Winged Isis » » in Know Egypt
    18 Replies
    12258 Views
    Last post by Goddess
  • Driving in Egypt
    by DJKeefy » » in Living in Egypt
    2 Replies
    17 Views
    Last post by LovelyLadyLux
  • Gun Permit
    by LovelyLadyLux » » in Just 4 Fun
    3 Replies
    1500 Views
    Last post by Kiya
  • Giving and International relations
    by LovelyLadyLux » » in Politics and Religion
    7 Replies
    2792 Views
    Last post by LovelyLadyLux
  • International SMS prices skyrocket
    by Goddess » » in Living in Egypt
    2 Replies
    857 Views
    Last post by BillH