(Updated May 2023)
For anybody who wants to experience Sri Lanka from a vehicle (whether that is in a car, scooter or tuktuk), it is important to know that your Indian driving license is not valid in Sri Lanka. To drive in Sri Lanka, you will need to get Sri Lankan Driving Recognition Permit. This permit can be obtained either with your international driver’s license, also known as International Driver Permit (IDP), or with your “Regular Drivers Licence” with B/C endorsement (depending on your state where B/C endorsement represents car category).
What you have to do to obtain International Driver Permit:
- Book an appointment with your local city RTO- office (check the one closest to you here)
- Make sure you have the following documentation ready-to-go: Form 4 or ‘Form for the Issue of International Driving Permit’ (download here), a copy of your license, a copy of your passport, 5 passport photos, proof of address, proof of age.
- Take your Indian driving license and your ID.
- The costs involved are -at the moment of writing- around INR. 1,500.
- Within about 5 working days, your IDP will be ready!
Please note that you can only apply for your personal international permit; so you cannot get it online/on somebody else’s behalf.
Carrying your International Driver Permit, you are only one small step away from obtaining your Sri Lankan driving license. If you wish to organize it yourself, make your way down to the Automobile Association of Ceylon (also known as the AAC) office in either Colombo or Kandy.
You need the following:
- LKR 7662.50 LKR (around 2080 INR, keep in mind that the exchange rates fluctuate!).
- International Driving Permit (IDP).
- Your passport (hard copy), driving license (hard copy) and your visa, just in case!
- A pinch of patience for the Sri Lankan system. Although this is generally a relatively fast-moving process, during peak hours you might have to wait some time for your license to be ready. Don’t worry, the office is air conditioned!
If you wish to not spend valuable time in a government office while you could also be spending that time sipping a fresh coconut on a beach, or if you are not planning to go to Colombo or Kandy, you can also let us arrange your Sri Lankan license and/or your IDP. Make a booking with us on our website and we’ll organize your Sri Lankan license for you upon arrival!
For more information on and the details of arranging your International Drivers Permit in India, visit this website. To help you navigate the Sri Lankan system and its institutes, check this useful article!