New Caledonia: Australian International Driving Permit

Old Aug 3, 19, 7:13 am
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New Caledonia: Australian International Driving Permit

I'm thinking of traveling to New Caledonia later this year. I currently have an open driving license, valid for years and years to come (yes, I paid the big bucks to VicRoads).

Only ever driven overseas using my Australian driving license. But, since Nouvelle Caledonie is a french territory, I'm assuming they'll want to see me with an international driving permit.

Is this the sort of thing you get before you go – does the French embassy here in Australia do authorised translations? Or do you need to apply for a temporary license of some description when you first hit the streets in downtown Nouméa? I'd only be going for a week or so.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
Only ever driven overseas using my Australian driving license. But, since Nouvelle Caledonie is a french territory, I'm assuming they'll want to see me with an international driving permit.
Why do you assume that?
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Old Aug 3, 19, 10:19 am
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You don't obtain IDPs at embassies - in most (all?) countries you get them from your local automobile association. In Australia it appears to be https://www.aaa.asn.au/international...ving-overseas/
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Old Aug 3, 19, 7:17 pm
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Originally Posted by Catweazle View Post
I'm thinking of traveling to New Caledonia later this year. I currently have an open driving license, valid for years and years to come (yes, I paid the big bucks to VicRoads).

Only ever driven overseas using my Australian driving license. But, since Nouvelle Caledonie is a french territory, I'm assuming they'll want to see me with an international driving permit.

Is this the sort of thing you get before you go – does the French embassy here in Australia do authorised translations? Or do you need to apply for a temporary license of some description when you first hit the streets in downtown Nouméa? I'd only be going for a week or so.
They're not "permits" in the sense that they authorise you to drive, you driver's license does that. They're just a translation of your driving license into several languages. Australian driver's licenses conform to the 1968 convention so there's no real need to carry one anywhere in a European country. I've driven half way across the world, literally, and been stopped plenty of times overseas and not once was I ever asked for an IDP.

If you insist though, the state based motoring association (RACV) will get issue you one.
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Old Aug 3, 19, 11:17 pm
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As stated above, go through an auto club for a IDP, not an embassy. It is quite straightforward. And yes, unless you hold an EU license, you do need an IDP in New Caledonia, or an 'official' translation (IDP is easier).

https://dittt.gouv.nc/permis-de-conduire

Also recognized are valid driving licenses issued by:
  • the metropolis and the DOM-TOM
  • States belonging to the UEE (European Economic Union) or EEE (European Economic Area)
  • the former condominium of the New Hebrides
Originally Posted by jridge View Post
Why do you assume that?
What's the point of your question if the assumption is accurate?

A good rule of thumb is that if the language of the country you visit doesn't match your driver's license, a IDP is recommended or sometimes required. Because all the IDP does really is translate. Even if a IDP is not required, if there is a chance that the police won't be able to read an English license, it is a good idea to have a IDP.

While you don't need an IDP in the EU, an AU DL is fine, New Caledonia has OCT status and is not in the EU...
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Last edited by CPMaverick; Aug 3, 19 at 11:31 pm
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Old Aug 3, 19, 11:49 pm
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Even if the rules say that you're not required to have an international driving license, some rental car agencies might require it while in other locations having one can facilitate the process.

For me it's US$10 (for a year) and minimal hassle to get the thing from my local AAA office.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 2:47 am
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Thats interesting...I thought the IDP was not so much for places with a different LANGUAGE, but for places with a syllabary or different alphabet...
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Old Aug 4, 19, 9:36 am
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Noone asked for the IDP in New Caledonia.

The only times I ever needed one was in Japan (as above poster mentioned different language).
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Old Aug 4, 19, 9:49 am
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Hertz requires it in some European countries, IIRC Italy, France, Portugal, maybe others.
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Old Aug 4, 19, 6:33 pm
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The IDP is meant for anywhere that the local police, rental car companies, etc cannot read your license.

Of course that makes it more important for countries with a different alphabet system. But there are countries that use the Roman alphabet that still require a IDP. And even those that don't require it, if the police can't read your license you'll be detained until they can figure it out, so it's nice to have.

Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Hertz requires it in some European countries, IIRC Italy, France, Portugal, maybe others.
I've never been asked for an IDP in the EU, and I have rented from Hertz in both Italy and France multiple times. I do carry one usually, but it's never been required and I haven't shown it. This is on a USA license.

Last edited by CPMaverick; Aug 4, 19 at 7:30 pm
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Old Aug 6, 19, 4:45 am
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Originally Posted by bensyd View Post
Australian driver's licenses conform to the 1968 convention so there's no real need to carry one anywhere in a European country. I've driven half way across the world, literally, and been stopped plenty of times overseas and not once was I ever asked for an IDP.
That is terrible reasoning & advice IMO. Yes, people seldom ask for them. Rental car companies and police - true, not many ask. But that doesn't mean you aren't required by law to have it, and you can bet your plastic dollar that in the event of an accident that someone in the process of cleaning it all up (insurance, police, whomever) will ask for it - and if you don't have it then you're screwed.
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Old Sep 3, 19, 6:30 am
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Thanks folks for your replies. Decided to get one after all as you suggested and discovered how to order one easy and conveniently online, via the RACV website. Just arrived today by post!
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