Can I drive with the Australian driving license in Estonia?

While renting a car in Estonia it is uncertain whether our Australian license will be accepted. We will clear the uncertainty in this article.


Please select your rental company branch

Differnet rental branches may ask you to show an IDP.
Please select your upcoming trip rental branch for the most accurate guidelines.

At this point in time, we have not yet collected the rental terms of rental companies in Estonia. Please visit us again in a later time to get more specific details.

Do I need an IDP?

Full laws breakdown for driving with the Australian license in Estonia

To determine with confidence whether you need an IDP or not, we check multiple data sources. Please review the following legal terms of: the Australian laws, the local laws in Estonia, the rental company requirements and real life reports we collected from other Australian travelers in Estonia.

What do the Australian laws say about driving in Estonia with the Australian driving license?

We have not yet collected the Australian laws. Please visit us again in a later time.

What do the laws in Estonia say about driving with a foreign driving license?

The laws in Estonia say the following:
Estonia recognizes driving licences issued in the following states Member states of the European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation The licence is valid until its expiration date. If the licence is valid for longer than 15 years, then it must be exchanged for an Estonian licence by 18 January 2033 upon moving to Estonia. Contracting Parties of the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and Contracting Parties of the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic Driving licence is valid in Estonia for 12 months from the owner’s residency in Estonia. Residency is proven by the data of the population register. You must be ready to prove your Estonian residency, if necessary. Licence entries must be in Latin characters or cursive script or transliterated into Latin script. The licence must include the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive. The description must include the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle and, in the case of buses, the passenger capacity. Licences not meeting these requirements are only valid with an international driving permit. A licence with a translation is only valid if the translated licence includes the category and description of the vehicle, combination of vehicles or tractor train for which the owner has the right to drive.
Source: Republic of Estonia - Transport Administration

It means that:
1. Holders of an Australian driving license can drive in Estonia, as Australia is a contracting party to both the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic and the 1949 Geneva Convention on Road Traffic. According to the information provided, Estonia recognizes driving licenses from contracting parties of these conventions, and such a license is valid in Estonia for 12 months from the owner’s residency in the country. Since the Australian license is in English and includes all the necessary details such as the driver's photo, name, birth date, address, expiry date, and the classes of allowed vehicles to drive along with maximum passengers and vehicle weight, it meets the requirements set by Estonia for foreign driving licenses.
2. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not required for Australian license holders to drive in Estonia, provided that the Australian driving license meets the criteria mentioned in the official local laws. Since the Australian license is in English and includes all the necessary information in Latin characters or cursive script, and since it complies with annex 6 of the International Road Traffic Convention of 1968 and annex 9 of the Geneva Road Traffic Convention of 1949, it is valid for use in Estonia without the need for an additional International Driving Permit. An IDP is typically required when a driving license is not in a language that is recognized by the country in which one wishes to drive, or when it does not meet the conventions' requirements. However, in this case, the Australian driving license already meets the necessary criteria for Estonia.

What are the rental agency terms for driving with a foreign license?

Different rental agencies might still require an IDP even while the local laws do not require it. Please find your appropriate local supplier in the list above to verify.

What do Australian travelers report after being pulled over by the local police in Estonia?

We don't have any real life reports by Australian travelers in Estonia.
If you've been there and was pulled over by the local officials, please share your experience with us and we will publish it to help others.

Where can I get an IDP?

Facts check reviewed on 6 March 2024 at 10:50 pm by PaapmPaapm editorial team.

Help us get it right!

Have you found a mistake or rented a car and can report with an up-to-date status?

Please help us helping other travelers with recent actual requirements of your rental agency or after being pulled over by the local police.

Why we created this website?

For years there's uncertainty of whether the driving license can be used abroad as is. We see travelers taking the effort of driving to the offices to purchase it, which is sometimes a non trivial effort, and at the end - nobody asks them to show the IDP.
This is frustrating as the IDP wasn't cheap or easy to get.

Some travelers say that they didn't need it while others say their trip was ruined due to the fact that they didn't hold an IDP in hand and the rental company refused to rent them the car. Some have reported that they've also lost their rental car pre-payment completely due to not holding an IDP.

The truth about the IDP is that there are multiple legal factors by the destination country laws, the rental agency rental terms and what happens in real life, when you meet with the local police or rental company agent. Sometimes real life is different from what the laws or terms state.

We hope that if an agent of the law or the rental company asks you for an IDP which you don't hold, you may refer them to the laws and rental terms we have collected here. Our experience shows that most of the time, the agents get confused and don't know the requirements, so showing them the proper snippet might help you out.

Please help us and report back whether our information is correct or not, so we can keep it up to date for other travelers like you!

Hold an IDP to be on the safe side

If you have the time, we always recommend to purchase an IDP, even if the information on our website says with confidence that you won't need one.

You better hold an IDP during 2024
Cover image by Dino Reichmuth published on Unsplash taken at Arches National Park Entrance Station, Moab, United States