Can I drive with the Australian driving license in Philippines?

While renting a car in Philippines 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 Philippines. 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 Philippines

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 Philippines, the rental company requirements and real life reports we collected from other Australian travelers in Philippines.

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

The laws in Philippines say the following:
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 4136 AN ACT TO COMPILE THE LAWS RELATIVE TO LAND TRANSPORTATION AND TRAFFIC RULES, TO CREATE A LAND TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES (m) “Tourist” shall mean a foreigner who travels from place to place for pleasure or culture. SECTION 21. Operation of Motor Vehicles by Tourists. – Bona fide tourist and similar transients who are duly licensed to operate motor vehicles in their respective countries may be allowed to operate motor vehicles during but not after ninety days of their sojourn in the Philippines. If any accident involving such tourist or transient occurs, which upon investigation by the Commissioner or his deputies indicates that the said tourist or transient is incompetent to operate motor vehicles, the Commissioner shall immediately inform the said tourist or transient in writing that he shall no longer be permitted to operate a motor vehicle. After ninety days, any tourist or transient desiring to operate motor vehicles shall pay fees and obtain and carry a license as hereinafter provided.
Source: The Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines

It means that:
1. Holders of an Australian driving license can drive in the Philippines, as per the provisions of Republic Act No. 4136. According to Section 21 of this Act, bona fide tourists, which include Australian citizens visiting the Philippines, are allowed to operate motor vehicles using their foreign driver's license for a period not exceeding ninety days from their date of arrival in the Philippines. The Australian driving license, which is in English and contains all necessary details such as the driver's photo, name, birth date, address, expiry date, and the classes of allowed vehicles, is sufficient for this purpose.
2. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is not explicitly required by the law mentioned above for tourists to drive in the Philippines within the 90-day period. Since the Australian driving license complies with the conventions to which the Philippines is also a party, and given that the license is in English and contains all the necessary information, it should be accepted for use in the Philippines without the need for an IDP. However, it is important to note that an IDP can serve as an additional translation document and may be helpful in some situations, but based on the information provided and the law cited, it is not a mandatory requirement for Australian license holders.

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 Philippines?

We don't have any real life reports by Australian travelers in Philippines.
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 10:51 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