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Offline dawieMAN

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International Drivers licence question
« on: September 09, 2014, 07:21:28 am »
Hi guys.

My wife and I will be starting our Cape Town – Egypt bike trip in a little less than one year from now. To say that we are excited is an understatement!

We will both be riding our own motorcycles.

But we have a driver licence issue that I can’t seem to find clear answers on.  ???
The situation is a little complex to explain so I will try to do my best to explain it as clearly as possible.
Just let me know if there are any questions...


My wife and I are both South African citizens.
I have my South African motorcycle license so I am sorted.

We don’t live in South Africa any more – we reside in Taiwan now (for the last 4.5 years) and my wife has a legal Taiwanese motorcycle licence.
But we still have South African Passports and we will be using them when doing our trip.

So my wife has a legal Taiwanese International Drivers Licence and she has used her Taiwanese International Drivers Licence when renting and doing motorcycle trips in some other Asian countries without any problems.

I did not think that it was going to be a problem if she rides with an international licence that is not from the same country as her passport. But I recently read somewhere that in Yemen you need an International Drivers Licence that is from the SAME country as your passport.
Now we won’t be going to Yemen but it will definitely be a serious mood killer if we get denied entry at a border because of that that issue.

Can anybody please shine some light for me on the subject or point me in the right direction where I can find some more definite answers?

At the moment the countries we will be passing through are
South Africa
North Sudan

Thank for the help!!!!

Offline Pumbaa

« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2014, 08:06:00 am »
Your wife will need an international licence from Taiwan and you will need one from SA. No problem using the licence with SA passport. I travelled with Oz international licence with Oz issued normal licence for almost 2 years. I interchanged between SA and UK passports.

As far as Im aware, the AA in SA wont ge able to issue an international licence on a foreign licence. It might be possible, but you will have to check. The AA is normally good with email replies and info on their own site. Maybe stsrt there....

 Edit : Forgot to mention, I travelled through all the countries you mention like this with no problem. One piece of advice, try and make good colour copies of the normal licence and laminate it to look like the real thing. If asked for a licence, just hand over the laminated version. I have on a few occassions left it police who tried to get money out of me. No big deal. The same with your vehicle registration documents. Make sure you have good colou copies with you and always hand over the copies.

Offline dawieMAN

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Re: International Drivers licence question
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2014, 11:28:57 am »
Thanks for the reply Pumbaa – I really appreciate it.

I just checked on the AA website.
For the record: You cannot get an IDR from the AA using a foreign Drivers Licence.

Offline dawieMAN

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Re: International Drivers licence question
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2014, 05:38:46 am »
Another related question:

My wife’s IDR will have an English page in it, but her actual Taiwanese Drivers Licence will only be in Chinese. So no one in Africa will be able to read or understand what it says on her actual licence.

Would that be a problem? Or do they only check what it says in the IDR?

Better figuring this out now before we get there….

Offline Camino Cerdo

Re: International Drivers licence question
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2014, 05:28:21 am »
 No worry about them being able to read your wife's drivers license, that is the purpose of the international drivers license, to translate it to other languages.
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but  rather a slide in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, body totally worn out and screaming "Woo Hoo what a ride"

Offline dawieMAN

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Re: International Drivers licence question
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2014, 11:01:43 am »
yes - that makes sense


Offline Amsterdam

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Re: International Drivers licence question
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 08:52:16 am »
We travelled a similar route Oct 2013 - Jan 2014.  I have a Dutch passport, RSA license and AA RSA issued international one.  It really does not matter.  No one ever asked for any license at the borders and when the local plod want to see a document they are happy that you have one.  This international license question should not make it on the list of all the things that you will needlessly worry yourself about before you start this trip.  The whole thing is way easier than you think.  Enjoy the planning, scheming and dreaming.
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