International Driving Licence for Iceland: Do You Really Need It?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Are you planning a trip to Iceland? One of the common questions that travelers have is whether or not they need an international driving license to drive in Iceland. In this post, we will explore this question in detail, so you can properly plan for your trip.

Driving in Iceland

Iceland is a beautiful country with stunning landscapes, and one of the best ways to explore it is by driving. With well-maintained roads, stunning views, and relatively little traffic, driving in Iceland can be an enjoyable experience. However, it is important to know the rules and regulations before you hit the road.

International Driving License (IDL) – Do you need one?

First things first, let’s address the main question. Do you need an International Driving License (IDL) to drive in Iceland?

The short answer is no.

If you are visiting Iceland for less than 90 days and hold a valid driver’s license from your home country, you are authorized to drive in Iceland. You do not need an IDL, but it may come in handy if your driver’s license is not in English or if you simply feel more comfortable having one.

It is worth noting that Iceland is a member of the Geneva Convention on Road Traffic, which means that if your driving license is issued by a country that is also a member of the convention, it is recognized in Iceland.

Rules of the Road

While driving in Iceland, you must adhere to the rules of the road to avoid any penalties or accidents. Here are some essential rules to keep in mind:

  • Drive on the right-hand side of the road. This is an easy rule to remember for travelers from the United States, Canada, or most countries in Europe.
  • Speed limits. The speed limit in populated areas is typically 30-50 km/h (19-31 mph). On rural gravel roads, the speed limit is 80 km/h (50 mph), and on paved roads outside city limits, it is 90 km/h (56 mph). On highways, the speed limit is 90-100 km/h (56-62 mph).
  • Seat belts. All passengers in the vehicle must wear seat belts, and children under 135 cm (4 ft 5 in) in height must use appropriate child restraint systems.
  • Drinking and driving. The legal blood alcohol limit in Iceland is 0.05%. However, it is best to avoid drinking and driving altogether to ensure safety on the roads.
  • Other regulations. It is not allowed to use a mobile phone while driving, and headlights must be used at all times, even during the daylight in winter months.

Driving in Winter

If you are planning a trip to Iceland during the winter months, it is essential to prepare for driving in snowy and icy conditions. Make sure to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle and familiarize yourself with Icelandic weather forecasts before driving.

It is also worth noting that some roads in Iceland, particularly in the highlands, are closed during the winter months and should only be attempted by experienced drivers with well-equipped vehicles.


As we discussed in this post, an IDL is not required to drive in Iceland. However, it is important to make sure that you have a valid driver’s license from your home country and adhere to the rules of the road to ensure safe and enjoyable driving in Iceland.

We hope that this post has been useful in answering your question about driving in Iceland. Have a safe and fun trip!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *