Driving License Requirements to Drive in Sri Lanka

We require either of the following driving licenses as required by Law in Sri Lanka (As you can be charged by law for driving without a valid license and bear all liabilities arising)

  1. Sri Lankan Driving License (With over 3 years (5 years for SUV) of experience).
  2. International Driving License/ Permit with an endorsement by the Automobile Association of Sri Lanka (AA) (If your IDP lists Sri Lanka in a list of countries it is valid in, the endorsement is not required but it is still recommended).

The AA charges USD 20 (and it’s given over the counter at the AA office in Colombo which is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM). Please check the Sri Lankan holiday calendar to ensure that AA is open on the date of arrival. We can pre-process the endorsement on your behalf if required, especially if you are arriving on a weekend or during after-hours or wish to drive off from the airport. An admin charge of USD 3.5 is charged for pre-processing. You are required to send us a scanned copy of the cover page and the photo page of your international license (fax copies are usually not clear enough). Note that the standard IDL/P is in the form of a booklet usually and not credit card sized (we can send a sample if required).

  1. Foreign Driving License holders – While driving with a foreign (country) license is allowed in most countries for up to 30 days, a Temporary Sri Lankan Driving License has to be obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in Werahera (30 minute drive from Central Colombo) to be able to drive legally in Sri Lanka. The DMV charges a fee USD 6.6 (budget for further Rs. USD 6.6 additional informal processing charges) and the process takes about 30 minutes. The DMV is open Monday to Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM. Our representative will accompany you free of charge. Please check with the Sri Lankan holiday calendar to ensure the DMV is open.

If the License is not in English, a translation by the respective Embassy or any authority in each country is required.

To obtain a Temporary Sri Lankan Driving License, the following documents are required

  • Your own Country Driving License (English Copy/ Translation) + Photo copy
  • Your National Passport + Photo copy of photo page and Sri Lankan Visa Page
  • You can find Sri Lanka’s holiday Calendar using Google Search.
  • You can also check whether a company is open or closed on a particular day or time by Google searching it’s name.