Applying temporally driving permit in Sri Lanka

Make your trip more special by reserving your own vehicle to travel the whole journey.

How is it possible? Are you a non-Sri Lankan?

No problem, still you can! Are you an IDP holder? If yes, its simple. What does an IPD means? An IDP refers to International Driving Permit which is a domestic driver license that allows the holder to drive a private vehicle in any country or jurisdiction that recognize the document, the validity of an IDP is one year from the date of issuance. If you are an IDP holder it is relatively easy to obtain a driver permit in Sri Lanka.

According to Sri Lanka’s driving rules and regulations driving without a verified IDP or country origin license is subject to illegal activity. A non-Sri Lankan can obtain their verification done through automobile Association of Ceylon or Department of Motor traffic.

Automobile Association of Ceylon which is located in Colombo 03 (Refer Google map link) was established in 1904 of which it plays a major role in creating awareness in road safety of the country.

DMV which is referred to as Department of Motor Vehicle which is situated at Boralasgamuwa is another place where you can obtain your driver’s permit verified to travel within Sri Lanka.

When was the driving license invented?

Taking you back to the past the driving license was first obtained by Karl Benz who was the inventor of modern motor car, obtained a written permit for his motor wagon at Grand Ducal in 1888.

To explain more further a Non-Sri Lankan can obtain a temporary driving license or the Sri Lankan driving license. Here is a summary and requirement to obtain the permit from the departments mentioned above.


 Automobile Association of Ceylon Department of Motor Vehicle
Requirements For Temporary Driving LicenseCopies of:
- Hardcopy IDP or license
- Hardcopy of passport
- Hardcopy of visa
If the permit is in another language make sure to translate to English by a sworn translator, by your own country embassy.

- Photocopy or Hardcopy of driving license
- Photocopy or Hardcopy of visa
- Photocopy or Hardcopy of Passport
- 02 Passport size photos in case. If the validity of visa is less than 15 days.
OffshootIf you are an IDP holder you will receive a one-year validity from the IDP period of validity left.Validity period varies for the duration of the visa.
CostLKR 4400LKR 1000/month

A non Sri Lankan with a normal driving license ?

If you are a non-Sri Lankan proceeding with a normal driving license you can obtain a driving license to drive in Sri Lanka, but it is important to return IDP with regular license.
The following is what you will need,
– Photocopy & Hardcopy of visa & passport
– Photocopy & Hardcopy of Driving License
– 02 Passport size photographs if the visa validity is 15 days lesser. (Photocopy Shops available outside the premises)
– 1000 ($7 approx.)


You will be provided with a temporary permit with is identical to the existing one, which it is mentioned as car or motorcycle.

Obtaining a Tuk Tuk License 

To obtain a tuk tuk License it is only possible to get it through Automobile Association of Ceylon which Department of Motor Vehicle will not provide with a tuk tuk license. For it to obtain the individual must have an IDP.

To obtain a motorcycle license approval the national license must have the A type specifically.

With an IDP if you are proceeding the following requirements are needed,
– Passport / Driving License / Visa
– It would cost around LKR 4000 ($30 USD approx.)
This permit allows you to drive vehicles listed and documentation as provided by your IDP.

Non IDP holder

Unfortunately if you are a non IDP holder and you are already in a country to travel away from your country you can use the link below as an alternative.

They are the only online agent which is approved by Automobile Association of Ceylon to proceed with an IDP.

by | Dec 5, 2019

Yalni Shanthakumar

Travel Blogger

chamindieHello! I’m Yalni, a 22 year old girl and an independent traveller who admires every aspect in a different way, has a great passion in creative writing. Interested in traveling & capturing moments letting them cherish!