Bizarrely enough, to legally drive in Sri Lanka you need a driver's licence. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is a small booklet which translates your driving licence, so you can show people all over the world that someone, somewhere deemed you capable of driving on public roads.
Getting the correct licences is entirely your responsibility, but we do highly recommend getting an IDP stamped in category 'A' to allow you to drive a 3-wheeled light vehicle.
The requirements to get the elusive category 'A' stamped vary in different issuing countries. We have collated information from some previous teams to get you started, unfortunately, the situations are so different in each country, year on year that you may need to investigate further into this.
General: One thing to realise is that an International Driving Permit (IDP) is not a stand-alone document, it is a translation of your own licence. It's issued by the same organisation that issues drivers licences, and its purpose is to make your current drivers licence valid in other countries. Therefore, to get an IDP with a Category 'A' Stamp to drive a rickshaw in Sri Lanka, you need to have whatever licence from your country you need to drive a rickshaw in your own country. For example, if a Rickshaw is classed as a motorcycle in your own country, then you'll need a full motorcycle licence to drive a rickshaw in Sri Lanka.
We highly advise getting an IDP with a Category 'A' stamp, as you may void your insurance by driving a rickshaw without it.
IDP for UK Teams
You can obtain an International Driving Permit directly from the AA by making an application by post or by applying in person at one of the designated Post Offices who issue the International Driving Permits on behalf of the AA. To make sure you don’t encounter any difficulties in getting the ‘category A’ box stamped (which is needed to drive the Rickshaw), read below.
A standard driving licence technically covers you for driving a 3 wheeled vehicle in the UK however the IDP has a different set of categories and groups 3 wheelers with light weight motorbikes.
If your license was issued BEFORE February 2001, you should be able to go to one of the designated Post Offices to obtain the IDP as the restriction code 122 should not be listed. If they protest (and some will) then ask them to consult their guidelines on IDP's as their issuing guidelines come directly from the AA. Alternatively you can make an application by post as detailed below.
If your license was issued AFTER February 2001, or on the back of your photo card licence it has the code 122 detailed in section 12, the Post Office will not stamp ‘A’. Should you have the restriction code detailed you can only make an application by post, directly to the AA, marking the top of the application RICKSHAW RUN – Please Stamp ‘A’.
Mark the top of the application Rickshaw Run – Please Stamp ‘A’ and send to:
Rosie Sanderson / Angela Hutchinson
Upper Ground Floor
This is what we've found are the requirements for the Category 'A' stamp, but these things can change so it's worth doing some of your own research too.
To get a 'Category A' permit in the US, you need a valid US motorcycle permit. A regular drivers license will only enable you to get a type B permit. You can get an international drivers permit at a AAA office.
You may need to have a Class 6 Endorsement (motorcycles) on your driving license to ensure you get the Category A stamped. Check the AA website for the most recent updates.
Australia now has a standard across all states. To get Category A stamped in you IDP you will need a motorcycle licence (R or RE class). Check with your local authorities to ensure this is the case.
You have three choices for getting the IDP: NAF (Norges Automobilforbund), KNA (Kongelig Norsk Automobilklub) or MA (Motorførernes Avholdsforbund). You also need to hold a valid Class A drivers license.
If your country is not listed above, we have not managed to collate information from previous teams in those countries. Please do e-mail in to email@example.com