Sri Lanka is a country filled with adventure. From the golden beaches to the breath-taking hills, the pearl of the Indian ocean is one full of adventure. However, if you want to travel to all of these beautiful places within your own terms, you are going to need a driver’s permit. You see, Sri Lanka is one of few countries that require you to verify your licence before you start driving, but that doesn’t mean it’s a hassle, and we’re here to show you exactly how it’s done.

When looking for a driving licence in Sri Lanka, you will have one of three options:

1. Get your driving licence before you land via
Your first and most convenient way is to get your licence sorted out before you land. Sri Lanka Bike Rent is the only company that can get you a driving permit completely online and save you the hassle of waiting at a government office. The website consists of three super simple steps that you can complete on your phone or laptop that will enable you to get behind the wheel from the moment you land. This is usually the method of choice for most tourists, and for good reason.


2. Obtaining a temporary Sri Lankan driving permit
If you wish to obtain a temporary Sri Lankan driving licence, you are looking at a 30-minute drive from the heart of Colombo to a suburb called Werahera, where you will find the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). The DMV is open from Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm, and the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours depending on your luck. Keep in mind that Sri Lanka has a lot of public holidays, so have a look at the calendar before you go.


3. Endorsing your IDP (International Driving Permit) with the Automobile Association of Ceylon
This method requires you to obtain an IDP from your home country and have it endorsed by the Automobile Association of Ceylon upon arrival. You may obtain the endorsement over the counter from the AA from Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm. Our advice is that you get there as early as possible to avoid disappointment. The AA office can be located on google maps, and you can also visit their website to call them or get an idea of the documents required for your endorsement.


In summary, there are a plethora of ways that you can obtain a driving permit in Sri Lanka as a tourist. However, our advice is that you let us handle the hassle for you. Government offices can be gruelling and time consuming, especially if you don’t speak the language. For that purpose, your best bet is to contact and let us do the work so that your driving permit will be ready and waiting for you as soon as you arrive in sunny Sri Lanka. Happy travels!