Getting an International Drivers License in Colombo.
Its a pretty straight forward process getting an international drivers license for Sri Lanka. It will cost you 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees. Learn about renting tuk tuk in Sri Lanka here. In all it took me no more that 30 minutes to get the permit once I’d found the place. Everything I’d read online said that you had to get the permit from the Automobile Association (The AA) in Colombo. This is no longer true. You now have to go to The Department of Motor Traffic in Werahera. Its on Dept of Motor Traffic Road which is just off Horana road. Be careful as there are two Departments of Motor Traffics in Colombo.
The address of The Department of Motor Traffic.
The Department of Motor Traffic
Dept of Motor Traffic Rd,
What does the permit allow you to drive?
Technically not a tuk tuk. Everyone I spoke to at the Department of Motor Traffic gave me different answers. My UK Driving license permits me to drive a tuk tuk in the UK. However, new laws in Sri Lanka require you to have a 6 months + visa for a tuk tuk license. It’s a very big grey area and no one really seems to know what’s actually true. My permit with a standard UK license allowed me to drive the following;
Driving Licence Class
A – Motorcycle Engine capacity > 100 cc
G1 – Two Wheel Tractor with a Trailer
A1 – Motorcycle Engine Capacity <=100cc
B – All Cars/Dual Purpose – GVW <=3500kg. Passengers<=8, Trailer<=250
G1 – Two Wheel Tractor With a Trailer
When I applied I went with two friends. A girl from Holland and a guy Australian. My Dutch friend like me had no problems with getting a permit. Although on her permit she was only allowed to drive cars. The Australian was not allowed a permit as he didn’t have a full license.
How much does it cost to get there?
Tuk tuk – From Colombo Fort Station it should cost around 700 Rupees if you go by the meter.
Bus – If you ask at Colombo Fort Station for either Ahalape junction or Katuwawla Bus stop you will be dropped off no more than a minutes walk away. This should cost you around 30 Rupees.
Train - The closest train station is Rathmalana Station. From Colombo For to Rathmalana Station costs 30 Rupees. From there its about a 300 Rupees tuk tuk ride away.
What you need to take with you?
- Photocopies of passport photo page, visa page and driving license.
- driving license from country of origin.
- 1000 Sri Lankan Rupees
right next door to The Department of Motor Traffic is a small shop that will do photocopies for 10 rupees per page.