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Old 2 Nov 2010
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Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Budapest, Hungary
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Importing Bike to India: International Driving Permit required??

Hi all,

So I've shipped my bike from Dubai to Delhi, and just today it arrived at the Delhi airport. I spoke with some folks at Emirati airlines, who did the airfreight, and they recommended a shipping agent at the airport who could help me through the formalities, and I just called.

He seems to be under the impression that, along with the carnet and my passport and registration papers for the bike etc, I'm going to need my International Driving Permit.

What the hey? I used to have one of those, like 9 years ago, but I've been driving cars and riding bikes in 20+ countries since then and not once was I ever asked for that piece of paper. I've stamped my carnet in and out three times now, and not once was I asked for an IDP or any other proof of my ability to ride a bike. Needless to say, I'm far, far from my home country (Canada) where I could be issued one of these International Driving Permits.

Moreover, why would the importation authorities in India care about my license? I thought they'd just be concerned with who owns the bike, and that questions of being licensed to drive would be the concern of traffic police and no-one else.

Which brings me to my next question: I was warned by the folks who shipped my bike that shipping agents here in India can be very dodgy, and they like to come up with all kinds of obscure and unnecessary paperwork requirements in an effort to relieve you of more of your money. Could that be the case here?

Thanks everyone for your time!

Cheers,
JimVanMorrissey
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