Driving In Greece With US License

Can you drive in Greece with a US driver’s license, or do you need an International Driving Permit? Here is everything you need to know.

Can I rent a car in Greece with US license?

Yes, by law you can rent a car in Greece with a US license. However, you will need to ensure that your car rental agency does not explicitly ask for an International Driving Permit in addition to your US driver’s license

So, while the law in Greece does not require an International Driving Permit (IDP) if you have a US driver’s license, in reality some agencies might ask for it. In a way, having the IDP can’t hurt, even though you may never be asked for it during your Greek vacation.

In order to rent a car in Greece, the driver usually needs to be at least 21 years old, or even 23-24, depending on the company’s insurance policy, and to have had their driver’s license for at least 12 months. Most car rental companies also ask for a credit card under the driver’s name.  

Can I drive with my US driving license in Greece

Do I need an International Driver’s License to drive in Greece?

The International Driving Permit (IDP), also referred to as “International Driver’s License”, is essentially a translation of your national driving license into ten different languages, one of which is English. 

The IDP contains your name, photo and driver information, and accompanies your national driving license.

There are many cases when an IDP is not required by law in Greece . This applies to the following categories of drivers:

  • People with a national driver’s license issued in the EU / EEA
  • Owners of a driver’s license issued by the USA / Canada / Australia / UK / Gibraltar, provided that the driver’s license is in English
  • License holders of countries who have signed a mutual agreement with Greece, such as Albania and Serbia
  • Drivers with a license issued by one of the countries that have signed the Vienna Convention (click here for an explanation and a full list).

Can I drive in Greece with a US license?

Driver’s license must be issued in the Latin alphabet

In all the above cases, the driver’s license must be issued in the Latin alphabet. A license which has no information in Latin characters cannot be used in Greece.

It’s also important to note that many agencies will only accept the standard credit-card-sized driver’s license, and not the older versions like the pink one below. 

Old style driving license in Greece

The following details must be visible: Name and surname, date of birth, place of birth, dates of issue and expiration, name / seal of the issuing Entity, driver’s licence number, a photo and signature of the driver, and the categories of vehicles that the license is valid for.

In 2023, the Ministry of Transport in Greece issued an explanatory document, which lists in detail all the countries issuing a national Driver’s License that is valid in Greece. To see the full document (in Greek), click here.

Can I drive in Greece with a US license

If you have a valid driving license from these countries, you DO NOT need an IDP to drive in Greece

If your Driver’s License was issued in one of the following countries, and your information is written in English, the Greek law does not require you to have an IDP. 

Europe – EU

Austria – Belgium – Bulgaria – Croatia – Republic of Cyprus – Czech Republic – Denmark – Estonia – Finland – France – Germany – Hungary – Ireland – Italy – Latvia – Lithuania – Luxembourg – Malta – Netherlands – Poland – Portugal – Romania – Slovakia – Slovenia – Spain – Sweden

Europe – Non EU

Albania – Armenia – Azerbaijan – Belarus – Bosnia and Herzegovina – Georgia – Gibraltar – Holy See – Liechtenstein – Republic of Moldova – Monaco – Montenegro – North Macedonia – Norway – Russian Federation – San Marino – Serbia – Switzerland – Ukraine – United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 

North / Central / South America

Bahamas – Brazil – Canada – Chile – Costa Rica – Cuba – Ecuador – Guyana – Honduras – Mexico – Peru – Uruguay – USA – Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)


Bahrain – Indonesia – Iran (Islamic Republic of) – Iraq – Israel – Kazakhstan – Kuwait – Kyrgyzstan – Mongolia – Myanmar – Oman – Pakistan – Philippines – Qatar – Republic of Korea – Saudi Arabia – State of Palestine – Tajikistan – Thailand – Turkey – Turkmenistan – United Arab Emirates – Uzbekistan – Viet Nam


Benin – Cabo Verde – Central African Republic – Côte d’Ivoire – Democratic Republic of the Congo – Egypt – Ethiopia – Ghana – Kenya – Liberia – Maldives – Morocco – Niger – Nigeria – Senegal – Seychelles – South Africa – Tunisia – Uganda – Zimbabwe


Australia – Tasmania

Driving in Greece

Do car rental agencies in Greece ask for an IDP?

While the International Driving Permit isn’t always required by the Greek law, some car rental agencies might ask for it. If you are looking to hire a car after you get to a destination in Greece, which some visitors prefer to do, you won’t know in advance if the rental agency will ask you for an IDP.  

This is why, overall, it’s actually a good idea to issue your International Driver’s Permit before your trip to Greece. The cost is around 20 USD, and the Permit takes about 2 weeks to process. 

All in all, it doesn’t really hurt to have it issued before your trip, especially if you are planning to rent cars in multiple destinations or countries.

If you have a national driver’s license from a country which is not included in the above list, such as China, India or New Zealand, you will definitely need to issue an IDP in advance of your trip to drive in Greece. 

Note that, in all cases, the IDP must be issued in the country which has issued your national driver’s license, and you must keep them together.

Have a look here to check car rentals in Greece, and also check terms and conditions of rentals from the comfort of your home.

Can I hire a car in Greece with a US license

Does the Greek Law actually mention US driving licenses specifically?  

Indeed it does! As of November 2021, visitors with a valid US driving license no longer need an International Driver’s Licence to drive in Greece. The same applies for visitors from Australia, the UK, Gibraltar and Canada, as long as the license is in English.  

If you can read Greek, here’s the full official legal document: Law 4850/2021 – Government Gazette 208/Α/5-11-2021 (Article 25.3.η). Here’s a rough translation of the relevant paragraph:

Owners of a valid driving license for motorcycles, motorbikes, motorized tricycles, quad bikes, and passenger cars, whose license has been issued by the United States of America, Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, the United Kingdom, and Gibraltar, can drive with their existing driver’s license during their stay in Greece.

In order to drive the aforementioned vehicles, license holders are required to have a valid national license of the corresponding categories, provided that it is accompanied by an official translation into Greek or English.

UK driver's license

FAQs about International Driving Permit and driving in Greece

Here are some questions that readers have asked in the past:

Can I rent a car in Greece with US license?

Yes, renting a car in Greece with US license is possible without an International Driving Permit. Driving in Greece with a US license is allowed by law. With that said, some car rental agencies might still ask you for an IDP, which is why getting one before your trip is not a bad idea.

Do you need an International Driving Permit to drive in Greece?

This depends on which country has issued your national driver’s license. If you are from the EU / EEA / USA / UK / Australia and many more countries, you don’t need an IDP, as long as your details are written in the Latin alphabet on your driver’s license. 

Can I hire a car in Greece with a UK driver’s license?

Yes, you can legally hire a car and drive in Greece with a UK driver’s license. However, some car rental agencies might ask you for an International Driving Permit, which is why it’s a good idea to have one issued prior to your trip.

Are there any age limitations to hire a car in Greece?

To hire a car in Greece, you must be at least 21 years old, with a driver’s license that was issued at least 12 months ago. The minimum age depends on the insurance policies – some agencies will only hire a car to people over the age of 23 or 24.

Is it easy to drive in Greece?

Driving in Greece is a great way to explore the country. Just be prepared for narrow and winding roads wherever you go, and avoid driving in Athens itself.

Here is my full guide on driving in Greece.

More travel tips for Greece:

Here are a few more guides with tips for Greece:

Vanessa from Real Greek ExperiencesHi! I’m Vanessa from Athens. I’m on a mission to visit all the Greek islands and help visitors plan their vacation independently. If you have any questions, ask them down below in the comments, and I’ll get back to you. Follow me on my social media: 




Driving in Greece with a US driver's license

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