If you wish to drive yourself in Sri Lanka, you will need a valid Sri Lankan permit.
This is because Sri Lankan law does not allow foreign individuals to drive with licenses issued in other countries.
To obtain a valid “Sri Lankan Permit” to drive in Sri Lanka you have two options:
Foreign Driving License holders must obtain a temporary Sri Lankan Driving Permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to be able to drive legally in Sri Lanka.
The DMV is located in Werahera, about 30 mins away from central Colombo, depending on traffic.
The process to obtain this permit may take anything from 30 minutes to a few hours.
The DMV is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3 PM.
Remember to check the Sri Lankan holiday calendar to ensure the DMV is open when you plan to visit.
If your license is not in English, a translation by the respective Embassy or any authority in each country is required.
The following documents are required
- Your own original Driving License (Translation copy if not in English) + Photocopy
- Your original Passport biodata/photo page + Photocopy
- Your original Passport Sri Lankan Visa Page + Photocopy
There is a photocopy office outside the DMV offices.
More information on the DMV Website.
You can locate the DMV on Google Maps.
You will need to have obtained an International Drivers License or International Driving Permit (IDP) in your home country and with this IDP you could go to the Automobile Association of Ceylon, to get your driving permit endorsed.
The endorsement is given over the counter at the AA office in Colombo which is open Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM.
More information on the AA Website.
You can locate the AA on Google Maps.