Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?
Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?

Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?

© SamoaPocketGuide.com

What License Do You Need to Drive in Samoa?

You’re ready to hit the coastal and cross-island roads of Samoa, but what license is required to legally drive? For most visitors, you will need to bring your full overseas driving license with you to Samoa but not for hitting the road straight away. Only licenses issued in Samoa or International Driving Permits (IDPs) that have been endorsed by the Land Transport Authority are valid for driving in Samoa. Luckily, getting a Temporary Driver’s License for Samoa is easy for tourists, as long as you have your overseas driving license to present to a licensing authority and some cash to pay the fee. We go into all of that and more in this guide to using your overseas license to drive in Samoa.

For more car hire tips, be sure to head to What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa.

Driving Licenses Accepted in Samoa

The following license types are accepted in Samoa to legally drive on Samoa’s roads:

  • Samoa Driver’s Licenses
  • Samoa Temporary Driver’s Licenses (TDL)
  • International Driving Permits (IDP) endorsed by the Samoa Land Transport Authority.

Find out more about getting a TDL or endorsing your IDP in the guide below.

Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Visitors in Samoa with an Overseas License

If you are a visitor in Samoa and you have a current valid full driver’s license from overseas, you are eligible to apply for a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License.

Note that TDLs are prohibited to be issued to anyone on a licence with restricted, learner, probation, provision or court conditions.

Where to Apply for a Temporary Driver’s License

Temporary Driver’s Licenses can be obtained from the Samoa Land Transport Authority, as well as authorised rental companies and licensing authorities:

  • Land Transport Authority Apia – Vaitele (turn south off Vaitele Street next to Vailima/Samoa Breweries. The LTA office is located at the end of the road)
  • Land Transport Authority Savai’i – Salelologa (take the turn-off opposite Jet Over Hotel. The LTA office is approximately 250 m/270 yards down this road)
  • Samoa Tourism Authority Information Centre – Apia (Beach Road, opposite the Immaculate Conception Cathedral)
  • Samoa Post Apia – Between Togafu’afu’a Road and Beach Road
  • Car rental companies – Some car rental companies with a fleet of more than 10 vehicles provide licenses, while others may transport you to the closest licensing authority if you rent a vehicle with them.

For more details on where to apply for a TDL, including opening hours, check out How to Get a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License.

How Long is the Samoa Temporary License Valid For?

The Samoa Temporary Driver’s License is valid for either one month or two months depending on the option chosen and the fee paid.

How Much Does a Temporary Driver’s License Cost?

The Samoa Temporary Driver’s License costs either ST$21 for a one-month license or ST$42 to pay for a two-month license.

Can You Drive in Samoa With an Overseas License?© SamoaPocketGuide.com

Visitors with an International Driving Permit

Holders of a valid International Driver’s License, such as the International Driving Permit (IDP) regulated by the United Nations, may legally drive on Samoa’s roads. However, you cannot use your IDP for driving until you have had it endorsed by the Samoa Land Transport Authority. This endorsement exempts the driver from having to obtain a Samoa Temporary Driver’s License.

Where to Get an International Driver’s Permit Endorsed

International Driving Permits can be endorsed at one of the Land Transport Authority offices:

  • Land Transport Authority Apia – Vaitele (turn south off Vaitele Street next to Vailima/Samoa Breweries. The LTA office is located at the end of the road)
  • Land Transport Authority Savai’i – Salelologa (take the turn-off opposite Jet Over Hotel. The LTA office is approximately 250 m down this road).

Note that opening hours are weekdays only, from 9 am to 3 pm. Due to the out-of-town location of the Apia office, you may want to get a taxi; more information can be found in our guide, Taxis in Samoa: Taxi Fares, How to Use & More.

How Long Can You Drive in Samoa on an International Driving Permit?

Once the International Driving Permit is endorsed by the Land Transport Authority, the user may drive in Samoa for a period not exceeding 90 days in a total of any one year.

For more information about using an IDP in Samoa, see the Samoa Police National Road Code.

More on Driving in Samoa for Tourists

That’s it for our guide to whether you can drive in Samoa on an overseas license. For more on licenses and driving, take a look at the following guides:

Finally, if there’s anything else you need to know about driving in Samoa, you’re likely to find it in What You Need to Hire a Car in Samoa.

Author

Robin C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Samoa Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Samoa Tourism Authority, a local government body representing the tourism industry. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

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