We got our International Drivers Permit in the post yesterday. For anyone wanting to drive in Bali (car, bike, scooter, etc…) you are going to need an International Driving Permit. These permits need to be obtained in your home country and are basically a translation of your current drivers license into a number of different languages. You then need to have both your International permit and your standard drivers license with you at all time when driving/ riding.
Traffic police in Bali have an interesting ‘reputation’ for targeting tourists driving, especially those on scooters. Typically they will setup traffic stops to check for those having an international permit, as well as checking for all people wearing helmets. In many cases they will find ‘something’ that you have done incorrectly and state that the fine will be large and you might need to go to ‘court’- and on and on. It will usually end with a not so subtle request to pay a ‘small fine’ on the spot and then be allowed to go on your way. The best advice is to stay cool and calm and be apologetic. In most cases the ‘fine’ will be about $10 and you are done.
To try and mitigate some of these potential issues make sure you follow the rules and especially have an International Driving Permit organised before you leave. We organised ours through the NRMA in Sydney. You simple post the form in and it is process in about 2 days and posted back to you.