To drive in Ethiopia, foreign visitors, even if they have International driving permits, must obtain a temporary Ethiopian driving license.
To obtain an Ethiopian driver license, a person must have a valid residence permit. If permanent resident has a valid driver license from another country, he must authenticate his driver license at the embassy of the country that issued that license and certify the authenticity of the license at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After that, he must submit to the Transport Authority:
  • Copy of the original driver license
  • Letter of Authenticity from Embassy
  • Certification from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Two passport photos
  • Letter of application for license from a sponsoring organization
If an applicant doesn’t have a valid driver license from another country, he must take a medical exam and one written and two practical exams.

The general road traffic rules:

  • Driving is on the right hand -side of the road.
  • To drive, a person need to be 18 years or older.
  • The speed limit for cars and motorcycles in towns and villages is 30-50 km/h and outside towns 100 km/h.
  • Drivers are not permitted to use their mobile phones while driving.
  • Motorcyclists must wear crash helmets.
  • Pedestrians must use zebra crossings to cross a road.
  • It is not permitted honking a horn when not necessary.
  • Children under 7 years of age are not permitted in the front seat.
  • Seat belts are compulsory for driver and front seat passenger.
  • It is required to have a first aid kit in each car.
  • The third party insurance is mandatory. All vehicles must have  windshield sticker displayed as a proof of insurance.

Additional information:

  • Ethiopian drivers are not much disciplined so foreign drivers must be spatially careful at all times while driving. Honking is often necessary to avoid accidents.
  • Drivers must be very careful when going through town and villages as people tend to cross the roads without looking, and animals are presence in Ethiopian roads.
  • In Ethiopia, it is not provided riders insurance so foreign visitors must have their own medical/emergency insurance.
  • If a driver has an accident, he will have to pay for any damage caused.
  • In Ethiopia, there are different types of off-road pavements: good condition off-roads, gravel off- roads, sand off- roads, and off-road with bigger stones.
  • Emergency services are nonexistent in many parts of the country so drivers should always carry spare tires, fuel, and tools on long trips.

Ethiopia Road Traffic Signs

 Driving Overseas - Short Information