The International Driving Permit is recognized in Sri Lanka so it is advisable to obtain an International Driving Permit before travelling. A foreign driver also needs to have a Sri Lankan recognition permit to drive in Sri Lanka. If somebody needs the Sri Lanka permit, he/she may ask the rental company to arrange it when makes the reservation.

The main road traffic rules:

  • Drivers drive on the left-hand side of the road.
  • Overtaking must be made from the right lane.
  • The minimum driving age is 18 years.
  • Seat belts are required for drivers and all passengers from front and rear seats.
  • The permitted blood-alcohol level is 0.08%
  • The speed limit in built up areas is 56 km/h (35 mph), on the open roads 75 km/h 45(mph).
  • Headlights must be dimmed or turned off in well lit areas.
  • Park is permitted in parking areas only.
  • The police phone number is 118 or 119.

Additional information:

  • Roads are generally in poor condition.
  • Most road signs have an English translation.
  • Drivers must drive very attentively since pedestrians and animals often appear in the road.
  • In Sri Lanka, road accidents are frequent.
  • Vehicles do not stop at pedestrian crossings.
  • Driving at night outside Colombo is hazardous as lighting is not existent in rural areas.
  • There are a number of military checkpoints across Sri Lanka.
  • In Colombo city, traffic is fixed by cameras.

Sri Lanka Driving Vocabulary

 Driving Overseas - Short Information