Everything You Need to Know About Driving in Mozambique 

You are planning a trip to Mozambique soon and you want to know all the details about driving in Mozambique and the license requirements for foreign drivers. This is the right place to learn all you need to know about driver’s license requirements, vehicle documentation, road laws, and mandatory items to drive safely in Mozambique. You need to know what to pack, but if you prepare in advance, a self-drive holiday in this friendly country is something you will never forget. 

Plan, prepare and plan some more before you set off on your road trip to Mozambique. Driving in Mozambique can be enjoyable and rewarding if you fulfil all license requirements and carry all the necessary vehicle documentation with you. Before you leave, get your car serviced and check wheels, wheel bearings, tyres, leaf springs, spare wheels, spanners, jacks, tools and all the things you should carry in case something goes wrong. We cover everything you need to know about driving in Mozambique to enhance your self-drive holiday. 

Documentation Required When Visiting Mozambique:

  • Passports, Visas
  • Cash, Credit or Debit Cards
  • Health Insurance cards, documents
  • Reservations, itineraries
  • Airplane, Bus Tickets
  • Vehicle Documents
  • Emergency contact information
  • Allergies bracelets
  • Copies of everything
  • Mandatory Items You Need to Drive in Mozambique

Prepare well in advance for a self-drive holiday in Mozambique. The Mozambican law requires all vehicles to carry specific mandatory items when driving in Mozambique. These can be bought from the AA, Makro, or other vehicle accessory suppliers:

  • 2 x Red Emergency Reflector Triangles that can stand on their own.
  • 2 x Reflective Vests/Jackets only in a greenish/yellow colour.
  • Black and white sticker showing the vehicle’s country of registration, visible on the rear of the vehicle.
  • Towing Sticker is a blue square with a yellow triangle inside if you are towing a boat or trailer.
  • A fire extinguisher for vehicles that works/has been recently serviced. 

Vehicle Documentation for Driving in Mozambique and the Law

The first step is always to confirm that you pack your updated vehicle documents, passport, visa and third-party insurance certificate. These are the documents that you need when you enter Mozambique by car:

  • The original or certified copy of the vehicle registration or vehicle license document if you own the vehicle.
  • An approval letter from the financial institution or bank authorizing the driver to take the vehicle out of the country, if you do not own the vehicle or the bank/financial institution, is still paying for the vehicle.
  • An affidavit signed by the police that you are not the owner of the vehicle if you are driving a company car. 
  • A border letter from the vehicle rental company if you are renting the vehicle, allowing you to drive out of the country.  
  • A letter of permission from your insurance company to take the vehicle out of the country, stating the country and dates of travel. 
  • Buy Mozambican third-party insurance online before you leave or at the border post – even if you have your own insurance. This third-party insurance usually lasts 30 days but drivers can extend this time.

Driver’s License Requirements 

Mozambique accepts South African driver’s licenses and international driving permits but if you are driving in Mozambique for more than 3 months (90 days) you need a Mozambican driver’s license.  One of the best ways to explore Mozambique is by car, so get an International Driver’s Permit (IDP) in addition to your car license. Find out more about IDPs here.

If you are from a Southern African Development Community (SADC) country (including South Africa) you will not need another driver’s license BUT make sure your existing license is valid, up to date and will not expire while you are travelling in Mozambique. If you are from another country entirely, you will need an International Driver’s License. You can get it immediately without having to do a driving test. Remember to have copies of everything. 

Always carry your passport when driving in Mozambique. Keep a copy in a safe place. Some countries no longer need a visa to enter Mozambique so read the Visa policy for Mozambique here. 

Mozambique Officials and What to Expect

Driving in Mozambique is rife with interaction with Mozambique officials who seem to be everywhere so knowing what to expect can smooth the journey for you. There are various departments for officials in Mozambique and different uniforms, so learn who is who and what to do when you come across them. Remember to always be polite, even if the officer is rude or obnoxious.

The first tip is that when an official waves you down while driving in Mozambique, immediately put on your indicator, slow down and pull over. Obey. Be respectful by taking off your sunglasses and turning off your radio or phone. Keep calm and still. 

  • Traffic officials wear blue pants, white shirts and visible name tags. They can fine you for anything and everything if listed in the ‘traffic violations’ for Mozambique. Get the written fine, don’t take a bribe – to avoid blackmail later.
  • Police wear dark blue pants and light blue shirts, similar to South African policemen. They cannot fine you. They can only search you and your vehicle for stolen items, illegal substances, smuggled goods or assault.  
  • Rapid Intervention Police wear dark green uniforms. They are riot police and tend to be aggressive.
  • Taxi police wear green pants and light green shirts with red armbands. They can only check taxis and other public transport vehicles. 
  • Customs officials wear blue pants and light blue shirts. They can only search vehicles for items not declared at the borders. 
  • Military officials wear camouflage uniforms. They can only search vehicles at roadblocks or borders. 

Unfortunately there could possibly be corrupt traffic officials who will try and solicit bribes. This is not unique to Mozambique. You can call the anti-corruption hotline on +258 82 965 7804 if you face any serious issues and you can read more about it here.

Remember: never take photographs or videos of any Mozambican officials. If they are aggressive, remain calm and respectful. You have every right to report them later to the anti-corruption hotline in Mozambique. We hope that you have read and understood these driver’s license requirements for Mozambique and what to expect with driving in Mozambique on that dream road trip holiday. Safe travels!