Driving For Members

How to exchange your foreign driving licence for an Austrian one

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 20 Jan, 2023 Updated Fri 20 Jan 2023 15:28 CEST
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A person driving. Photo by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash

If your driving licence hasn't been issued in an EU country, you will probably have to change it to an Austrian one six months after moving to the Alpine country. Here's how.

Most foreign driving licences can be used to drive on Austrian roads for at least six months – just like in most European countries.

This is great for visitors or people working in Austria for just a short period, but it means many long-term international residents eventually have to get an Austrian driving licence.

The exact rules will depend on where your licence was issued.

What are the rules for exchanging an EU or EEA driving licence in Austria?

Driving licences from EU and EEA countries are recognised in Austria and remain valid for up to five years as long as they don’t expire.

This means they do not have to be exchanged for an Austrian licence after six months, although drivers can choose to do this voluntarily.

READ ALSO: Austrian citizenship: Can you be rejected because of a driving offence?

If an EU or EEA driving licence has to be exchanged in Austria, the process involves the Austrian driving licence authority submitting a request to the issuing country to verify if an Austrian licence can be issued.

As long as there are no issues, applicants will be issued an Austrian driving licence within weeks.

If a driving licence from an EU or EEA country expires while the holder is a resident in Austria, it will have to be renewed in Austria.

What are the rules for exchanging a non-EU/EEA driving licence in Austria?

People with a non-EU/EEA driving licence have to exchange their licence for an Austrian one after six months of living in Austria because it loses validity after this, and they need to exchange it earlier if the licence expires before then.

Most holders of a non-EU/EEA driving licence will have to take a practical driving test in Austria to exchange their licence. This usually takes place in German - but it will depend on the driving school as some offer classes and exams in other languages.

READ ALSO: Reader question: Can I take the Austrian driving licence test in English?

Non-EU/EEA countries exempt from the driving test rule (for all licence categories) are Andorra, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Switzerland, Serbia, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland.

Additionally, people with a driving licence from Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, North Macedonia, New Zealand, the Republic of South Africa, the Republic of South Korea (if issued after 1 January 1997), the USA and the United Arab Emirates are exempt from having to take a driving test for a category B licence.

A category B licence allows holders to drive a vehicle with up to eight passengers and a maximum weight of 3,500kg.

How to exchange a driving licence in Austria

Applications for exchanging a licence in Austria take place at a state police department, at LPD Wien (Vienna Police Headquarters) or at the district administration office (Bezirkshauptmannschaft) where you live.

An appointment is usually needed to apply, although your local driving licence authority will advise on the correct process.

The documents required vary depending on your original licence. However, most driving licence authorities require the original documents as well as a copy.

For voluntary conversion of an EU/EEA driving licence:

  • Passport or ID card
  • Foreign driving licence
  • One photo (portrait, 35 mm x 45 mm) in which the applicant is clearly recognisable (if possible, in line with passport photo criteria)
  • Where applicable, a translated extract from a driving licence from the issuing country (facilitates processing for the authority)
  • Where possible, confirmation of registration in the civil register (facilitates processing for the authority)

READ ALSO: Everything you need to know about driving on the autobahn in Austria

For conversion of a non-EU/EEA driving licence:

  • Passport
  • Foreign driving licence
  • In some cases, a translation of the driving licence
  • One photo (portrait, 35 mm x 45 mm) in which the applicant is clearly recognisable (if possible, in line with passport photo criteria)
  • Medical certificate
  • Where possible, confirmation of registration in the civil register (facilitates processing for the authority)

In some instances, the driving licence authority may request additional documents.

The fee for converting a driving licence in Austria is €60.50, which does not include a driving test or medical certificate fees.

Applicants are issued a temporary licence if the original licence is handed in to the authorities. This is valid for four weeks from the date of issue, but only within Austria and with an official photo ID card.

You can check more information HERE.

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The Local 2023/01/20 15:28

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