Driving licence exchange and recognition in the EU

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Driving Licence

Driving licence exchange in the EU

Driving Licence: You can have only one EU driving licence at any one time. If you move to another EU country, you don’t usually have to exchange your driving licence for a local one. However, you can voluntarily exchange it for an equivalent one in your new country of residence if you wish.

Voluntary exchange of your driving licence in another EU country

If you want to voluntarily exchange your driving licence you must be a resident of that country and meet the conditions for having a driving licence (e.g. you have reached the minimum age, your state of health permits you to drive, etc.).

Before the authorities exchange your driving licence, they will contact the authorities in your previous country of residence to check that your driving licence has not been restricted, suspended or withdrawn. If you exchange an old-style licence, you will be issued with the new standard format (plastic, credit card-sized photo card available since 2013).

Obligatory exchange of your driving licence in another EU country

You have to exchange your driving licence if:

  • Your licence is lost, stolen or damaged
  • After 2 years of usual residence, if you have a driving licence with an indefinite validity period (only if this is required by the national authorities in the country where you live)
  • You commit a traffic offence in the country where you live

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