How To Exchange Your Foreign Driving License in Vienna

How To Exchange Your Foreign Driving License in Vienna

Exchanging or Obtaining A Driver’s License in Austria

Alion Çaçi

After moving to Vienna, many foreigners want to obtain an Austrian driver’s license for business or leisure reasons. It’s usually granted for 15 years, but how easy is it to get it, and what are the requirements?

Photo by Mira Kireeva on Unsplash

EU/EEA and NON-EU/EAA citizens

If you’re from an EU/EEA country, your driving license is recognized in Austria. You do not have to convert it, but you may do so voluntarily.

After moving to Austria, C driving licenses issued in another EEA country are only valid until the expiration day but up to five years (unless converted).

When someone with a non-EEA driving license moves to Austria, they can continue to drive vehicles for six months. After this time, their license will expire, and they will need to convert it. Foreign licenses can only be converted if they are still valid, and their expiry date in the holder’s country of origin will also apply in Austria.

To convert a non-EU/EEA license in Austria, it is generally necessary to take a practical driving test. The holder must provide a suitable vehicle from the relevant license category. This is done by registering with your chosen driving school (Fahrschule). However, some non-EU/EEA driving licenses do not require a practical driving test upon conversion. These include licenses from Andorra, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Isle of Man, Japan, Jersey, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Switzerland, Serbia, and the UK and Northern Ireland for all categories. Licenses from Australia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Hong Kong, Israel, Canada, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Republic of South Korea (if issued after 1 January 1997), USA, and United Arab Emirates do not require a practical driving test for category B.

Austrian nationals who obtained a driving license outside the EU/EEA must also have their foreign license converted. Still, conversion is only possible if they were residents of the country where they obtained the foreign license for at least six months.

Official Authority

In Vienna, the traffic department (Verkehrsamt) is responsible for registering and issuing driving licenses.

Sicherheits- und Verwaltungspolizeiliche Abteilung (SVA) – Verkehrsamt

Dietrichgasse 27
1030 Wien
Telefon: +43-1-31310-0
Fax: +43-1-31310-976519

lpd-w-verkehrsamt@polizei.gv.at

It’s advised to go there with an appointment which you can schedule here. But before that, make sure you have your documents right.

List of documents and requirements for EEA driving licenses

  1. Completed application form (can also be found in the facility)
  2. Original driving license + 1 copy (possibly loss or theft report in original + 1 copy)
  3. 1 Passport photo
  4. Registration form in the original (Meldezettel) + 1 copy
  5. Registration certificate for EEA citizens (Anmeldebescheinigung) or photo ID (Personalausweis) for EEA citizens (MA35) if you move to Austria after January 1st, 2006.
  6. Original passport/identity card + 1 copy
  7. In the case of non-EEA citizenship, residence permit in the original + 1 copy

In individual cases, other evidence may also be required.

List of EEA countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary.

List of documents for non-EU/EEA driving licenses

The driving license acquired in the home country is considered proof of the entitlement to drive a motor vehicle. This driver’s license must be written in German or divided into classes A to E and be pink. Persons who do not possess such driving licenses may only drive a vehicle in Austria if they have an international driving license or carry the certified translation of their driving license. The international driver’s license is always valid only in conjunction with the national driver’s license.

General requirements

Main residence in Austria.
The applicant must prove that, when acquiring the foreign driving license, they have had their main residence or stay in the country of issue for at least 6 (six) months. This proof is optional if the applicant is a citizen of the country of issue of the driving license and already possesses the foreign driving license when establishing the main residence in Austria.

List of documents and requirements for non-EU/EEA driving licenses:

Completed application form (can also be found in the facility).
Medical certificate (the medical certificate may not be older than 18 months and may only be issued by an authorized doctor. The list of authorized doctors can be found here.
Translation of the driver’s license (a translation of the driver’s license is required, especially if the scope of the issued class(es) or the beginning or end of validity is not evident; a translation is not required for Bosnia – Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro, Croatia, Switzerland, Turkey, for example; for Israel, a translation of the embassy is required.
Passport in original and two copies.
Registration (Meldezettel) form in original and one copy.
Driving license in original and two copies.
One passport photo (36-45 mm x 28-35 mm)
Documents for the practical examination.
Other documents may also be required in individual cases.
Practical test. No theory test is required to exchange a non-EU/EEA driving license for an Austrian license.

The practical test must be taken on a driving school vehicle.
If the practical driving test is taken on a motor vehicle with automatic transmission, the driving license is also restricted to corresponding motor vehicles.

Costs and fees

Exchange: 60.50 EUR.
Driving test and medical certificate fees are not included in the costs listed above.

Even though various doctors apply different examination fees, it usually varies to around 50 EUR.

Nevertheless, the costs of the driving school are more inconsistent. There is little chance that you will find a driving school that will immediately register you for the practical examination. Usually, they all make the tested person drive for at least two guided sessions where the tested person is instructed regarding specific driving regulations in Austria.

The medical examination is the first thing to do to collect documents. After that, you need to register with a driving school and sign a document that confirms that you will do the practical test with them, and it’s usually never less than 70 EUR. ATTENTION: this doesn’t include the practical test fee or the driving lesson. In case of failing the first attempt, the fee for the second attempt is higher. Based on public opinion, the overall costs to exchange a non-EU/EEA driving license in Austria never fall below 500 EUR (which is still far from the costs of starting it from the beginning in Vienna).

After collecting all the documents, you can deposit them in person at the Traffic Authority or through the driving school. Upon deposition, applicants are usually informed that the waiting time for confirmation, if they are eligible for the test, lasts 1-3 months. This is because the authority usually requires certain confirmation or information from the origin country.

If you are still waiting to receive any mail or email within three months, the best thing to do is go there and ask in person.

After confirming that you can take the test, it’s between you and the driving school to schedule your lessons and practical exam date.

After a successful test, it usually takes 2-4 weeks to receive the new driving license at the registered address, and generally is valid for 15 years.

You have to give up your old driving license.

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