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Austria – Driving Licenses

Driving in Austria as a foreign national can be a bit tricky, especially if you are unsure about the local rules and regulations. In this article, we will discuss the general rules regarding driving licenses for foreign nationals in Austria, including the validity of foreign licenses, license exchange agreements, the procedure for obtaining or renewing a driving license in Austria, the recognition of International Driving Permits, and the penalty system for motoring offences in relation to driving licenses.

General Rules Regarding Driving Licenses for Foreign Nationals in Austria

Foreign nationals are allowed to drive in Austria with a valid driving license from their home country for a limited period of time. This period varies depending on the country of origin and the type of license. In general, the validity of a foreign license in Austria depends on whether the country of origin has an agreement with Austria regarding driving licenses.

If there is no agreement in place, foreign nationals can use their own license for up to six months. If the foreign license is in a language other than German, an International Driving Permit (IDP) may be required.

License Exchange Agreements in Austria

Austria has license exchange agreements with several countries, including the European Union (EU) member states and some non-EU countries such as Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland, and the United States.

Under these agreements, foreign nationals from these countries can simply exchange their license for an Austrian one without having to take a driving test. However, they must meet certain requirements, such as having a valid and non-expired license, being a resident of Austria, and passing a medical examination.

Procedure for Exchanging, Obtaining, or Renewing a Driving License in Austria

Exchanging a Foreign License for an Austrian License


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Foreign nationals who are eligible to exchange their license for an Austrian one can do so by following these steps:

  1. Gather the required documents, including a valid and non-expired driving license, a residency permit, a medical certificate, and a passport.

  2. Fill out the application form for exchanging a driving license, which can be obtained from the local driver’s license authority or downloaded from the website of the Federal Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (BMVIT).

  3. Submit the application form and the required documents to the local driver’s license authority.

  4. Pay the fee for exchanging the license.

  5. Wait for the new Austrian license to be issued.

Obtaining a New Driving License in Austria

Foreign nationals who do not have a valid driving license or are not eligible to exchange their license for an Austrian one must follow these steps to obtain a new driving license:

  1. Enroll in a driving school and complete the required training and exams.

  2. Pass the theoretical and practical driving tests.

  3. Submit the required documents, including a medical certificate and a residency permit, to the local driver’s license authority.

  4. Pay the fee for obtaining a new license.

  5. Wait for the new Austrian license to be issued.

Renewing a Driving License in Austria

Driving licenses in Austria are valid for a period of 15 years. To renew a driving license, foreign nationals must follow these steps:

  1. Gather the required documents, including a valid and non-expired driving license, a medical certificate, and a residency permit.

  2. Fill out the application form for renewing a driving license, which can be obtained from the local driver’s license authority or downloaded from the BMVIT website.

  3. Submit the application form and the required documents to the local driver’s license authority.

  4. Pay the fee for renewing the license.

  5. Wait for the renewed Austrian license to be issued.

International Driving Permits in Austria

An International Driving Permit (IDP) is recognized in Austria as long as it is issued in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic. The IDP is valid for one year and must be carried with the foreign license when driving in Austria. It is important to note that the IDP alone is not sufficient for driving in Austria, and a valid foreign license must also be presented.

Penalty System for Motoring Offences in Relation to Driving Licenses in Austria

The penalty system for motoring offences in Austria is strict, and fines and penalties can be quite high. In addition, driving offences can result in points being added to the driver’s license, which can lead to suspension or revocation of the license.

Foreign nationals who commit a motoring offence while driving in Austria can face fines and penalties as well as the loss of their driving privileges in Austria. It is important to be aware of the local traffic laws and regulations and to follow them carefully to avoid any legal issues.

Contact Details for Relevant Government Departments or Agencies Involved in Driving Licenses in Austria

For more information about driving licenses in Austria, including license exchange agreements, obtaining or renewing a license, and traffic regulations, you can contact the following government departments or agencies:

In summary, foreign nationals are allowed to drive in Austria with a valid driving license from their home country for a limited period of time. Austria has license exchange agreements with several countries, which allow foreign nationals to exchange their license for an Austrian one without having to take a driving test. The procedure for exchanging, obtaining, or renewing a driving license in Austria involves submitting the required documents to the local driver’s license authority and paying the relevant fee. An International Driving Permit is recognized in Austria, but it must be carried with the foreign license when driving. The penalty system for motoring offences in relation to driving licenses in Austria is strict, and fines and penalties can be quite high. It is important to be aware of the local traffic laws and regulations and to follow them carefully to avoid any legal issues.


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