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Sweden – Driving Licenses

Sweden has a well-developed public transport system, but having a driving license is always beneficial. Whether it’s to visit remote areas or drive on the beautiful scenic routes, having a license can come in handy. In this article, we will explore the rules regarding driving licenses for foreign nationals in Sweden, the procedures for obtaining, renewing and exchanging driving licenses, and the penalty system for motoring offences.

General Rules Regarding Driving Licenses for Foreign Nationals in Sweden

Foreign nationals who are staying in Sweden for less than one year can drive on their valid foreign license, provided it is in Latin script, and they are at least 18 years old. However, if a person plans to reside in Sweden for more than one year, they need to obtain a Swedish driving license within the first year of their stay.

If the license is not in Latin script, it should be translated into Swedish by an authorized translator. The driver should always carry their license, along with a passport, residence permit or national ID card, while driving.

Exchange of License

Sweden has agreements with several countries, which allow foreign nationals to exchange their driving licenses for a Swedish one, without taking a driving test. These countries include other European Union (EU) member states, European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland.

Foreign nationals from countries outside the EU and EEA, or Switzerland, need to take a driving test to obtain a Swedish driving license. The test consists of a theoretical and a practical part. The theoretical part is available in several languages, including English, and can be taken at the Swedish Transport Administration’s offices or through an authorized driving school.

Procedure for Obtaining, Renewing and Exchanging a Driving License in Sweden

The Swedish Transport Administration is responsible for issuing driving licenses. Foreign nationals can apply for a Swedish driving license at the Swedish Transport Administration’s offices or through an authorized driving school. The application process requires the following documents:

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  • A completed application form
  • A passport or national ID card
  • A residence permit (if applicable)
  • A valid foreign driving license
  • A certificate of a passed theory test (if applicable)
  • A medical certificate (if applicable)

The application fee for a driving license is SEK 250. Once the application is approved, the driving license is usually issued within two weeks.

The validity of a Swedish driving license is ten years. To renew the license, the driver needs to visit the Swedish Transport Administration’s offices and pay a renewal fee. The medical certificate is not required for the renewal of the driving license unless the driver is over the age of 70.

International Driving Permit

Sweden recognizes International Driving Permits (IDPs) along with a valid foreign driving license. However, the IDP alone is not sufficient to drive in Sweden. It must be accompanied by a valid foreign driving license. The IDP is valid for one year from the date of issue.

Penalty System for Motoring Offences

Sweden has a strict penalty system for motoring offences, and foreign nationals are subject to the same penalties as Swedish nationals. The severity of the penalty depends on the type of offence committed.

Minor offences, such as parking violations or speeding, result in a fine. More severe offences, such as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, can result in imprisonment or fines up to SEK 1,200,000.

Drivers who commit offences while driving on a foreign license can face suspension or revocation of their license. The driver may also be required to retake their driving test to obtain a Swedish driving license.

In conclusion, the rules and regulations surrounding driving licenses for foreign nationals vary greatly depending on the country. Some countries allow foreign nationals to use their own driving licenses indefinitely, while others require a local driving license or a driving test.

When it comes to exchanging, obtaining, or renewing a driving license in a foreign country, it is important to research the specific requirements and procedures set by the local government agencies. This information can usually be found on government websites or by contacting the relevant agencies directly.

It is also important to be aware of the penalty system for motoring offenses in a foreign country, as the consequences for driving offenses can be severe. It is always recommended to drive safely and responsibly, and to follow the local traffic laws and regulations.