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Driving Licence

Before driving a car in Iceland, ensure you have a valid driving licence.

A valid driving licence with a licence number, a photograph, a valid date and in Latin letters will enable you to drive legally in Iceland for a short period of time.

Validity of foreign driving licences

Tourists can stay in Iceland for up to three months without a residence permit. During that time you can drive in Iceland, given that you have a valid driving licence and reached the legal driving age in Iceland that is 17 for cars.

If your foreign driving licence is not written with Latin letters, you will need to also have an international driving licence to show along with your normal licence.

Getting an Icelandic driving licence

To stay longer than three months in Iceland, you need a residence permit. You can apply for Icelandic driving licence for up to six months after arriving to Iceland. After that, one month is given for the actual change of the license to an Icelandic one.

So, in effect a foreign driving license is valid for up to seven months (regardless of application for an Icelandic licence is being sent in or not

If you are from the EEA/EFTA, Faroe Islands, UK or Japan and your driving licence is issued there, you don´t need to retake a driving test. Otherwise you required to take both a theoretical and a practical driving test.

Further information

On the island.is website you can find more information about foreign driving licences in Iceland and how to exhange them into an Icelandic one, depending on where you are from.

Read more about the regulations regarding driving licences in Iceland (in Icelandic only). Article 29 is about validity of foreign driving licences in Iceland. Contact the District Commissioner for more information about what rules are in effect regarding driving licences. Application forms on driving licences are available from District Commissioners and Police Commissioners.

Driving lessons

Driving lessons for normal passenger vehicles may begin at the age of sixteen, but a driving licence may only be awarded at the age of seventeen. The legal age for light mopeds (scooters) is 15 and for tractors, 16.

For driving lessons, a certified driving instructor must be contacted. The driving instructor guides the student through the theoretical and practical parts of the studies and refers them to a driving school where theoretical study takes place.

Student drivers may practise driving in a vehicle accompanied by somebody other than their driving instructor under certain conditions. The student must have completed at least the first part of their theoretical study and, in the opinion of the driving official instructor, received sufficient practical training. The accompanying driver must have reached the age of 24 and have at least five years of driving experience. The accompanying driver must hold a permit obtained from the Commissioner of Police in Reykjavik or from the District Commissioner elsewhere.

List of driving schools

Driving tests

Driving licences are awarded upon completion of driving lessons with a driving instructor and at a driving school. The legal age for driving in Iceland is 17. To be authorised to take your driving test, you must apply for a driving licence with your local District Commissioner or the Police Commissioner of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police in Reykjavík. You can apply anywhere in Iceland, wherever you are a resident.

Driving tests are regularly conducted by Frumherji, which has service locations throughout the country. Frumherji organises tests on behalf of the Icelandic Transport Authority. When a student driver receives their test authorisation, he takes a written test. A practical test may be taken only once the written test has been passed. Students may have an interpreter with them in both tests but must pay for such services themselves.

Icelandic Transport Authority

Icelandic Association of Driving Instructors

Driving tests at Frumherji (in Icelandic)

Types of driving licences

General driving rights (Type B) allow drivers to operate normal cars and various other vehicles.

To obtain supplementary driving rights, such as the right to drive trucks, buses, trailers and commercial passenger transport vehicles, you need to apply for the relevant course at a driving school.

Licenses to operate machinery are obtained from the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health.

Driving ban

If your driving licence is suspended for more than a year, you must retake the driving test.

Drivers with a provisional licence who have had their licence suspended or been placed under a driving ban must attend a special course and pass a driving test to get their driving licence back.

Before driving a car in Iceland, ensure you have a valid driving licence.