I got my driver’s license last week
Just like we always talked about
‘Cause you were so excited for me
To finally, drive up to your house
That pop song by Olivia Rodrigo was a smashing hit last year. Probably every other pop fan who likes to listen to budding music has enjoyed this song 🙂 Getting and keeping a driving license is an experience everyone relates to. It is one crucial factor that gives you a chance to go places when you want to; of course, you have to have a car to drive too 🙂 In many countries, a driver’s license is still your primary form of identification.
I remember my first license was for a motorbike, and the moment I had my license, I wanted to go for a solo ride. When I did go for that solo ride, I almost felt like I was flying, free. Having that license was the start of some exciting experiences I had, good, perfect, and some bad ones too. Ohh, wow, I almost got too far down memory lane. Let’s talk about how you can get your driver’s license in Greece and experience freedom and joy yourself (not thinking about the soaring fuel prices for now).
On public transport in Greece, it is a tad expensive but worth the cost. Intercity buses and trains are excellent, as are the buses and trams within larger cities. If you want to save some, public transport is good for you. But if you are among the ones who get frustrated having to wait for the bus at the stop or take too much stress on missing out the bus/train by a few seconds or you don’t like walking from the bus stop, you will have to get a car and that implicitly means you will have to get a driving license as well.
When Do You Need To Get A Greek Driving Licence?
If you are planning to relocate to Greece, you will be interested to know whether you must go through the license subscription process from scratch or if the local authority will cut you some slack for being a license holder in other parts of the world. Some countries are rather strict in giving out licenses to foreigners/visitors, and on the flip side, some countries need wider acceptability for their driving licenses. Like people from the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc.) usually have to appear in theory and practical driving tests to get a license. At the same time, other nationalities are entitled to a Greek driving license right away. So, check whether your current driving license will work in Greece. This entirely depends upon which country you are currently residing in. We will discuss all these situations individually.
EU / EAA Countries Driving Licenses
If you have moved to Greece and currently have a license from any EU country or EEA region, you should not worry about a driving license. You can drive in Greece as long as your driving license is valid / not expired and meet the minimum age requirement of that specific vehicle. If your driving license expires, you must undergo a medical fitness test that certifies your physical and mental health to renew it.
Voluntary Exchange Of Driving License From EU Member States
Suppose you voluntarily want to exchange your country’s driving license with another EU state. In that case, you must meet that country’s actual minimum age and health fitness criteria for issuing the license. Respective Countries’ authorities will exchange the driving license and check if the driver’s history is clear then a new license will be issued.
Obligatory Exchange Of License From EU Member States
There are certain instances when it is obligatory to exchange your home country’s driving license with your current country’s driving license. Those instances are:
If your driving license is stolen or you may have lost it
Living in the country for more than two years
You have committed a serious traffic violation where you are currently living.
Of course, when you get the license where you are residing, you need to follow the rules and regulations of that country.
Non-EU / EAA Countries Driving Licenses
Once you have relocated to Greece and have a registered address, you can use your international driving license, valid for 185 days or six months. After that time, if you still plan to stay in Greece, you need to get your Greek driving license. You can have two options in this case first one is you get your driving license exchanged for a Greek license, or if an exchange is not an option, you have to get a new Greek driving license. In this case, you would have to give the driving test in Greece.
(Important information regarding Ukrainian refugees): Ukrainian refugees who are given temporary protection in the EU can use their driving license there. While entering Greece, the drivers are supposed to show their current or existing driving license. They can move freely for the next six months with Ukrainian license plates. Ukrainian vehicles are also exempted from giving tolls on the highways.
Countries With A full Reciprocal Agreement With Greece
You are exempted from any legal obligation about your driving license if you belong to the following countries or states. In these countries, driving licenses of a specific category will be converted into the same category as driving licenses in Greece without giving any type of test again. These countries are Australia, Canada, the Republic of Serbia, the Republic of Albania, Switzerland, the United States of America (any state), Japan, South Africa, South Korea, and the former Soviet Union countries.
Countries With Exchange And Recognition (Partial) With Greece
In Greece, only those countries whose driving licenses will work that come under the EU and those countries who have signed the Vianna convention. These countries include:
Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Central African Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, Cote d’ Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Congo, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Guyana, Holy See, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liberia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Niger, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Moldova, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, The former Yugoslav Rep. of Macedonia, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, UK & Northern Ireland, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe. If you have any of these countries’ driving licenses, you do not need an international driving permit to drive in Greece.
Non-EU Countries Without Reciprocal Agreement With Greece
If you are currently not residing in Greece and do not have a permanent address in Greece or your country has not signed the Vienna convention, then you should have an international driving license with you when you come to Greece. Before actually coming to Greece, you should have complete information regarding the current location you are coming from. If you have already exchanged your non-EU driving license with any of the EU country’s driving licenses, you can still drive in Greece, provided you fulfill the essential age requirement.
How To Get A Greek Driving License?
Suppose you are a Greek native planning to get your driving license for the first time. In that case, you must attend driving school for theoretical knowledge, a practical driving school, and a two-stage test (theory test and driving test) to get your license. That region’s transport and communication department are responsible for conducting theoretical and practical tests. If you are coming from another country but not from any of the above-mentioned countries, it is more challenging to get a driving license in Greece than it feels. First of all, you need to have an ordinary residence in Greece. Whether you live in the EU / EEA region or a non-EU / EEA region, you must submit proof of your residence permit to the transport and communication department.
Minimum Age Requirement For Obtaining A Driving License In Greece
Following is the minimum age criteria for obtaining a driving license for different vehicle types.
16 Years Age Limit:
Greece’s first and most basic driving license category is for transports like quad bikes, scooters, etc. The Minimum required age to apply for a license is 16 years, and you can get a driving license category AM for Mopeds and Light Quadricycles.
18 Years Age Limit:
Minimum 18 years of age to apply for driving license category A1, with vehicle type as Motorcycle, cylinder capacity not more than 125 cm3, power less than 11 kW, and power/weight ratio not exceeding 0,1 kW / kg and motor tricycles with power, not more than 15 kW, motor vehicles with maximum authorized mass less than 3.500 kg and designed and constructed to transport eight passengers other than the driver (category B), motor vehicles (except for those in categories D1 and D) with a maximum authorized mass of more than 3.500 kg but less than or equal to 7.500 kg, which is designed and constructed for the transport of maximum eight passengers except driver (category C1)
20 Years Age Limit:
Driving license category A2 for vehicle type as motorcycles of power less than 35 kW, with a power/weight ratio less than 0.2 kW / kg, not derived from any other motorcycle, of power two times more than the power of the adapted Motorcycle.
21 Years Age Limit:
Driving license for motor vehicles in category C (other than the ones in categories D1 and D) with a maximum authorized mass of more than 3.500 kg, which is designed and constructed to transport eight passengers plus one driver (relaxation of age to 18 years if the applicant holds a certificate of professional competence CPC of goods).
For a driving license, category C1E is a mix of vehicles consisting of a tractor vehicle in category C1 and a trailer or semi-trailer, with allowance for not more than 750 kg mass, while the maximum allowed mass of the combination does not exceed 12.000 kg and also a mix of vehicles consisting of a trailer or semi-trailer and also tractor vehicle in category B, with a maximum authorized mass exceeding 3,500 kg, where the maximum allowance of mass for this combination does not exceed 12.000 kg.
Driving license for category CE, a combination of vehicles with tractor vehicles in category C, and the trailer or semi-trailer that go with it has a maximum allowed mass of over 750 kg.
The applicant must already have a category C driving license for the above categories.
Driving license for category D1, motor vehicles designed and constructed for transporting up to 16 passengers other than the driver, with a maximum length of 8 m. For category D1E, a combination of vehicles with the tractor vehicle in category D1 and the trailer with a maximum permitted mass of over 750 kg; the applicant must have a D1 driving license for this category. For the driving license category DE, a combination of vehicles where a trailer with its tractor vehicle falls in category D has a maximum authorized mass of over 750 kg (for this category, the applicant must have a category D driving license).
24 Years Age Limit (Can Be 22 Years If Had A Prior Driving Experience Of Two Years):
A driving license of category A can be issued for motorcycles and motor tricycles of power 15 kW; if applying for this category at the age of 22, then you should have two years of previous experience, a driving license of category D, motor vehicles designed and constructed for the transport of more than eight passengers except for the driver (relaxation of age to 21 years if the relevant applicant is holding or applied for a certificate of professional competence CPC of passengers).
74 Years Age Limit
In Greece, drivers that reach the age of 74 must retake the driving test (not the written/theory test) to prove that they can still drive while ensuring their own and others’ safety while driving. Drivers aged 74 and above have to retake the test every three years.
Minimum Medical Requirements
When you fulfill the minimum age criteria requirement, the next thing in line is your medical test before issuing a driving license. The relevant license issuing authorities will take a medical fitness test, and you may undergo a medical check-up if you have crossed a specific age. After every five years, you will have a medical check-up if you are a lorry or a bus driver.
Requirements To Get Greek Licence In Exchange Of EU / EEA
As we have discussed, as long as your EU / EEA license is valid, you can use it in Greece, but if it expires, you will not be able to renew your license for the same country while in Greece. Instead, you will have to renew it in Greece, so you end up getting a Greek license. Following are the documents needed to get your Greek driving license:
Driving license application form (online)
Copy of your passport
Previous or expired driving license (must be translated into current country’s native language)
Residence permit issued 95 days before the submission of the application
Two current passport-sized colored photographs
Receipt of payment for processing driving license fee
Once the process and authentication are complete, a new driving license will be issued, and the transport and communication department will inform you about the collection of your license. Your original license will be sent back to your home country to the relevant authority through Citizen Service Centre (KEP).
Students studying in Greece for six months can also convert their licenses, provided they fulfill the age requirement criteria.
Requirements To Get Greek Licence In Exchange Of Non-EU / EEA
If your country does not fall in the EU/EEA or has not signed the Vianna convention, then to drive in Greece, you should have an international driving license along with that country’s driving license. Other than that, if you have once exchanged your non-EU driving license with any EU country driving license, this will be valid in Greece too. Provided that the category fulfills all requirements.
Pick Up Your Greek License And Hand In Your Foreign License
Once you are done with all these steps and successfully pass your theoretical and practical exams, your driving license is ready to be delivered to you. Your previous license will be taken back and sent to your home country.
Renewing And Validity Of Driving License
The driving license validity period is 15 years for categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B, and BE. This license category can be renewed for the same duration but up to 65 years of age.
The driving license validity period is five years for categories C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, and DE with the age of 65 years.
Average Time To Get A Driving License In Greece?
Driving a license in Greece usually takes almost 4 to 6 weeks, but in some cases, it can further extend this time to 4 more weeks.
How Much Does A Driving License Cost In Greece?
Theoretical and qualification tests, along with the application form, cost 80 euros in Greece. Training provided by the transport and communication department is still to be added along with any medical fitness test that needs to be done from a hospital or a lab.
Greece is open to accepting licenses from many countries, which makes driving in Greece stress-free. Drivers that want to get a license for the first time have to attend driving school and take a two-stage test to get the license. For visitors, exchanging a foreign license for the local one or getting a new Greek license involves a different administrative experience and is entirely worth it. And if you follow the above guidelines, it will be a smooth process.