The Italian Codice della Strada is what sets conditions for driving in Italy. Specifically, Article 135 regulates conditions for driving in Italy with a foreign driving license. If you are considering travelling or relocating to Italy and wonder if your foreign driving license is valid, then you should first know about relevant differences when it comes to driving in Italy with licenses issued by EU member States or Extra-EU Countries.
Table of contents
- Driving license issued by a European Member State
- Driving license issued by a Non-European state
- Driving in Italy with a British driving license
- Driving in Italy as a tourist
- Regulatory Framework
- Support from A&P
- Book a call
- Request a quote
1. Driving in Italy with a driving license issued by a EU or EEA member state
According to Directive 91/439/EEC, EU citizens with an EU driver’s license don’t have to convert it into an Italian one, and may drive in Italy until its expiration date.
1.1. Expiration date of EU driving licenses
An EU driver’s license with an expiration date in line with the standards of Directive 2006/126/EEC, Article 7(2) can be used in Italy until the expiration date. After the expiration date, the foreign driving license must be converted into an Italian license at the Civil Motorization (Motorizzazione Civile).
Those who hold an EU driver’s license with no expiration date, on the other hand, must convert their license to an Italian driver’s license within two years after gaining residence in Italy (Article 7 paragraph 2 of Directive 2006/126/EEC).
2. Driving in Italy with a driving license issued by non-EU states that have signed bilateral agreements
Holders of valid driving licenses issued by a state outside the European Community or the European Economic Area may circulate in Italy with their license. The license has to be a sworn translation into Italian, for no more than one year after obtaining residency, according to Article 136 of the Highway Code (Codice della Strada).
After one year, they must transfer their driving license to an Italian license, if approved by particular bilateral agreements.
If you need help with obtaining your residency in Italy, read here.
2.1 What conversion of the driving license means and for which foreign driving licenses is requested
The conversion of a driving license consists in replacing the driving license issued by the Foreign State with an Italian license. The convertibility of licenses issued by Foreign States depends exclusively on the existence of reciprocity agreements, or bilateral agreements, in force between Italy and the Foreign Country in question.
Have a look here of the updates list of Countries that have signed bilateral agreements with Italy for the conversion of driving licenses.
On the other hand, driving permits issued by nations outside the European Union or the European Economic Area with which Italy never signed bilateral agreements cannot be converted.
If a person with a non-convertible driving permit wants to continue driving in Italy after a year, they must first pass the Italian theoretical and practical driving tests in order to qualify for an Italian license.
3. Driving in Italy with a British driving license
Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, British drivers will no longer be able to convert their license into an Italian license.
This majorly depends on the lack of reciprocity agreements between Italy and the UK to manage the conversion of British licenses into Italian ones.
From January 1, 2021, UK nationals shall pass the theory and practical exams to get an Italian license.
The license that was first obtained in Italy and then converted in the UK is the exception to the abovementioned. In this instance, retaking the exams to earn an Italian license upon return to Italy is not essential.
4. Driving in Italy as a Tourist
Tourists in Italy can drive with a driving license issued by the European Union.
In case of driving licenses issued in a non-EU Country, tourists shall obtain an International Driving Permit (IDP) from a local car association, following the abovementioned rules.