Vehicles in the union european union: obtaining and renewing a driving licence

Last update 11 April 2024 by the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti

DRIVING LICENCES

ISSUING A DRIVING LICENCE

The requirements for obtaining a driving licence in a European Union or European Economic Area country usually include residence, a minimum age, fulfilling the mandatory level of medical fitness and passing a driving test. In Italy, you must also first have passed a theory test.

Age requirements for issuing a driving licence in category AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B, BE, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE

According to Directive 2006/126/EC:

Residence requirements for foreign nationals from another Member State for being issued a driving licence

The requirements for the issuing of a driving licence in Italy for citizens from another European Union or European Economic Area Member State are, alternatively:

Driving lessons and tests to obtain a driving licence

To obtain a driving licence in Italy, you will not have to attend specific theory lessons or driving practice. As a rule, it is not compulsory to attend a driving school to take a driving test.

The exception is a category B licence, for which you will have to complete some hours of compulsory driving practice at a driving school: on motorways, on country roads and in night vision conditions.

Accredited driving schools

Driving schools are private entities that operate under the direct control of public authorities, the provinces, in order to ensure proper training for future drivers.

The rates charged by driving schools are subject to free market rules and are not set by law.

In order to find out which driving schools are operating in a province, you need to contact the relevant provincial offices.

Driving test centres

The tests are carried out by staff of the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti who are specially qualified after a training course and an examination.

The content of the training course for examiners of practical driving tests complies with Annex IV to Directive 2006/126/EC.

Applicants for a driving licence must book the tests (first theory and then practical) at a Vehicle Licensing Agency office, which is the local body of the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti in each provincial capital.

The offices report to four local Directorates-General which have jurisdiction over the North-East, North-West, Centre and South regions of Italy.

A full list of Vehicle Licensing Agency offices, contact details and the names of the contact persons can be found on the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti website www.mit.gov.it at the following links:

Directorate-general for the North-West

Directorate-general for the North-East

Directorate-general for the Centre

Directorate-general for the South

The contact details of the responsible bodies in regions and provinces with special status are found below:

Region of Sicily
Department of Tourism, Communication and Transport
Communication and Transport Service
Department of Transport and Communications
https://pti.regione.sicilia.it/portal/page/portal/PIR_PORTALE/PIR_LaStrutturaRegionale/PIR_AssInfrastruttureMobilita/PIR_InfrastruttureMobilitaTrasporti/PIR_Areetematiche/PIR_Altricontenuti/PIR_MotorizzazioneCivile

Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Mobility, transport and telecommunications
Vehicle Licensing Agency
https://www.regione.fvg.it/rafvg/cms/RAFVG/infrastrutture-lavori-pubblici/motorizzazione-civile/FOGLIA1/

Autonomous Province of Bolzano
Traffic and transport division
https://www.provincia.bz.it/turismo-mobilita/contatti.asp?orga_orgaid=1152

Autonomous Province of Trento
Vehicle Licensing Agency
http://www.motorizzazione.provincia.tn.it/

Region of Valle d’Aosta
Vehicle Licensing Agency office
https://www.regione.vda.it/amministrazione/struttura/infomappa_i.asp?codmap=333

Fulfilment of moral requirements

Italian law provides that you must meet certain moral requirements in order to obtain a driving licence (Article 120 of the Highway Code).

It is therefore not possible to obtain a driving licence if you have been declared a habitual or inveterate offender, or as someone having criminal tendencies, and have been subjected to personal security measures, preventive measures or specific legal bans.

If the moral requirements are no longer met, the existing licence is revoked.

The Administration will check that you meet the moral requirements: you need not do anything.

Mandatory medical check-ups to demonstrate ability to drive

You will have to prove that you meet the requirements for mental and physical fitness in order to obtain a driving licence.

The check is normally carried out by specially authorised doctors:

specially accredited by the appropriate body of the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti.

A local medical board, set up in each provincial capital, will be responsible for verifying the physical and mental aptitude regarding:

If you hold a medical certificate that proves you have specific learning disorders (DSA) issued by an accredited body under Italian law, you may show it during the medical examination in order for your mental and physical fitness requirements to be established: you will be granted the right to take the theory test (computerised questionnaires) with extra time provided.

In order to apply for a driving licence in Italy, you will need to provide the following documentation:

To view the pagoPA scale of fees: https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/documents/56611/82780328/TARIFFARIO_SDG_EN.pdf

You can only access the payment service on pagoPA after logging into the Drivers’ Portal using the Public Digital Identity System (SPID) https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/web/portale-automobilista/home /

Validity of driving licences

Driving licences in categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B and BE are valid for 10 years; if they are issued or confirmed for people over 50, they are valid for 5 years; if issued or confirmed for people over 70 they are valid for 3 years and if issued or confirmed for people over 80, they are valid for 2 years (see also section: ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Special driving licences issued to the physically disabled and handicapped in categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1 and B are generally valid for 5 years; if they are issued to or confirmed for those over 70 years of age, they are valid for 3 years; if they are issued to or confirmed for those over 80 years of age, they are valid for 2 years (see also section ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Driving licences in categories C1, C1E, C and CE are valid for 5 years up to the age of 65 and, beyond this age limit, for 2 years, after it has been verified by the local medical board that you meet the physical and mental requirements. On reaching the age of 65, category C and CE licences only entitle you to drive lorries and articulated vehicles with a total laden mass not exceeding 20 tons: however, you can continue driving these vehicles up to the age of 68 if you obtain a specific certificate (see section below ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Driving licences in categories D1, D1E, D and DE are valid for 5 years and for 3 years from the age of 70. Upon reaching the age of 60, driving licences in categories D1, D1E, D and DE only entitle you to drive vehicles in categories B or BE: however, you can continue driving category D1, D1E, D and DE vehicles up to the age of 68 if you obtain a specific certificate (see section below ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

In all cases, if it is considered necessary to increase the frequency of medical checks, the local medical board (see below ‘Possible compulsory medical checks to demonstrate fitness to drive’) may consider renewing the validity of a driving licence for a shorter period.

Validity of driving licences for older drivers

In accordance with Directive 2006/126/EU, Italy has decided to increase the frequency of medical checks and to apply other specific measures when certain categories of drivers reach a certain age. Therefore:

Accepted driving licence formats in addition to the EU standard format adopted in 2013

If you are a citizen from any other European Union or European Economic Area country, you can drive a vehicle that the driving licence you hold issued by your country of origin entitles you to drive in Italy, even if the format does not comply with Directive 2006/126/EU. The licence must be valid. However, there are cases where you may be obliged to convert your licence into an Italian driving licence (see below under ‘Compulsory replacement of driving licences’).

Provisional driving licences and conditions for their use

It is not possible to drive vehicles in Italy with a provisional driving licence or a learner’s licence issued by another Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area.

RECOGNITION OF DRIVING LICENCES

Recognition of driving licences issued in other EU countries

Driving licences issued by European Union or European Economic Area Member States are treated in the same way as the corresponding Italian driving licences.

Therefore, if you are the holder of a valid driving licence issued by a European Union or European Economic Area Member State, you may drive with your licence until the expiry date and do not have to convert it into an equivalent Italian driving document, even if you have taken up official or normal residence in Italy.

However, if you commit offences which lead to the suspension or revocation of your driving licence under Italian law, you may be prevented from driving in Italy for a certain period of time.

If you have established your official or normal residence in Italy, you can also request the exchange of your valid licence for an Italian equivalent to the category you hold. This is not possible, however, if your licence is subject to restrictions (e.g. a review examination) or has been suspended, withdrawn or revoked in another Member State.

However, there are some cases where the conversion of your licence to an Italian driving licence is compulsory (see below under “Compulsory replacement of driving licences’”).

Recognition of driving licences issued in third countries

Driving licences issued by a country outside the European Union or European Economic Area allow you to drive in Italy provided they are accompanied either by an international driving licence, drawn up in the format provided for by the 1949 Geneva Convention or the 1968 Vienna Convention, or by an official translation of the licence into Italian. Your driving licence and international driving licence must both be valid.

The Ministry of the Interior has identified some cases where international permission is not required (e.g. for UK licences following Brexit or for licences drawn up in formats compliant with that laid down by the Vienna Convention).

However, if you are the holder of a licence issued by a non-EU or non-EEA country and you have been resident in Italy for more than a year, you need to obtain an Italian driving licence to be able to drive in Italy:

Recognition of driving licences issued in other EU countries in exchange for a non-EU driving licence

Current driving licences issued by another Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area by conversion of a licence issued by a non-EU country:

Contact details of the responsible authority

Information on driving licences can be obtained from the Vehicle Licensing Agency offices present in every Italian provincial capital.

The offices are under the responsibility of four Regional Directorates-General responsible for the regions of the North-East, North-West, Centre and South.

A full list of Vehicle Licensing Agency offices, contact details and the names of the contact persons can be found on the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti website www.mit.gov.it at the following links:

Directorate-general for the North-West

Directorate-general for the North-East

Directorate-general for the Centre

Directorate-general for the South

The contact details of the responsible bodies in regions and provinces with special status are found below:

Region of Sicily
Department of Tourism, Communication and Transport
Communication and Transport Service
Department of Transport and Communications
https://pti.regione.sicilia.it/portal/page/portal/PIR_PORTALE/PIR_LaStrutturaRegionale/PIR_AssInfrastruttureMobilita/PIR_InfrastruttureMobilitaTrasporti/PIR_Areetematiche/PIR_Altricontenuti/PIR_MotorizzazioneCivile

Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Mobility, transport and telecommunications
Vehicle Licensing Agency
https://www.regione.fvg.it/rafvg/cms/RAFVG/infrastrutture-lavori-pubblici/motorizzazione-civile/FOGLIA1/

Autonomous Province of Bolzano
Traffic and transport division
https://www.provincia.bz.it/turismo-mobilita/contatti.asp?orga_orgaid=1152

Autonomous Province of Trento
Vehicle Licensing Agency
http://www.motorizzazione.provincia.tn.it/

Region of Valle d’Aosta
Vehicle Licensing Agency office
https://www.regione.vda.it/amministrazione/struttura/infomappa_i.asp?codmap=333

Documents to be submitted by EU citizens in order to obtain recognition of their driving licence, including any time limits

Without prejudice to the recognition of your valid driving licence issued by a European Union or of the European Economic Area Member State for the purposes of driving in Italy (see section ‘Recognition of driving licences issued in other EU countries’), if you hold official or normal residence in Italy you can convert it into an Italian driving licence.

To find out more, see section Documents to be submitted by EU citizens in order to exchange their driving licence.

COMPULSORY EXCHANGE OF DRIVING LICENCES

As provided for in Directive 2006/126/EU, if you have your official or normal residence in Italy, you must convert your driving licence into an Italian driving licence if:

Obligations to exchange a driving licence issued by a third country for an Italian driving licence

Current driving licences issued by another Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area by conversion of a licence issued by a non-EU country:

Contact with the responsible authority

For information on the mandatory exchange of driving licences, you can contact the Vehicle Licensing Agency offices in each Italian provincial capital.

The offices are under the responsibility of four Regional Directorates-General responsible for the regions of the North-East, North-West, Centre and South.

A full list of Vehicle Licensing Agency offices, contact details and the names of the contact persons can be found on the Ministero delle Infrastrutture e dei Trasporti website www.mit.gov.it at the following links:

Directorate-general for the North-West

Directorate-general for the North-East

Directorate-general for the Centre

Directorate-general for the South

The contact details of the responsible bodies in regions and provinces with special status are found below:

Region of Sicily
Department of Tourism, Communication and Transport
Communication and Transport Service
Department of Transport and Communications
https://pti.regione.sicilia.it/portal/page/portal/PIR_PORTALE/PIR_LaStrutturaRegionale/PIR_AssInfrastruttureMobilita/PIR_InfrastruttureMobilitaTrasporti/PIR_Areetematiche/PIR_Altricontenuti/PIR_MotorizzazioneCivile

Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia
Mobility, transport and telecommunications
Vehicle Licensing Agency
https://www.regione.fvg.it/rafvg/cms/RAFVG/infrastrutture-lavori-pubblici/motorizzazione-civile/FOGLIA1/

Autonomous Province of Bolzano
Traffic and transport division
https://www.provincia.bz.it/turismo-mobilita/contatti.asp?orga_orgaid=1152

Autonomous Province of Trento
Vehicle Licensing Agency
http://www.motorizzazione.provincia.tn.it/

Region of Valle d’Aosta
Vehicle Licensing Agency office
https://www.regione.vda.it/amministrazione/struttura/infomappa_i.asp?codmap=333

RENEWAL OR EXCHANGE OF A DRIVING LICENCE IN ITALY

You can only hold one EU driving licence. This is issued by the authorities of the Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area where you are normally resident.

If you are a national of a Member State of the European Union or of the European Economic Area and have transferred your normal residence to Italy, and your driving licence, issued by your home country, has been lost, stolen, damaged or expired, you must exchange or renew it for an Italian licence.

Residency requirements for the renewal of driving licences for foreign nationals from another Member State

The requirements for a driving licence to be issued in Italy for citizens from another European Union or European Economic Area Member State are, alternatively:

Age requirements for renewing a driving licence in category AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B, BE, C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D and DE

Driving licences in categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1, B and BE are valid for 10 years; if they are issued or confirmed for people over 50, they are valid for 5 years; if issued or confirmed for people over 70 they are valid for 3 years and if issued or confirmed for people over 80, they are valid for 2 years (see also section: ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Special driving licences issued to the physically disabled and handicapped in categories AM, A1, A2, A, B1 and B are generally valid for 5 years; if they are issued to or confirmed for those over 70 years of age, they are valid for 3 years; if they are issued to or confirmed for those over 80 years of age, they are valid for 2 years (see also section ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Driving licences in categories C1, C1E, C and CE are valid for 5 years up to the age of 65 and, beyond this age limit, for 2 years, after physical and mental requirements have been verified by the local medical board. On reaching the age of 65, category C and CE licences only entitle you to drive lorries and articulated vehicles with a total laden mass not exceeding 20 tons: however, you can continue driving these vehicles up to the age of 68 if you obtain a specific certificate (see section below ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

Driving licences in categories D1, D1E, D and DE are valid for 5 years and for 3 years from the age of 70. Upon reaching the age of 60, driving licences in categories D1, D1E, D and DE only entitle you to drive vehicles in categories B or BE: however, you can continue driving category D1, D1E, D and DE vehicles up to the age of 68 if you obtain a specific certificate (see section below ‘Validity of driving licences for older drivers’).

In all cases, if it is considered necessary to increase the frequency of medical checks, the local medical board (see below ‘Possible compulsory medical checks to demonstrate fitness to drive’) may consider renewing the validity of a driving licence for a shorter period.

Time limits for renewal of an expired driving licence

Driving with an expired driving licence is penalised.

After 5 years from the expiry date of the driving licence, you must undergo a driving experiment to renew it (practical exam only), to verify that your knowledge, skills and conduct make you eligible to drive a motor vehicle safely. If you fail it, your driving licence is revoked. If you do not attend the driving experiment on the established date, your driving licence is suspended.

To apply for the exchange and at the same time the renewal of a driving licence which has been expired for more than five years, you have to submit:

* "(2) other applications"

** "driving experiment with vehicle (type and registration) and the accompanying driver (name, driving licence number and categories)"

If you do not request to undergo the driving test, on the Italian license, issued for conversion, the Motorization Office arranges a revision measure (theoretical and practical).

Mandatory medical check-ups to demonstrate ability to drive

Compulsory medical checks are related to the provisions of Annex III of Directive 2006/126/EC ( https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/IT/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02006L0126-20201101&from=IT#tocId55 ) Italian version, ( https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/HTML/?uri=CELEX:02006L0126-20201101&from=IT#tocId55 ) English version

Documents to be submitted by EU citizens in order to exchange their driving licence

To convert a driving licence issued by a Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area to an Italian driving licence, you must submit:

You will be issued with an Italian driving licence valid for the period remaining on your licence, if consistent with the validity provided for by Italian legislation.

If your driving licence is about to expire or has expired, you will also have to show:

In this case, you will be issued with an Italian driving licence valid for the period provided for under Italian law for your category and age or, if applicable, with reduced validity.

To view the pagoPA scale of fees: https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/documents/56611/82780328/TARIFFARIO_SDG_EN.pdf

You can only access the payment service on pagoPA after logging into the Drivers’ Portal using the Public Digital Identity System (SPID) https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/web/portale-automobilista/home /

Exchange of a driving licence issued by a third country for an Italian licence and time limits to be respected

Only driving licences issued by non-EU or non-EEA countries with which Italy has signed special mutual recognition agreements on driving licence conversion can be converted without requiring the holder to undergo driving qualification tests (theory and practical). You will be issued with an Italian licence in the category provided for in the specific agreement.

Documents to be submitted by third-country nationals in order to exchange their driving licence

To convert your driving licence issued by a non-EU or non-EEA country, you must submit:

To view the pagoPA scale of fees: https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/documents/56611/82780328/TARIFFARIO_SDG_EN.pdf

You can only access the payment service on pagoPA after logging into the Drivers’ Portal using the Public Digital Identity System (SPID) https://www.ilportaledellautomobilista.it/web/portale-automobilista/home /

Restrictions on the use of a European driving licence provided in exchange for a non-European driving licence

Driving licences issued by another Member State of the European Union or European Economic Area for converting a licence issued by a non-EU country allow you to drive in Italy.

However, if you have been officially resident in Italy for more than a year and hold a licence issued by a European Union or European Economic Area Member State for converting a licence issued by a non-EU or non-EEA country with which Italy has not drawn up mutual conversion agreements, you will have to obtain an Italian driving licence by taking the required qualification tests (theory and practical tests).

Relevant Legislation