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Situations relating to third countries (outside the EU)

  1. You have a driving licence issued by a country located outside the European Union.

    Member States are not obliged to recognise such a licence, even if it has already been recognised by one of them. It is necessary to contact the competent national authority in order to determine whether the licence is recognized.

  2. You hold an international driving licence.

    The validity of this licence within the EU depends on the possession of a national driving licence issued by a Member State. The latter has to be valid. 

    Within the EU, the principal function of the international driving licence is to facilitate the comprehension of licences issued outside the EU. With respect to EU licences has mutual recognition already been facilitated with the adoption of Commission Decision 2000/275/EC on equivalences between certain categories of driving licences (as rectified by Commission Decision 2002/256/CE).

    For holders of EU- or EEA-licences, an international driving licence does not have any specific added value for driving within the EEA. it always has to be shown together with the Community model national driving licence. Moreover, a Member State can never require a person to hold an international driving licence when this person is holder of a community-model national driving licence.



last update: 03-02-2009