Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about foreign driving licences

Yes, provided you have your driving licence with you when driving. Either your driving licence must have a photograph of yourself on it or you must, when driving, also have a valid ID document with you containing a photo. If your driving licence has not been issued in English, German or French, the police may also require you to have with you a certified translation of your driving licence. An international driving licence is a certified translation that can be used for this purpose.

A foreign driving licence issued in a country outside the EEA is not valid in Sweden if you have been registered here for more than a year. As long as you are not registered in Sweden, there is no time limit for how long you are allowed to drive in the country. If you have a foreign driving licence issued in an country within the EEA you may continue driving as long as the driving licence is still valid.

In Sweden, you can only change a driving licence that is issued in some other EEA country*, Switzerland or Japan. You cannot change a driving licence from, for example, Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia. Anyone wishing to change their driving licence must also have a valid and acceptable ID document.

*The EEA Countries are: Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Rumania Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Great Britain, The Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary and Austria.

Permanent residence means living for at least 185 days of each calendar year in Sweden as a consequence of a professional or personal link that is characterised by a close connection between a person and the place where he or she lives. If you live alternately in two or more states because your professional link is different from your personal link, your permanent residence is the place with which you have a personal link.

This applies on condition that you regularly return there. If you perform a task for a certain predetermined period of time in another country, you do not need to return regularly to the country where you have a personal link in order to be considered as being a permanent resident there. Studies at university or at some other institute of education do not entail any change in permanent residence. 

You are allowed to apply for a driving licence provided you can prove your identity with a valid and acceptable identity document. You must then undergo training, including compulsory risk education, and then take the driving test. The driving test consists of a theoretical knowledge test and a practical driving test.

You are allowed to take driving lessons if you have a driving licence permit when you take driving lessons either at a driving school or with a layman instructor. If you intend to take driving lessons privately, you must in addition to a driving licence permit also have an authorised driving instructor. You and your layman instructor will need to take a compulsory introductory course before the layman can be approved.

A driving licence permit is needed in order to take driving lessons and driving tests in Sweden. The driving licence permit is not the same as a driving licence. When you hold a driving licence permit and take driving lessons, you must always be accompanied in the car by an authorised instructor. You apply for a driving licence permit from the Swedish Transport Agency. In order to be granted a driving licence permit you must have a Swedish personal identity number/civil registration number or coordination number.

You do not need a personal identity number/civil registration number to take a driving licence in Sweden. It is possible to apply for a driving licence if you instead have a coordination number, but you must always be able to prove your identity by means of a valid and acceptable identity document in order to obtain a Swedish driving licence. This may prove difficult if you have an identity document that was issued outside Europe.

There is no specific regulation that stipulates when you are allowed to apply for a driving licence permit. On the other hand, your identity must be verified and you must have a valid and acceptable identity document in order to be able to take a driving licence.

If the police have confiscated your foreign driving licence because you have broken a traffic regulation, it will have a negative impact on your chances of being granted a driving licence permit in Sweden (which is needed in order to be able to take part in training and driving tests). It may then be difficult for you to be granted a driving licence in Sweden.

You must be a permanent resident of Sweden to be allowed to exchange a British driving licence for a Swedish one. You must also have a valid and acceptable identity document (e.g. a British passport) in order to be able to make the exchange.

Yes, as long as the British driving licence is valid in Great Britain it is also valid in Sweden.

You can contact an authorised translator in order to obtain help with this. An international driving licence is also a valid translation of a national driving licence. An international driving licence cannot, however, be issued in Sweden. You have to have it with you from your home country.

You must be able to verify your identity if you intend to take a driving licence in Sweden. In connection with the driving test, one of your parents or your guardian, husband/wife/civil law partner/registered partner or a legally competent child can certify in writing that your identity is correct. It is only one of these individuals who is allowed to give certification of your identity. You have to apply for exemption in advance, and the person who certifies your identity must him/herself have a valid and acceptable identity document with them. It is not possible to obtain any other exemption from the requirement to present a valid and acceptable identity document.

You are not yourself entitled to request a coordination number. At the same time as you apply for a driving licence permit the Swedish Transport Agency may request that you be given a coordination number. You can only be given a coordination number if there is no uncertainty concerning your identity. This means, therefore, that you must have a valid identity document, for example a passport, in order for you to be given a coordination number. You do not need to be registered in Sweden but if you intend to take a driving licence you must have an address. Should you have any further questions regarding national registration or coordination numbers, please consult the Swedish Tax Agency.