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Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Finnish licence

Exchanging a foreign driving licence for a Finnish licence

Exchanging a driving licence issued in an EU or EEA Member State

You may drive in Finland on the basis of a licence issued in an EU or EEA Member State, for as long as the licence is valid.

If you are permanently resident in Finland or have studied here for at least six months, you may exchange or renew a driving licence issued in an EU or EEA Member State for a Finnish licence, or apply for a Finnish licence in place of a lost, stolen or destroyed driving licence issued in an EU or EEA Member State.

If your EU or EEA licence has expired, you must enclose a medical certificate with your application. You will not need to pass a driving examination, if your driving licence is still valid or less than 2 years have passed since the expiry of your Group 1 licence, or under a year has passed since the expiry of your Group 2 licence.

You should visit an Ajovarma office to exchange your driving licence. Take the following with you:

  • Your driving licence issued in an EU or EEA country or, if you do not have the driving licence a driving licence extract from the country that issued your driving licence.
  • Your passport or other official ID
  • Two photoghraphs

You may also need:

  • a medical certificate, if the EU or EEA licence you are exchanging has expired or you want to upgrade your driving licence from Group 1 to Group 2 at the same time,
  • a study certificate, if you have been studying in Finland for at least 6 months, but you are not a permanent resident of Finland.

The new driving licence will be sent to your home address within 3 weeks from the date you have submitted your driving licence to be exchanged for a Finnish one. You will be provided with a temporary driving licence for this period.

Exchanging a driving licence issued in a Contracting State for a Finnish licence

If you are permanently resident in Finland and have a valid driving licence issued in Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan or a country that has signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention (hereinafter "Contracting States"), you can exchange your licence for an A1, A2, A or B Class driving licence without passing the driving examination.

However, regardless of this, you will need to pass the driving examination (theory and driving test) to obtain a licence in the Group 2 and BE category.

In order to get exchange without the driving examination, you must exchange your driving licence within two years of becoming permanent resident in Finland and before your Contracting State licence expires.

If the driving licence you want to exchange has expired or you have been permanently resident in Finland for over two years, you must also pass a driving examination (theory and driving test).

When exchanging a driving licence issued in a Contracting State at Ajovarma, you will need:

  • your passport or other official ID
  • two photographs
  • a medical certificate
  • your foreign licence (plus an official translation into Finnish, Swedish or English if the licence is written in a non-Latin alphabet)

You must submit your foreign driving licence, as an attachment to your application, to Ajovarma, which will send it to Trafi for safekeeping.

You will be issued with a temporary driving licence while your licence is in the process of being exchanged. The temporary driving licence will be valid for a maximum of 6 months, however, this period may not exceed the period of validity of the foreign driving licence. You are not allowed to drive abroad on the basis of the temporary driving licence.

The process for exchanging your Contracting State driving licence at Trafi and receiving a Finnish driving licence in your home address will in most cases take around three weeks from submitting the application.

If the authencity of the foreign driving licence cannot be directly verified, or additional information is requested from the customer, processing the case and provision of a Finnish driving licencee may take 1-4 months from submitting the application.

If you have also applied for a Group 2 right to drive or the exchange is only possibe through a driving examination and you are issued with a driving licence permit for taking the driving examination, you will be provided with a Finnish driving licence within 3 weeks from passing the examination.

Your foreign driving licence will be returned to you only if you move permanently away from Finland. You must then return your Finnish driving licence to Ajovarma.

If your Contracting State driving licence was granted when you were permanently resident in Finland, it cannot be exchanged for a Finnish driving licence. You can only get a Finnish driving licence through mandatory lessons and driving examination.

Driving licences not granted by an EU, EEA or Contracting State

If your driving licence was not issued in an EU, EEA or Contracting State, to obtain a Finnish driving licence you will have to apply for a driving licence permit, prove that you fulfil the related terms and conditions and pass the driving examination.

You must submit your foreign driving licence and a medical certificate as an attachment to your application, to Ajovarma.

The new driving licence will be sent to your home address within 2 weeks from passing the examination.

If your driving licence was issued in a state that is not recognised by Finland, or you were permanently resident in Finland when you were granted a driving licence by a non-recognised state, your licence cannot be accepted as a basis for passing the Finnish driving examination.

Contracting States

Countries that have signed the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention (Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan are also Contracting States)

 

Driving Licence Groups

Group 1: AM120, AM121, T, A1, A2, A, B, BE

Group 2: C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE

 
 

 

Page updated 11/16/2018

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