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Getting a driving licence for a lorry

Getting a driving licence for a lorry

You need a category C driving licence to drive a lorry, and a category CE driving licence to drive a vehicle combination.

The minimum age requirement for these licences is usually 21. If you need to drive a lorry at work, you may be eligible for a category C or CE right to drive at the age of 18. In this case, you will have to complete a lorry driver's professional competence training.

The minimum age requirement for driving vehicles in categories C1 and C1E (smaller lorries and vehicle combinations) is 18.

Licences for the different C categories are primarily valid for five years.


You can obtain a driving licence by taking the following three steps:

1. Driving licence permit

You need a driving licence permit to obtain a driving licence. The permit may be granted at the earliest when you turn 17. The permit is valid for three years. The driving licence permit is the prerequisite for taking a driving examination. You should apply for it in good time before booking a time for the theoretical test.


2. Driving instruction

You can take the driving instruction at a driving school, in vocational training or under a driving instruction permit. You may start driving instruction 6 months before fulfilling the age requirement. If you are participating in driving instruction for a lorry in a vocational education and training institution, you must be at least 16 years old before starting the instruction. You must be at least 17 before you can take any instruction on the road.

You may only take driving instruction for vehicle combinations, or category C1E or CE vehicles, when you have been issued with a right to drive a towing vehicle.


3. Driving examination

You can take the driving examination after completing the instruction. You must have a valid driving licence permit to take a driving examination. The driving examination for category C1 and C vehicles consists of a theory test and a practical driving test on the road. The driving examination for category C1E and CE vehicles also contains an additional handling test, which must be completed before your driving test.

Upgrade your driving licence service

You may upgrade your valid driving licence using Traficom’s e-Service ‘Upgrade your driving licence’, provided that you meet certain requirements.

Use of the service requires that you already possess at least one driving licence category and are applying for an upgrade with a driving examination.

Read more about the requirements for using the Upgrade your driving licence service. If you are not able to use the service, you can upgrade your driving licence at Ajovarma.


Driving licence posted to your home address

When you pass your driving examination, you will be given a certificate entitling you to drive on mainland Finland for six months. This will serve as your driving licence when you present it with a photo ID. Keep the document with you until you receive your official driving licence.

The actual driving licence will be posted to your home address within a week of the examination.

Professional competence

All lorry drivers working in professional transport are required the professional competence of a lorry driver.

Candidates are not required to obtain separate basic level professional competence if they are studying for a vocational degree which will provide them with the required qualifications.



Page updated 06/27/2019

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