Sunday, August 11, 2013

How to exchange a foreign driver's license in Iceland

If you moved to Iceland and have a valid driver's license from another country then it is possible to exchange one for Icelandic. The process here is for those whose license is not from any EEA/EFTA member countries.

In order to exchange a license, one has to submit an application, pass theory and practical tests. The process is:

1. Visit Sýslumaðurinn í Kópavogi office and bring your driver's license, valid ID, a passport size photo. Also a medical certificate can be necessary (the best way to find out is to call them).

2. Present your driver's license and most likely you will be given a application form to fill and sign and will have to pay the application fee (ISK 5.900 as of end of July 2013). Your license won't be taken from you yet, but a photocopy will be made.

3. Wait for 2-3 days until the application information has been forwarded to Frumherji - company which conducts driving tests, automobile inspections and other vehicle related services.

4. Call Frumherji 570 9070 in Reykjavík (click here for other areas) and make an appointment for theory test. The test can be taken in Icelandic, English, Thai and possibly other languages.

5. Come to Frumherji on appointed date and time and take the test. Test costs ISK 3.100 (as of end of July 2013)

The test lasts 45 minutes with 30 multiple choice questions. 15 questions are in Part 1 (most questions are on traffic signs and traffic rules), where maximum of 2 mistakes are allowed, and 15 questions are in Part 2 (most question are on various regulations). In 2 parts maximum of 7 mistakes allowed, so for instance, if one makes one mistake in Part 1, not more than 6 mistakes can be made in Part 2. Otherwise the test won't be passed. 

6. Results will be announced immediately. In case of failure another test can be taken not earlier than a week from the original test date. Fee for new test has to be paid again.

7. When theory test has been passed a practical driving test has to be scheduled. For that it is compulsory to use a car from a certified driving instructor. The complete list of instructors in capital area can be found hereOne should call an instructor from that list and make an appointment with the instructor and Frumherji. Some instructors can arrange test appointment with Frumherji for you.

8. On the appointed day and time come to Frumherji and the driving test will take place. It costs around ISK 8.700 to take a practical test. Also the instructor will charge for use of the provided car which might cost ISK 7.000 - 9.000 or more depending on agreement.

9. If the practical test has been passed, then it is possible to go and exchange a foreign license for Icelandic license at Sýslumaðurinn í Kópavogi office. Note that the foreign license will be taken from you. It can be done after a period of two weeks from successful practical test day.

10. Celebrate.

Bonus information.
In order to prepare for the theory test here is a list of resources to go through:

1. Online test which is similar to what will be asked at Frumherji
2. Regulation on traffic signs in Iceland
3. Traffic law
4. Test on Sjóva insurance company website
5. Test on Driving Instructors Association website