Driving License Denmark

Want to exchange your driving license Denmark? It is a little bit more involved than you think! There are various rules and exceptions for exchanging your driver's licence and or using your existing one. Depending on where your original license was issued - EU vs non EU and which country that is, so will try to make it as simple as possible. Lets start with

New Driver's Licence Rules Apply April 1, 2016

On April 1, 2016 Denmark will allow many foreign driver's licence to be exchanged for a Danish one without the previous requirements of taking expensive driver's education classes and a driving test. These test are usually conducted in Danish so many expats also had to have an interpreter along.

The USA, Canada and Australian drivers have now been excluded from these rules and can exchange their license if they sign a declaration that they have been driving regularly for the past two years and have not had the license revoked within the past 5 years.  The new rule also allows people from Group 1 and Group 2 countries to drive on your foreign license for up to a year before having to exchange it. 

One of the major drawbacks is for foreigners who have lived in Denmark for over a year and not exchanged their driving licence. Since the declaration states that you have been driving regularly for the past two years, either you have been driving illegally on a foreign license or you are being untruthful. For those people the old method may be the only way to get a new license. Bad news for those expats who have lived in Denmark for some time, but good news for all you newbies. One less hurdle to overcome – and let’s face it – it was a BIG hurdle and an expensive one too.  Thanks goes out to all those expats who have campaigned to have this change made to the driving license laws and to Hans Christian Schmidt, Denmark’s transport minister, who finally passed the law into effect.

You can see the actual document in Danish here.

Tourists and Non Residents

Tourists and non residents: If you have a driver's license issued:

  • by an EU or EEA country including Iceland, Lichtenstein
  • from Greenland or the Faroe Islands
  • that is a temporary license from Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden
  • by a non EU/EEA country  in the Latin alphabet or is accompanied by a translation in Danish, English or French. The translation must be produced by a authorized organization
  • as an international driving licence.

than you can drive on that while visiting Denmark. You can only drive the same type vehicles as you could in your home country. If you do not have a motorcycle license at home than you can not drive a motorcycle in Denmark.

Residents EU /EEA

EU or EEA country : If your driving license is from any EU or EEA country - including Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Faroe Island - you can drive on that without having to exchange your license. You may exchange it at your local borgerservice, but it is not required.

Your original license must be valid and can not extend beyond your 70th birthday.

Greenland Exception: You are allowed to drive on your license for 90 days and than must exchange it and complete a driving test.

Non EU/EEA Countries

Non EU Countries: If your driving license is from any other country than you will have to exchange it for a Danish license. There are two categories which your license can fall into.  There is Group 1 and Group 2 countries. Every country can apply to be in group 1 but that is done through the individual embassies and depends on the driving regulations and tests of the home country.

Group 1. If you have a license from the Capitol Territory in Australia, Brazil, Japan, Russia Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Switzerland or Ukraine you will need to exchange your license. You have up to a year to do that. Good news there are no requirements to exchange your drivers license - no driving tests or written exams.

You may have to prove that you have not been disqualified from driving in the past 5 years.

Group 2. If you have a license which falls into Group 2 (basically if it is not listed in Group 1 than it is in Group 2), you will have to exchange it to a Danish one. This is how Group 2 countries are classified by the police. 

Group 2 countries
If your driving licence is issued by a country/constituent state where the training for drivers is not completely in line with the Danish one, but where the overall road safety level is comparable with the Danish one, you have the possibility of exchanging your driving licence without completing a driving test if the concerned country/constituent state is listed among the countries included in this agreement

The only problem is that the list of group 2 countries has not been finalized, so you will need to contact your embassy if your country falls into that category.

For all other countries you will have 90 days to get a Danish license which will include completeing a driving test consisting of a theoretical and a practical part.

Since this is anything but simple to figure out, I would suggest that anyone coming from a country not specifically mentioned above to check in with their embassy or local borgerservice for more information.

You can read the complete rules here.

If in doubt, you can get an international certificate from home that will allow you to drive in Denmark as long as you are not a resident or have a CPR number. Once you get a CPR number you become a resident of Denmark and have to follow the above rules.

You must be at least 18 years to have a valid driving license in Denmark and if it is not that has to be exchanged to the above rules you can use it until it expires. Than you will have to exchange it.

NOTE: If you drive on your drivers license longer than allowed, you can be issued a fine of 5,000DKK. Make sure you are driving legally in case you do not stopped.

How to exchange a driving license

 If you need to switch licenses, it may be necessary to take a written and practical test. This will depend on where your original license came from. To exchange your license take it your local kommune / borgerservice. Before you rush off to your local borgerservice ... read how to exchange your drivers license Denmark below.

In order to exchange your driving license, you will need to do some work.

First, get an appointment with your local doctor and have him/her issue a Health Certificate. You will need this when you exchange your license. Cost is about 350 kroner, but it varies. The doctore will check your vision, hearing and general health and issue the certificate if all is in accordance. Remember to bring a passport photo along for the certificate. Do not take your own passport photo. It is much better to have it done correctly at either your local kommune or one of the many photo shops in your area.

Next step in your process is to visit your local commune and talk to the borgerservice, where you will apply for your Driving License Denmark. Bring with you the following items:

  • Health Certificate from Doctor
  • Passport with work and resident visa
  • CPR card or proof of having one issued to you. You may not have gotten your card yet
  • Your present driver’s license, which will be turned in. It is later forwarded to the police, so you can get it back when you leave Denmark.
  • Fee to pay for processing the exchange. At present this is 280 kroner.
  • You will need two more passport photos for this process, so make sure to get at least 3 photos. You usually get a set of 4 at most photo shops, which is the best place to get it. They know the rules.

Please note if your present license is not in English, French or German, you must have a state certified translation of it with you in order to process a new license.

You will now receive a temporary license for driving in Denmark (valid for 2 months) and a new one will be mailed to you. Within the next 2 months you will need to complete the steps below.

This is the end of the process if you are exchanging an EU license.

Note: If you can’t complete the steps below within the 2 month window, you will need to prove to the borgerservice that you are taking the proper steps and they will extend the temporary license period. Sometimes it can take time, especially if you need translators or tests in another language. This can be extended up to 6 months.

At this point you can approach this part of getting your Driving License Denmark as a do it yourself exercise or get professional assistance. You will have to pass a theory test given in Danish, so if you do not know Danish, a translator will be needed. This expense will be yours and can easily be 1000- 1500 kroner for an translator. Also you may wish to contact a driving school to help you prepare for the theory test. If you pass the theory test on the first try, you can schedule the driving portion of the test. Both tests are free to take the first time. If you fail and need to retake either test it is 870 kroner per test.

Here is a list of driving instructors in Denmark. There are more, but this list should get you started in seeking help. To find a driving license Denmark school do the following:

From the main page, click on køreskoler (driving Schools, click the box that says "Almindelig bil". This should be block B and it means ordinary car. Also go to the bottom of the column and click on "Undervisning på fremmede sprog" (teaching in other languages). Finally click on "start søgning" and wait for the results.

The law does not require that you take lessons before taking either of the tests (if you already have a driving license), but learning it on your own can be a hard process. Of course, if you have friends who have been through it, they can certainly assist you and save you the costs of going to a driving school.

You can also find alot of practical information on the theory test. It is in Danish, but use google translate and you can figure most of it out.

The whole site is quite good to study before taking your theory test.

The cost of taking the theory test is included in the 260 kroner fee, you paid at the borgerservice. If you fail the 1st test, you will need to pay another 870 kroner each time you retake the test.

The driving license Denmark test is scheduled after passing the theory test and the driving school can also help you prepare for that and schedule the test. Again, you may wish to have a translator with you, but it seems that most driving instructors do speak English.

You will also need a certified car for the driving test, so check with the school on this, so you do not show up in a car that can’t be used.

FYI: Did you know that learning to drive in Denmark is so expensive that banks actually give out loans for it. And the Danish drivers are still HORRENDOUS! (okay not all of them, but there sure are a lot of bad drivers on the road!)

If you pass the driving test, you will issued with a new temporary license and the final one will be posted to you within a month. The new license is only good in Scandinavian countries, but for an additional fee (25 kroner at present), you can have it changed to an international license. Do it - what are you going to use when you travel if you don't.

You can learn more about driving license Denmark and driving obligations here.

All the information posted here has been researched through our local borgerservice, but things change and each kommune has their own take on how a drivers license Denmark should be done. Take these rules as guidelines and than check with your local borgerservice as soon as possible about their rules, prices and time constraints.

If you found this page helpful, please give a google+ and or a facebook like at the top of the screen, so others can also find this information. Thank you.

FYI Denmark Expat Information

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American and Canadian Driver's Licenses 
In your "American and Canadian Driver's Licenses" section you state that "American and Canadians now have up to a year to drive on their existing licenses …

American and Canadian Driver's Licenses 
I am trying to find a government page that has what you stated above for American Driver's license.

Health certificate  Not rated yet
I just been to my local doctor and paid 560 kr medical certificate.

US Driver's License Exchange Press Release Not rated yet
I am trying to find the press release in regards exchanging a US driver's license. I have taken a look at the Ministry of Justice and every possible website …

Question about Driving License Rules in Denmark Not rated yet
Hi - I was reading your information on driver's license rules, and I saw something that is a bit confusing. The site notes that one can only drive on their …

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