Driving Licences Issued Abroad

Driving licences issued by European Union member states are mutually recognised in Greece. Permits from Canada, Australia, Japan and the United States can be converted to Greek ones without a driving test.

The main criterion for the conversion of licences issued in these four countries is that the permit be valid at the time the application is submitted. The following documents are also required:

1. An official translation (issued by the foreign ministry or a certified lawyer) of the foreign driver's licence.

2. A certificate issued by the Greek consulate in the country where the licence was issued verifying that the licence is genuine.

3. A photocopy of the applicant's residence permit, or identification card if the applicant is a Greek citizen. Note: the residence permit must be issued at least six months prior.

4. Health certificates from a pathologist and an optometrist.

5. Two passport-size colour photographs.

6. A receipt from the National Bank of Greece stating that 58 euros has been deposited in the "special account of ND 538/70" at the National Bank of Greece. There is also an application fee of 3 euros and an additional 18 euro processing fee for the licence.

These documents should be submitted to the local transport office. It takes several days for the application to be processed. The Greek permit expires on the applicant's 65th birthday.

For more information ring your local prefecture's transportation office (diefthinsi metaforon).

New EU rules on the road

Europe's transport ministers agreed in October 2004 to phase in new credit card-size licences. The plan is to gradually replace over 110 different styles of driving certificates currently used in the 25 EU member states.

The new driving licences might be ready as early as February 2005. The European Commission had proposed this measure last year. The aim is to combine greater freedom of movement, stricter anti-fraud measures and increased road safety.

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