Driving a private car is one of the things that someone will probably see the need for when living in Denmark. As much as public transport is streamlined with clear schedules, having a private car and a drivers document gives one some level of flexibility, reliability and control.
Again, as a foreigner in Denmark who maybe already had a car at home, you will find it discomforting to rely on public transport once you arrive in Denmark. So you will obviously feel the pressure to purchase your own car and start driving around.
However, you cannot just simply start driving in Denmark without following the correct process to ensure that your foreign drivers license is regularized and allowed in the country. Scandinavia.life hints at some of the critical information one may need to know concerning driving in Denmark with a foreign drivers license. Just to mention, it is difficult to have a reliable part time job in Denmark if you do not have a car and driver’s license.
Can I drive in Denmark with my foreign Driver’s licence?
There are some rules which apply to any driver in Denmark such as, they must be at least 18 years and the car must be insured at the time of driving. However, there are various conditions set for people having foreign drivers license. Typically, the requirements are region and country specific.
For instance most EEA and EU citizens do not have many restrictions since it is believed that the level of training there compares with that in Denmark.
There are three categories of countries whose drivers licenses are considered in Denmark-each with its own limitations. These include group one countries, group 2 countries and other countries.
It is important to read through and understand what is required of you based on the country that issued your foreign drivers license.
Temporary Driving Permit in Denmark
In Denmark, the municipality (Kommune) has a primary role of initiating driving applications. When you arrive in Denmark and want to be allowed to drive, the first place to go is the municipality. You must have your valid foreign driving licence, residence documents including health card, residence card and a passport size photograph to be used in starting the application.
Once you present the documents at the municipality, they will do preliminary checks on validity such as issuing country, date issued, class of automobile allowed and other small features. If satisfied, they will make an application for you to change the drivers license to a Danish one.
For the time being, they will give you a temporary license which allows you 3 months of driving as the police conduct through background checks on the documents presented to them.
They will remain with the foreign driving license anyway. Sometimes, the verification process may go beyond the 3 months given which then means you go back to the Kommune to get another grace period of 3 months to drive.
Driving requirements in Denmark
There are so many cars in Denmark which means that driving is also a common skill that people have. But the fact that you can drive does not make you accepted to drive.
You must obviously get the necessary documents that prove your driving ability. In Denmark, safety of the driver and the occupants of the car is highly regarded. Hence, they ensure that only qualified people who pose no personal and public risks when driving are allowed to drive.
The person must prove to be highly alert, aware and able to make rational decisions when on the wheel.
To drive in Denmark, someone must be at least 18 years of age and be in possession of a valid driver’s license. The process of acquiring a drivers license in Denmark is sanitated by the municipality. Even if you’re in possession of a foreign drivers license, it is mandatory that you regularize it to get a Danish one.
To do this regularization, you have to meet the same requirements as anyone else applying for a new driver’s license. You have to provide your a permanent address, CPR number, passport-sized photograph and health certificate from a Danish doctor.
Get a Danish Driving Licence
When you arrive in Denmark with a foreign driver’s license, you have the chance to exchange it for a Danish one to allow you to drive on the roads. However, sometimes, specific foreign driving license issued in EU, USA, Canada, and Australia are allowed to easily change their driver’s license without going through a test.
However, it is a requirement that those getting such permits without undergoing driving and theory tests declare in writing that they have a history of driving constantly for the past 2 years without revocation of their driving license.
It is only holders of driving licenses from group 1 and group 2 countries who can exchange such licenses for a Danish one without going through a driving test. Holders of all other foreign licenses must pass the theory and driving test before getting a Danish one.
Learning to Drive in Denmark
Whether you have a foreign driving license or not, it is possible to train and get a valid license in Denmark. Provided that you have all the requirements including residential address registration and CPR number , a passport sized photograph and health certificate from a Danish doctor, you can enroll in your preferred certified driving school and start your training.
However, it is important to note that training to drive in Denmark is not easy as passing the various tests and the costs associated with it is high. You will have to be very diligent and ready before registering in a driving school or taking a test. The driving training is divided into sections which makes one ready for the test provided that by the time of completing and getting the licenses, they are at least 18 years old.
Legal training Requirements to qualify for a Driving Licence
According to the Danish traffic laws, there are some bare minimum requirements that anyone intending to get a drivers license should meet. These include ;
- 7 hours lessons on traffic and first aid
- At least 28 theory lessons
- Four actual driving/ maneuver lessons on a track
- 16 traffic lessons
- 4 lessons on an advanced slippery track
The driving training is offered by certified driving schools and each lesson lasts typically 45 mins. Some of the training is offered in both English and Danish. The theory lessons can also be accessed online. The maneuver lessons target skills for generally controlling the car and ensuring motor safety on the road.
The Driving Tests in Denmark
Taking the driving tests mark shows that you have already completed all the preliminary steps in your training. When you book for the theory and practical test, you must have completed the course on first aid and attach the certificate for this on your theory application.
When you have already completed all the required lessons, you are allowed to apply for a theory test. The theory test is a multiple choice test with pictures and takes about 30 minutes. The theory test is often organized and done at the police premises. to access this test, you must provide a proof of identity such as a passport.
Taking a practical driving test means that you are including closer to going solo in your car as a fully trained driver. When you have passed your theory test, the practical test comes next. The practical test must be taken within 12 months after you have passed your theory test, otherwise it is considered obsolete.
The practical test is very strict and does not allow any mistakes. If taken in larger cities, it can be very challenging to pass due to the complex road network and traffic. The route where the practical test is to be taken is always set by a government supervisor meaning that you cannot choose otherwise.