What happens if you carry a licence issued in one of the major English-speaking countries outside the EU? Find out what to do if you have an American, Canadian, Australian or other driving licence...
Holders of Non-EU/EEA-issued driving licences may drive in Greece for up to 185 days (6 months). After this time, a Greek licence is required.
Depending on the country of issue, the licence may be exchanged for a Greek one. If an exchange is not possible, a full Greek driving test must be taken.
It is recommended to carry an International Drivers Licence, IDL (also called an International Drivers Permit, IDP), with the foreign licence. This is a multi-lingual, internationally-recognised document. It does not replace the driver's licence, but accompanies it and acts as an official certificate of validity.
Exchanging a non-EU/EEA licence
To make an exchange, the holder must be resident in Greece and have a licence issued by Australia, Canada, Japan, South Africa, South Korea or the USA. An Australian licence may be used in Greece without exchange, as long as it remains valid and is accompanied by an IDP, which can be obtained from the state that issued the licence; the Australian Embassy has information on how and where to do this.
A licence exchange can be done through a Citizen Service Centre
(KEP) or at a Transport and Communications Department office of the person's place of residence.
- Application form
- Copy of the passport
- Valid driving licence and a certified translation of the licence by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or a lawyer, or by the issuing country's Consulate. The Consul's signature must be authenticated by the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Photocopy of the Residence Permit (or a document proving residency in Greece) issued at least 185 days before the application
- One passport-sized colour photograph
- Receipt of payment of stamp duty, payable at a Public Revenue Office (Εφορία/Eforia)
- Document from the licence issuing authority (and a certified translation), stating all details of the licence and its holder, confirming that the licence is still valid. Consult the relevant Consular office for help
- Health certificate, issued by a General Practitioner registered with the local Transport and Communications Department
- Health certificate, issued by an ophthalmologist registered with the local Transport and Communications Department
Once the new driving licence is ready for collection, the applicant will be informed by SMS or by telephone. The original driving licence is held by the Greek authorities; it is released if the licence holder hands back the Greek licence.
Licences issued by any other non-EU country are no longer valid after 185 days of residency. The licence holder is obliged to take a full Greek driving test if they wish to drive in Greece.
- Information on driving in Greece from the US Embassy