CARS - OVERVIEW

Cars

  • All cars registered in Iceland must get a vehicle inspection regularly at an authorized vehicle inspection company to ensure that it conforms to regulations governing safety, emissions etc. Twice a year car owners must pay vehicle tax which depends on how much carbon dioxide the car releases while driving. Vehicle inspection companies are Frumherji (www.frumherji.is), Aðalskoðun (www.adalskodun.is) and Tékkland (www.tekkland.is).  
  • If a car is imported to Iceland the owner must pay duty or import charges if he or she resides in Iceland for over a year (see the Directorate of Customs), register the car and take it for periodic vehicle inspection.  

Driver's license

  • A foreign driver's license is valid in Iceland for those who stay here on temporary basis. The principle is, however, that if a person has permanent residence in Iceland (normally legal domicile) he or she must hold an Icelandic driver's license. Exceptions to the rule are as follows:
  • Driver's license issued in the Faroe Islands or countries that are parties to the EEA Agreement gives the holder the same rights he or she has under the license of the issuing country. The rights are based on the validity of the license, but no longer than to the age of seventy.
  • Driver's license issued in states that are not parties to the EEA Agreement gives the holder rights to drive in Iceland for up to one month after he or she have registered a legal domicile in Iceland. After that the person concerned must hold an Icelandic driver's license in order to drive in Iceland.
More information here

General application for a driver's license

  • Applicants must be 17 years of age but can start driving lessons at the age of 16.
  • Applicants for driver's license must have an Icelandic identification number and have had a legal domicile in Iceland for six months or longer before applying.
  • When the application is handed in the applicant might need to prove his residency by displaying his residence permit card or by other means demonstrate that he has a residence permit in Iceland. This does not apply to citizens of the Faroe Islands or the member states of the EEA Agreement.
  • A person who is issued an Icelandic driver's license on the basis of a foreign one must hand in the foreign license when the application is submitted.