To drive a car in Iceland you need a driving licence. If you are in Iceland for a short time, an overseas driving licence is generally valid.
A driving licence issued in the EEA, UK or Japan, is valid in Iceland, for the same type of driving as it applies to in the country it´s issued. In general it´s valid until the mentioned expiration date, unless it´s said to be valid until the age of seventy or doesn´t have a specified expiration date. Those will expire in the year 2032.
Driving licenses issued outside the EEA, UK and Japan, are valid for six months after arriving to Iceland. After that, one month is given to change the license to an Icelandic one. So, in effect a foreign driving license is valid for up to seven months, if the license holder applies for an Icelandic one after six months. The applicant is required to take both a theoretical and a practical driving test.
For those who live in Iceland, It´s recommended to change over to an Icelandic driving licence in any case. That will make all service regarding driving licence matters much easier. Those changing a driving license issued within the EEA, UK or Japan, do not have to take theoretical or practical driving test.
Here you can find the regulations regarding driving licences in Iceland (in Iclandic only). Article 29. is about validity of foreign driving licences in Iceland. Contact the District Commissioner for more information about what rules are in effect regarding driving licences in general, Icelandic or foreign.
Application forms and more information on driving licences are available from District Commissioners and Police Commissioners.
Driving licences are awarded upon completion of driving lessons with a driving instructor and at a driving school. The general legal age for driving in Iceland is seventeen. To obtain authorisation to take your driving test, you must apply for a driving licence with your local District Commissioner or the Police Commissioner of the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police in Reykjavik. You can apply anywhere in Iceland, wherever you are resident.
Driving tests are regularly conducted by Frumherji, which has service locations throughout the country and organizes tests on behalf of the Icelandic Transport Authority. When a student driver receives his test authorisation, he takes a written test. A practical test may be taken only once the written test has been passed. Students may have an interpreter with them in both tests but must pay for such services themselves.
Driving lessons for normal passenger vehicles may begin at the age of sixteen, but a driving licence may only be awarded at the age of seventeen. The legal age for light mopeds (scooters) is fifteen and for tractors, sixteen.
For driving lessons, a certified driving instructor must be contacted. The driving instructor guides the student through both the theoretical and practical parts of the studies and refers him to a driving school where theoretical study takes place.
Student drivers may practise their driving in a vehicle accompanied by somebody other than their driving instructor under certain conditions. The student must have completed at least the first part of their theoretical study and, in the opinion of the driving official instructor, received sufficient practical training. The accompanying driver must have reached the age of 24 and have at least five years of driving experience. The accompanying driver must hold a permit obtained from the Commissioner of Police in Reykjavik or from the District Commissioner elsewhere.
Types of driving licences
General driving rights (Type B) allow drivers to operate normal cars and various other vehicles.
In order to obtain supplementary driving rights, such as the right to drive trucks, buses, trailers and commercial passenger transport vehicles, you need to apply for the relevant course at a driving school.
Licenses to operate machinery are obtained from the Administration of Occupational Safety and Health.
Those whose driving licence has been taken from them for more than a year must retake their driving test.
Beginners with a provisional licence who have had their licence taken from them or have received a driving ban must attend a special course and pass a driving test to get their driving licence back.