Updated : 01/10/2014
If you lose your driving licence or have it stolen, you need to apply for a new one in the country where you are resident..
You can only have a driving licence issued by the authorities in the country where you are resident.
They will exchange your original licence for a local one. You will then be subject to the same rules on validity periods, medical checks, and so on as nationals of that country.
Monica lives in Belgium and has an Italian licence which is about to expire. She will have to exchange her Italian licence for a Belgian one. She will receive a Belgian licence with a validity period of 15 years, instead of 10 years as is the case in Italy.
If you lose your driving licence or have it stolen while travelling abroad, you should contact the local police and your consulate or embassy to find out what to do.
They may issue a provisional document that allows you to drive in that country for a short time.
Provisional licences and certificates issued to temporarily replace lost or stolen licences will not automatically be recognised in other EU countries.
On your return to your country of residence you should ask your local authority to issue you with a new driving licence.
Licences that expire during a trip abroad automatically become invalid and may not be recognised in other countries.
As you can only renew your driving licence in the country where you are resident, make sure before leaving that your licence will be valid for the whole time you are travelling.
Henrik, who lives in Denmark, planned to visit Germany, France and Italy on his holiday. Unfortunately, he lost his wallet and driving licence when in Germany at the start of his trip.
Without a licence, he could be fined if stopped by the police.
Henrik contacted the Danish embassy in Germany, who advised him to declare the loss to the local police. The Danish embassy also gave him a certificate stating that he is the legal holder of a Danish driving licence.
Henrik then had to contact the Italian and French authorities to check whether they would recognise the provisional certificate issued by the Danish authorities.
Get in touch with specialised assistance services
In this case, the 27 EU member states + Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway