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Last checked : 28/02/2018

Driving licence recognition and validity – Finland

Driving licence validity in Finland

Driving licences are valid for 15 years.

All driving licences that have been issued after 19 January 2013 are fixed-term licences, valid for 2-15 years (depending of category and age of the licence holder). If the licence was issued before 19 January it has to be renewed before holder reaches the age of 70 years or at the latest by 18 January 2033.

Read more on driving licences in Finland.

Driving licences for novice drivers are valid for:

  • 15 years - category A
  • 15 years - category B

Driving licences for elderly drivers over 70 years old are valid for:

  • 5 years - category A
  • 5 years - category B

If you hold a driving licence for life (i.e. one that remains administratively valid for an unlimited period) that was issued by another EU country, you will have to renew the licence before the age of 70 or at the latest by 18 January 2033.

Non-EU driving licences - exchange & recognition

You must exchange your non-EU driving licence within 2 years of moving.

If the licence was issued in a country that is a party to the Geneva or Vienna Convention on Road Traffic it can be exchanged on application for a Finnish A1, A2, A or B category without passing a new driving test.

Read more on driving licences in Finland.

To exchange your non-EU driving licence:

  1. go to the Ajovarma Oy customer service in person,
  2. hand in the following documents:
  • 2 photos (however, if you have already submitted photos for a driving licence since 1 January 2010, new photos are usually not required),
  • a medical certificate for a driving licence (no more than six months old), or
  • a comprehensive medical report, if the applicant is aged 70 or older at the time of submitting the application,
  • a valid driving licence issued in a country that is party to the aforementioned Conventions,
  • if the foreign driving licence is not consistent with the model in the Convention or is in a language not understood at the police department, the applicant must submit both the original driving licence and an authorised translation thereof into Finnish or Swedish,
  • the applicant must fill in a driving licence application form available at Ajovarma Oy customer service. The form requires the applicant to state if they already have a driving licence or were subject to driving ban issued in another EU or EEA member State. Also in that form the applicant states that he/she has been driving car in Finland for at least 6 months.

Driving licences not issued in an EU or EEA Member State or in a country that is a party to the Geneva or Vienna Road Traffic Convention do not entitle their holders to drive motor vehicles in Finland unless otherwise agreed in international treaties. Holders of such driving licences must apply for a driving licence permit, demonstrate that they comply with the criteria for granting a driving licence permit, and undergo a driving test.

Read more on driving licences in Finland.

If you have previously exchanged a non-EU driving licence for an EU licence in another EU country, you can use it in Finland.

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