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Driving licence recognition and validity – Hungary

Validity of driving licences in Hungary

As a general rule, in Hungary driving licences are valid for 10 years. For drivers over the age of 50, the document issued is valid for a maximum of 5 years. If the period of validity of the medical fitness information has expired, but the document issued by the Hungarian authorities is still valid, then the document no longer entitles the holder to drive a vehicle and can be used only for identification purposes in Hungary (it is not proof of citizenship, nor can it be used for identification abroad).

In Hungary, the authorities will exchange a driving licence issued by another EEA State at the request of the user or his/her proxy without having to go through any certification procedure. This can be done at any district government document office, government information centre or the Personal Customer Service Centre at the Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services.

Newly issued driving licences are valid for a maximum of 10 years.

Under Hungarian law (Decree No 13/1992 of the Minister for Public Welfare of 21 June 1992 on determining the medical fitness of drivers of road vehicles), there are two fitness categories.

The category 1 fitness requirements must be met by drivers of public road vehicles who drive or intend to drive vehicles in categories A1, A2, A restricted, A, B1, B and BE, as described in Annex 2 to Government Decree No 326/2011 of 28 December 2011 on road traffic administrative responsibilities and the issue and withdrawal of road traffic documents.

Drivers in fitness category 1 must undergo a periodic health and fitness examination at the following intervals:

(a) drivers under the age of 50, every 10 years;

(b) drivers over the age of 50, but under the age of 60, every 5 years;

(c) drivers over the age of 60, but under the age of 70, every 3 years;

(d) drivers over the age of 70, every 2 years.

The category 2 fitness requirements must be met by drivers of public road vehicles who drive or intend to drive vehicles in categories C1, C1E, C, CE, D1, D1E, D, DE combined and TR trolleybus, as well as those who drive or intend to drive public road transport vehicles or emergency vehicles and those employed as drivers of public road vehicles, depending on the category of vehicle driven. Medical fitness must be determined for the category for which the person attending the medical examination applied. Persons certified for fitness category 1 may not drive vehicles requiring fitness category 2. Persons certified for fitness category 2 are also deemed to qualify for fitness category 1.

Drivers in fitness category 2 must undergo a periodic fitness examination at the following intervals:

(a) drivers under the age of 60, every 5 years;

(b) drivers over the age of 60, every 2 years.

If you have a driving licence that is still valid (i.e. the fit-to-drive validity period has not expired) that was issued by the authorities in another EU Member State, you can apply to have the document exchanged in Hungary. To do so, you must present a valid identity document, an official residence card (‘lakcímkártya') and a test certificate confirming successful completion of the test without an associated course (if the scope of the right to drive cannot be established on the basis of the authentic Hungarian translation).

Documents to be submitted:

  • driving licence issued by the foreign authorities
  • medical opinion certifying fitness
  • proof of payment of the driving-licence issuing fee
  • an authentic Hungarian translation of the driving licence (if the country in which the driving licence was issued is not a party to the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic)

The fee for exchanging a driving licence issued by the authority of another EEA State is HUF 4 000. If the applicant has reached retirement age, or the driving licence is valid for one year or less under health authority rules, the administration fee is HUF 1 500.

If the applicant is required to pass a test without an associated course, an administrative service fee of HUF 4 500 must be paid for each test for it to be authorised by the transport authority.

The time limit for the administrative procedure is eight days, or 21 days if there is a need to clarify facts or obtain additional information.

Non-EU driving licences - certification and recognition

If you intend to have a driving licence issued by a non-EEA State certified, in Hungary this procedure can only be carried out at the Central Office of Administrative and Electronic Public Services (1133 Budapest XIII., Visegrádi utca 110-112.). You must produce the same documents as applicants from EEA States, and if you do not have a residence card you must also produce proof of your right of residence issued by the immigration authority (residence permit).

If the driving licence was not issued in an EEA State, the fee for the certification of the foreign driving licence is HUF 6 200.

If you have already exchanged a non-EU driving licence or had it certified in another EU Member State, you may use it to drive in Hungary as well, provided that it complies with the Hungarian legislation in force.

The time limit for the administrative procedure is eight days, or 21 days if there is a need to clarify facts or obtain additional information.

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